In 1982, during the making of Vidhaata, thespian Dilip Kumar told Subhash Ghai, 'You are going to make it very big, Subhash.'

His prediction came true.

Subhash Ghai is the Badshah of Bollywood, with a near impeccable track record right from Karz. Barring Trimurti and Yaadein, his 26-year-long career is highlighted by a string of hits.

On January 24, his 60th birthday, Vickey Lalwani marks the milestones in the director's career:


Kalicharan (1976)
Subhash Ghai's first directorial venture.

What marked his debut was that he had never worked as an assistant with another director before this film. Few are aware that Ghai's script was rejected by seven producers till it came to N N Sippy, who decided to give him a chance.

Ajit is still remembered for his name Lion in the film. The clue, No 17, or LION (read upside down) was the highlight of this crime thriller. Even Premnath, uttering the word 'bastard' every now and then, was appreciated.

The chemistry between Shatrughan Sinha and Reena Roy was stark.


Vishwanath (1978)
This film went on the floors 15 days after Ghai conceived the script.

Many remember the hand-held opening shot of the movie which had the camera moving through six rooms.

Actor Ranjeet had no dialogue in the film except for this line: "Once in a blue moon, kabhi kabhi."

Youngsters even today imitate Shatrughan Sinha: "Jali ko aag kahte hain, bujhi ko raakh kahte hain, jis raakh se barood bane usey Vishwanath kahte hain."

Vishwanath was a bigger hit than Kalicharan at the box-office.


Karz (1980)
Karz was produced under Mukta Films, Subhash Ghai's production banner.

This reincarnation-revenge theme film had a very Western look. The song Om Shanti Om became a craze and is said to be the first Hindi song played at Indian discotheques.

Rishi Kapoor danced like never before. Tina Munim looked like a doll. The other songs, Paisa yeh paisa and Ek haseena thi, were immensely popular. The signature tune on the guitar is one of the most haunting in Indian cinema.

Laxmikant-Pyarelal won the Filmfare Award for Best Music Director and Simi Garewal for Best Supporting Actress.


Vidhaata (1982)
In spite of a formidable line-up of stars, the film was completed in a record 13 months.

Amrish Puri came into the limelight as a villain in mainstream cinema with his punchline 'Baajra.' The film is known for its excellent dialogues.

The raunchy Saat saheliyan, picturised on Shammi Kapoor and Padmini Kolhapure, was extremely popular for its double entendre.

This was Sanjay Dutt's second film. Shammi Kapoor received the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.


Hero (1983)
Mukta Arts Pvt Ltd was established as a leading production house with this film.

Jackie Shroff hit the screen as a hero, though he had a small appearance in Dev Anand's Swami Dada earlier. This was Meenakshi Seshadri's second film and established her as a star, actress and dancer.

The film had a novel theme: a criminal with a flute, not a gun, in his hand. Pakistan's reputed singer Reshma sang Lambi judaai with just 11 instruments.

In the first two weeks after its release, the film was declared a dud. It picked up from the third week onwards and celebrated a Silver Jubilee at 24 centres and Golden Jubilee at 11 centres in India.

Singer Anuradha Paudwal also came into limelight with her superhit songs Tu mera hero hai and Ding dong.


Meri Jung (1985)
Anil Kapoor and Nutan put in a sterling performance.

The song Zindagi har kadam ek nayi jung hai is still remembered. The highlight of the film was the climactic courtroom scene when Amrish Puri loses his sanity. Music video directors still appreciate the picturisation of the song Bol baby bol (on Javed Jaffrey and Khushboo).


Karma (1986)
This multi-starrer, big-budget, 70 mm, 6-track stereophonic sound magnum opus was a big challenge for Ghai. There was much speculation about the on-the-sets rivalry between Dilip Kumar and Naseeruddin Shah. Tongues wagged that the director would not complete the film.

The film did release. It was a superhit. Dr Dang, played by Anupam Kher, was born in this film. The role is considered one of the most powerful negative characters portrayed on the Indian screen in the league of Gabbar Singh [Sholay] and Mogambo [Mr India]. The scene where Dilip slaps Kher in the jail was the highlight.

Ghai won the National Award for making a film which promoted anti-terrorism.


Ram Lakhan (1989)
Another production banner, Suneha Arts, was established with this film. It is still remembered for its mahurat performed in Khandala (two hours from Mumbai), where 300 guests were invited for a three-day stay to witness the event.

A star was born: Madhuri Dixit.

The chartbusting My name is Lakhan was recorded with only 72 rhythm instruments. No vocal or string instrument was used in its composition.

This was Raakhee's comeback vehicle. The screenplay was declared a 'textbook' by critics and won many awards. No prizes for guessing who wrote the screenplay.


Saudagar (1991)
A casting coup of sorts -- two legends -- Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar acted together after nearly 30 years.

There was much talk of egos and Ghai not completing the film.

Another star was born: Manisha Koirala.

The song Ilu Ilu became a huge hit. The film had 13 nominations at the Filmfare Awards and Ghai won the award for Best Director.


Khalnayak (1993)
This was one of the most talked about movies of its time, especially because Sanjay Dutt landed in prison in connection with the Mumbai bomb blasts soon after its release.

The Jackie-Sanjay fight in jail was the highlight.

This film also gave rise to the most controversial Choli ke peechhay. It was No 1 on all the music countdown shows.

In many territories, the film covered its cost within the first two weeks of its release, a record at the time. It won 11 nominations at the Filmfare Awards.


Pardes (1997)
Originally titled Ganga this film was conceived by Ghai before Khalnayak. He wrote the screenplay for which he won the Filmfare Award.

The cinematography and locations were breathtaking. The foreign locations in the film were shot in Vancouver and Las Vegas, while the Indian part was shot along the Ganga and in Rishikesh, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Mysore.

The film won over 13 nominations at the Filmfare Awards.


- Taal (1999)
For Ghai, this film was a musical coup. For the first time, A R Rahman scored music for Anand Bakshi's lyrics.

Written and produced by Ghai, the film starred Aishwarya Rai and Akshaye Khanna. Anil Kapoor played a character with negative shades for the first time. He won raves for his performance as well as his nimble dancing in Rumta Jogi.

Musically, the director says Taal was his best. Songs like Ishq bina and Taal se taal mila were immensely popular.

The film also had three choreographers -- Saroj Khan, Shiamak Davar and Ahmed Khan.


Yaadein (2000)
A new banner was launched on October 24, 1999 -- Mukta Arts International Pvt Ltd.

Yaadein was made under this banner. But the film bit the dust from day one.

The general complaint was that the film was too fluffy. Also, Ghai had entered many endorsements like Coke, which proved to be an eye sore.


Tell us what you think of this list


Astrology | Auctions | Auto | Contests | E-cards | Food | Health | Home & Decor | Jobs | Lifestyle | Matrimonial
Money | Movies | Net Guide | Product Watch | Romance | Tech.Edu | Technology | Teenstation | Travel | Women
News | Cricket | Sports | NewsLinks
Shopping | Books | Music
Personal Homepages | Free Email | Free Messenger | Chat
(c) 2002 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.