The music of BR Film's Naya Daur was launched on July 9, at Mumbai's JW Marriott in suburban Juhu. Actually, it was a relaunch. The film originally released on August 15, 1957, and was a big hit at the time. The black and white film is now being re-released in colour on August 3.
Asha Bhosle, who claimed that she got her first big break with this film, released the music.
BR Chopra -- the founder of BR Films -- arrived in a wheelchair, and was accompanied by his son Ravi Chopra (director of such films like Baghban and Babul). Naya Daur's leading actor Dilip Kumar arrived with his elegant wife Saira Banu.
BR Chopra's younger brother Yash Chopra [Images] made a quiet entry later.
In 1956, BR Films and Sa Re Ga Ma came together for the music of this film. Fifty one years later, the association has survived.
Interestingly, it was Ravi Chopra who decided that Naya Daur should be re-released in colour with dolby digital sound.
Ravi Chopra said he learnt everything from his dad, uncle and the other stars on stage, adding that this film was a tribute to them.
Dilip Kumar began his speech by admitting that he had forgotten his lines. He could not believe that 50 years had gone by. "Watching the film now was an elevating experience. It was unbelievable and funny. All our ages have gone up," he said.
"I want to sit in a corner and watch it," he said as the assembled crowd applauded. "This is an unique experience to re-release my own film 50 years later. My heart is full of emotion. BR and Yash are sitting here. You are my elder," the thespian added, addressing at BR Chopra. "I am holding your hand. We owe everything to this hand."
Turning to Asha, the actor said, "God keep your voice fragrant always. It is like time has stopped. Her voice remains the same. Watch the film. If it affects you, bless the people on this stage."
Asha Bhosle spoke next. "Today, I am going back 50 years. My sister Lata Mangeshkar [Images] was shining. I was a new girl. It was my first big break. People recognised me after this film. I got a break because of BR Chopra. Those days producers were big. Everyone listened to them. Today, everyone is boss. BR gave me a chance and I became a success. He took me in all his films including Waqt," she said.
"I am in between two periods. Dilip is elder to me. Ravi wasn't even born then. Today, I can stand and talk in front of Dilip Kumar. Those days I used to see him only from a distance and get excited, 'Oh! Dilip Kumar has come'. He was a great dancer and also used to make others dance!" she exclaimed.
"I am in this age today but I belong to that age," the singer added. Letting us in on a secret, she said, "Yash did not want me to sing. But he had to listen to his elder brother. In our society, we have to listen to our elders. Big brother (BR) liked younger sister (Asha) and the younger brother (Yash) liked the elder sister (Lata)," she revealed. "The money came to our house. What does it matter whether they paid the elder or the younger sister?" she continued.
"When Ravi phoned me and said he wanted me to release the music of Naya Daur, I was skeptical. I thought they must have done a re-mix. If it was a re-mix, I would not have come to release it today. I am glad that they retained the original music," she said. "It was a hit the first time it released. It will be a hit again."
Yash Chopra took over the mike. He recalled the time when the film was first made and he was just a second assistant. Terming it as a gift from Ravi to the public, Chopra said the film would remain a classic forever.
He reminisced about the film saying that it was the first movie to be entirely shot outdoors. "About 400 people travelled with the unit. There were no hotels in those days and in Bhopal, they had to stay in a rundown veterinary hospital. We used to take cooks with us. Cooking for 400 people was a huge task," he said.
"Dilip Kumar used to cook chicken without anyone knowing. We used to eat it secretly. In 1956, Dilip looked on me as a younger brother. That has not changed yet," he continued.
Daisy Irani, the child artiste in this film, agreed about the chicken. "I knew they used to cook chicken and eat it secretly. I remember the badminton games where they never allowed me to play. It brings back a lot of memories," she said, as tears rolled down her face. "It was my privilege to work with so many legends and I can still recall the dialogues. This film taught me a lot. I am proud to be on stage with these legends of cinema," she concluded.