Sultanpuri was especially famous for his romantic lyrics in dialogue form.
Majrooh belonged to the phalanx of left-of-centre poets who emerged in
the 1940s and 1950s: Sahir Ludhianvi, Kaifi Azmi, Shailendra, Janisar
Akhtar and Ali Sardar Jafri. Recipient of Indian cinema’s highest award,
the Dadasaheb Phalke, Majrooh wrote the lyrics for around 350 films in a
career spanning 50 years. He won immediate acclaim with his very first
film Shahjehan for songs like ‘jab usne keshu bikrahe’ and ‘gum diya
mustakil’. Majrooh, who also wrote several books in Urdu, however, got
fame among the masses through his film lyrics.
Meena Kumari: She (1932-72) acted in her first film at the age of six.
She shot into stardom in the early 50s as the tragic heroine with the release
of Baiju Bawra (1952). By 1953, Meena Kumari had starred in three other
commercially successful films – Daera, Do Bigha Zameen and Parineeta.
Parineeta became a turning point in her career. She married Kamal
Amrohi who directed some of her best films. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
(1962), Dil Ek Mandir, Phool Aur Pathar and Pakeezah (1971) were
among her most memorable films.
Raj Kapoor: Rightly described as a megastar, producer, director, actor
and all-round showman, Raj Kapoor has permanently carved for himself a
special niche in commercial Hindi cinema. The son of actor Prithviraj
Kapoor, Raj Kapoor bagged his first film role at the age of eleven. In
1948, he set up his own studio and made his first feature film, Aag, which
was followed by a series of successes, including Barsaat, Andaaz (1949),
Awara (1951), Boot Polish (1954), Shri 420 (1955), Jagte Raho (1956),
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai (1960), Sangam (1964), Mera Naam
Joker (1970), Bobby (1973), Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978) and Ram
Teri Ganga Maili Ho Gayi (1985). Raj Kapoor made every effort to
ensure that his movies appealed to every section of society, in particular
the mythical ‘common man’.
Ritwik Ghatak: Coming to films from the stage, he was the pioneer of the
New Cinema movement in Bengal, along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal
Sen. His notable films are Nagarik (1953), Ajantrik (1958), Bari Theke
Paliye (1959), Kato Ajanare (1959), Meghe Dhaka Tera (1960), Komal
Gandhar (1961), Subarnarekha (1965), Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1973)