Half a century ago on this day Anand was made, and it’s almost poetic how a film that deals with death makes lives bearable for people even 50 years later. This film that starred Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, and how friendship, love and lessons in life teach everyone to live life to their fullest is one of the most iconic films ever made, and has achieved cult status in Indian cinema. With songs like Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli and dialouges like “Zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi,” this film is immortalized in Bollywood.
As we celebrate 50 years of Anand, let’s look at some of the astonishing facts of the movie that make this film the best of Bollywood.
1. Anand is dedicated to two things – Raj Kapoor and the city of Bombay
Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Raj Kapoor shared a deep friendship, and when the latter got sick, Mukherjee’s fear of losing his friend gave us Anand. The city of Bombay’s never-give-up spirit is also similar to Anand’s nature in the film, which is why the film is also dedicated to the resilient city.
Image via: India Today
2. Rajesh Khanna was not the first choice for the role of Anand.
Mukherjee went through Raj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Kishore Kumar and Uttam Kumar for the role of Anand. As having Raj Kapoor act would be too painful, and a misunderstanding between Mukherjee and Kishore Kumar’s watchmen led to a scuffle, so when Rajesh Khanna himself showed interest in playing the role, he was cast and the rest is history.
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3. It was crucial that Anand’s death be known from the beginning.
Gulzar was told by Mukherjee to open the film by telling the audience that Anand was already dead, so as to not keep them in suspense. He wanted the audience to focus on the message to live life to the fullest instead of worrying if Anand dies or not.
4. The term Babu Moshai comes from real life.
Anand (Rajesh Khanna) often uses the term to address Bhaskar (Amitabh Bachchan) who is Bengali. In real life, Raj Kapoor often addressed his friend Hrishikesh Mukherjee as Babu Moshai, and he used it in the film.
Image via: The Better India
5. In a surprising move, Mukesh sang the songs for Rajesh Khanna.
Everyone assumed that Kishore Kumar would sing the songs for Rajesh Khanna, as the duo had already given many hit songs till then. But music director Salil Choudhury thought that Mukesh’s voice would be more effective in bringing Anand’s emotions to life, and he was right.