Jab Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya
Saleem son of the great mughal emperor Akbar is returning home after many years of training in warfare. The whole palace is bustling with activities to receive him. The palace sculpture was supposed to make a marble statue to welcome him. He couldn’t complete it on time & instead asks Nadira, the court dancer to pose as the marble statue. Saleem unveils it & an exquisitely beautiful woman covered from head to toe in marble dust emerges. Akbar is very impressed with her & names her ‘Anarkali’, the pomegranate blossom.
Mughal e Azam the epic movie directed by K. Asif tells the story of this Anarkali & her love for the mughal prince, Saleem.
The existence of Anarkali is itself contested by historians , but literature unlike history is not confined by the chains of facts & possibilities. There everything is left to the imagination of the writer.
Anything about Mughal e Azam can be mentioned only in superlative terms. Be it the star cast , music, dialogues , sets or costumes, everything was on a scale never seen before.
Asif was very particular about Naushad being the music director in Mughal e Azam. With this intention he went to meet Naushad with a suitcase full of currency notes. But Naushad being Naushad got very angry & offended with the offer of money in such a way & threw the suitcase out of the window. Naushad's wife who was working downstairs in the kitchen was surprised seeing the notes flying past her window. She immediately went upstairs and taking hold of the situation managed to convince Naushad to accept the offer. Like the 9 gems of Akbars court, Naushad along with his favourite lyricist Shakeel Badayuni created 15 gems for this musical extravaganza. Of these the most popular one & the one in which the maximum amount of time, effort & money was put in was none other than the iconic song Jab Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya.
The making of the song has itself has become a legend. It was to be picturised inside Akbars court. Asif wanted to bring out the entire pomp & glory of the mighty Mughal empire in this song. The inspiration for the set was the famous sheesh mahal of Lahore fort. The set itself took 2 years for its completion. Around 10 lakhs, a whopping amount of money those days, was spent on the song. Asif was not satisfied with the quality of mirrors available locally. So he imported it from Belgium. The mirrors were coated with transparent wax to prevent the reflection of studio lights. Hundreds of artisans from Firozabad worked on it day & night. There never was & there never will be any song that can match Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya in all its grandeaur and style.
The song was very crutial in the evolution of the story. Anarkali, a mere court dancer was going to challenge the mighty Akbar in his own court. She was going to declare her love for Salim infront of everyone. This had to be dealth with very carefully so as to make it believable. Naushad & Shakeel started working on it one evening inside a closed room as Naushad wanted no one to disturb them. This session continued the entire night. The lyrics written by Shakeel were rejected twice by Naushad. It was then that Naushad remembered a popular Bihari phrase, Pyaar kiya ka…Chori to na kari. By the time sun made its presense known, the legendary song was ready. And as they say, the rest is history. The song starts with a vocal rendition by Ustad Bade gulam ali in raag Durbari. The very exquisite & breathtakingly beautiful Anarkali, dressed in a turqoise blue & red dress with a feather cap emerges from behind a curtain. The transformation in Anarkali is unmistakable. Gone was the meek, timid & helpless Anarkali. Her place was taken up by someone who was bold, fearless & confident. Madhubala was never considered to be a serious or talented actress. Some times beauty can be so stunning that it hides everything else. There are no two ways about Madhubala being beautiful. Everyone who saw her were so enamoured by her beauty that they never tried to look beyond that. But with Mughal e Azam, her swan song, she proved everyone wrong. The song Pyaar kiya to darna kya is in itself a testimony of her acting skills. There was defiance in her every step , grace in every movement of her body. Every facial expression was priceless. She was not a trained dancer, but she could put any kathak dancer to shame. What makes it more unbelievable is the fact that she suffered from congenital heart defect. Forget dancing, an ordinary person wearing those heavy costumes would find it impossible even to walk a few steps. Of course the faster steps, especially the ones shot from a distance or from above, where one can find Anarkali spinning like a top were performed by Lachu maharaj.
By the time the vocals by Bade Gulam Ali saheb end, Anarkali is seen standing face to face with Akbar. One can even see something similar to an expression of appreciation on Akbars face. The scene has been so realistically shot that we can even make out the heaving of Anarkalis chest as if she is trying to catch her breath after the speedy steps. For a second all the eyes are on her & there is pindrop silence. Then Anarkali starts singing.
Insaan kisi se duniya mein ek baar mohabbat karta hai…
Is dard ko leker jeeta hai….Is dard ko lekar marta hai
In this world a person truly falls in love only once…He lives with this pain… and he dies with this pain..
With this we can see a slight change in Akbar's face as he starts getting an inkling of what is to follow.
In those few seconds, before the song starts, expressions of grief , anger, love, anxiety and multitudes of other subtle emotions flash through the radiant face of Anarkali. Unless one is attentive, there is a chance of missing one of these expressions.
A true love story almost always makes a lasting impression on our hearts, more so if it has a tragic end. Love story of Madhubala & Dileep kumar ( Her real life prince Salim) is a folklore in the world of Hindi cinema. After many years of courtship things started getting sour between them. So much so that during the shooting of
Mughal e Azam they were not even in talking terms. Madhubala knew that she had lost Dileep Kumar forever. She was also aware of the true nature of her disease & the fact that she dosen't have many more years to live. All these added yet another dimention to this evergreen song.
Prithvi Raj Kapoor as emperor Akbar gave the best performance of his career. It is a pleasure to watch his expression slowly changing from appreciation to that of rage. Towards the end his eyes are red with anger.It was a quiet a natural change as he didn't use glycerin for this.
By the time the song gets over, Asif wanted Akbar to hang his head in shame. This is when one gets to know the brilliance of the lyricist Shakeel Badayuni. There is only one person whom emperor Akbar would consider above himself & that is God.
Chup na sakega ishq hamara…. Charon taraf hai unka nazara..
Akbar looks up and sees thousands of mirrors on the roof of sheesh mahal reflecting the dancing image of Anarkali.
Parda nahin jab koi khuda se..bandon se parda karna kya…
If nothing is hidden from God then what is the need for hiding it from his subjects.
Latas lilting voice echoing everywhere gives goosebumps everytime one hears it. Akbar hangs his head in shame & the song ends.
We might never know the truth about Anarkali & her fate. But Asif was very particular that his Anarkali should win.
And win she does….
In her own words from Mughal e Azam
Kaanton ko murjane ka dar nahi hota
Unlike flowers thorns don’t have the fear of withering away….