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When Raj Kapoor Made Zeenat Aman Cry

September 12, 2023 12:27 IST
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'Rajji laughed. "What will I do with you convent girls and your two left feet?" he exclaimed.'

IMAGE: Zeenat Aman and Shashi Kapoor in the song Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal from Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Photograph: Kind courtesy Zeenat Aman/Instagram

Raj Kapoor's Satyam Shivam Sundaram was offered to quite a few actresses, including Vidya Sinha, before Zeenat Aman stepped in and made it her own.

It went on to become a blockbuster.

Sharing a picture from the film, co-starring Shashi Kapoor, Zeenat Aman writes, 'Shashiji and I in a still from the song Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal.

'Giant mushrooms, pink clouds, bellowing smoke, enormous flowers, sexy outfits, otherworldly props... this fantasy song sequence from Satyam Shivam Sundaram went the whole nine yards. I'd go as far as to call it something of a psychedelic trip!


'Few people know of the drama that went on behind the scenes though.

'My director Rajji was an aesthete to the core, and was known for working with some of the most beautiful performers from the south -- the likes of Vyjayanthimala and Padmini.

'He also had a taste for classical dance, and had conceptualised this entire song with that in mind.

'But this was my first film under the RK banner, and I was not a classical dancer by any stretch of the imagination. When Rajji narrated the sequence to me, I burst into a flood of tears!

'I was convinced I would make a fool of my self and sink the entire film. Through hiccups and sobs I explained my predicament to him. Rajji laughed. "What will I do with you convent girls and your two left feet?" he exclaimed.

'He did do something of course. He instructed legendary choreographer Sohanlal to teach me mudras, but not any complicated choreography.

'Simultaneously, genius costume designer Bhanu Athaiya created a range of sensational outfits, and art director A Rangaraj mounted a stunning set. And thus, the SSS team created a wonderland.

'I highly recommend that you find the video on YouTube and give it a watch. It's a visual delight, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.'

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