Hosted by the legendary lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar, the second episode of Classic Legends Season 5 will pay tribute to the cinematic life of Mumtaz on 15th December on Zee Bollywood at 8pm.
Think of Mumtaz and you’ll be reminded of the beautiful chirpy girl in Hindi cinema’s evergreen songs such as Bindiya Chamkegi, Jai Jai Shiv Shankar, AajKalTere Mere Pyar and YehReshmiZulfein. During her career spanning three decades, Mumtaz worked with popular actors of her time – Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, DevAnand, Jeetendra, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Shashi Kapoor. She acted in 108 films and won the Filmfare Best Actress Award for one of her favourite films Khilona in 1970.
She started as an extra in films in the early 1960s. She accepted small roles in big films like MujheJeene Do and big roles in small budgeted stunt films like Boxer, Samson,Tarzan, and King Kong. In the 1960s, she starred in as many as 16 action films with freestyle wrestler Dara Singh and was labelled as a stunt film heroine. She first gained attention in a supporting role as a vamp in the hit film Mere Sanam (1965). The memorable sexy song “YehHaiReshmiZulphonKaAndhera” was picturized on her. The success of the film led to another sizzling song “Aye dushmanjaan” in another big-budget film PattharKeSanam. Finally, she gained major attention when she played one of Dilip Kumar’s leading ladies in Ram AurShyam (1967). The film became one of the top hits of the year, and she received her first Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actress.
It took Raj Khosla’s blockbuster Do Raaste (1969) starring Rajesh Khanna to finally make Mumtaz a full-fledged star. Oddly, it was an inconsequential girlfriend role, but director Khosla, so good at picturizing songs, filmed four hit songs on Mumtaz. The film made her hugely popular, and she acknowledged that, even though she had a small role, it was still one of her favourite films. While speaking about the roles she played, the host JavedAkhtar says “At that time who would have thought that this little girl would earn so much of fame. ‘Sonekichidiya’ is a story of a heroine who eventually becomes a sonekichidiya.”
A particular favourite of OP Nayyar’s, lyricist SH Bihari wrote his songs in Urdu but was also fluent in Bengali as he studied in Kolkata. The unsung lyricist of the 1950s and 1960s, SH Bihari was the name behind many of the musical hits of that period. His most remembered songs are Yehchaandsaroshanchehra (Kashmir Ki Kali) and KajraMohabbatWala (Kismat). Through a narrative brought alive by the eloquent JavedAkhtar, Zee Bollywood will highlight the many details of SH Bihari’s journey on Classic Legends Season 5.
The life story of Mumtaz and S.H. Bihari will unfold on the Classic Legends Season 5 on Saturday 15th December on Zee Bollywood at 8pm