The lost-and-found theme is one of the unique, defining elements of popular Hindi cinema. Right from the time Ashok Kumar-starrer Kismet (1943) was made, lost-and-found became a popular subject with filmmakers. Before 1973, Hindi films either reflected a macro context or borrowed tales from rich folklore and history of the subcontinent. It was only with Yaadon Ki Baaraat that Hindi cinema found a language that was custom-made for its diverse.
The milieu of Yaadon Ki Baaraat, was not a village and the cause of separation was not getting lost in the Kumbh Mela. Their separation episode was key to how their individual lives progressed thereon. Dharmendra was on the lookout of Shakaal, the murderer of his parents, Tariq searched for his abandoned brothers and Vijay, like a hopeless romantic, set out to find love. Yaadon Ki Baaraat was written by the iconic Salim-Javed pairing for the Nasir Hussain Films banner. Nasir Hussain was the undisputed czar of commercial Hindi cinema ever since he first turned director with Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957). The film is replete with all kinds of interesting trivia. Neetu Singh, who stars in the film’s unforgettable song sequence ‘Lekar hum deewaana dil’, and who had worked as a child artiste before, was in her early teens when she did Yaadon Ki Baaraat.
Dharmendra played the oldest sibling, but it was the girl who was cast opposite Vijay Arora, who probably ended up being the big winner after Yaadon Ki Baaraat. it was her performance in Yaadon Ki Baaraat, after which she came to be known as the ‘laal kapdon waali memsaab’, that gave her solid footing in the Hindi film industry. She stood out as a glamorous leading lady, which was considered an oxymoron before she made looking sexy one of the traits of an ideal Bollywood heroine. Her red dress and white jumpsuit-palazzo did the talking as she slipped into them with the ease of every girl comfortable with the expression of her sexuality.
And it is with the music that Nasir Hussain put his stamp on the film and made it distinct from the others. Collaborating with R.D. Burman yet again, Husain gave his audiences one gem after another whether it was the lovely ballad ‘Oh meri soni’ or the power-packed multiple song sequence that went from ‘Aapke kamrey mein koi rehta hai’ to ‘Dil mil gaye’ to ‘Dum maro dum’. And to top it all, the fact that the brother’s reunite at the end through the film’s title track, is the most Bollywood of moments in Hindi cinema and one which leaves viewers with gooseflesh each time they see it.
Watch Yaadon Ki Baaraat, a riveting tale of song, separation and reunion....