MUMBAI: It’s a landmark moment as Rajesh Khanna’s ‘Dushmun’, which also featured Meena Kumari and Mumtaz, released 50 years ago in Mumbai. On this special occasion, film journalist and author Chaitanya Padukone reveals an intriguing and quirky story about the film.The genius Kishore Kumar initially refused to record the chartbuster ‘Vaada Tera Vaada’ solo-track for the iconic ‘Dushmun’. Padukone also recalls having attended the star-studded movie premiere at the (now defunct) Ganga-Jamuna twin-talkies at Tardeo in Mumbai.
The movie has a scintillating score by Laxmikant Pyarelal. Shares Padukone, “Composer Pyarelal had once revealed to me that Kishore Kumar had initially declined to record the foot-tapping mujra-qawaali ‘Vaada Tera Vaada’ because he felt that this song was ideally suited for Mohd Rafi saab’s voice. Even superstar Rajesh Khanna was unable to convince Kishore da to sing that track. Ultimately, Laxmi ji got a brain-wave and politely told Kishore that they may have to drop the amazing song entirely and coaxed him to at least try to sing it once. Ultimately Kishore relented and when the movie released, that lyrical song written by Anand Bakshi saab became a huge repeat-value hit with the masses.”
Padukone also reveals that Rajesh Khanna won lots of acclaim for his daring attempt to defy his romantic image in ‘Dushman’, playing an ‘anti-hero’ truck-driver, who is accused of drunken driving and murder. He also sparred his acting talents on-screen with the legendary Meena Kumari. Writer Padukone also recalls, “ Kakaji, (Khanna) had expressed his delight that ‘Dushmun’, which was also remade in Tamil as ‘Neethi’, had thespian Sivaji Ganesan playing his role opposite Jayalalithaa.”