MUMBAI: Yash Chopra, the director of films like ‘Deewaar’, ‘Silsila’, ‘Veer Zaara’, ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ and his last film ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, was known as the King of Romance. But he was much more than that. He was maybe more appropriately the man of dreams.
From the snow-clad hills of Switzerland to the sarson ke khet in Punjab, we’ve seen them all in Yash Chopra film, and it’s now become synonymous with him and his productions’ films.
The director had humble beginnings though. He was born on 27 September, 1932 in Lahore and was the youngest among eight children. After Independence, he first moved to Ludhiana, before his passion for films brought him to Mumbai (then Bombay).
It helped then, that one of his elder brothers was Baldev Raj Chopra, a producer. Yash Chopra’s first film was ‘Dhool Ke Phool’, in itself a movie about a Muslim man raising an illegitimate Hindu child – a topic which directors would fear to touch, let alone a debutant director.
But Yash Chopra has since then shown a liking to splicing open relationships in each and every possible form. In ‘Silsila’, he dared to show “two lovers who were willing to go outside their marriage and continue their love affair,” but forgot to “carry the audience with him.”
Those words were of his wife Pamela Chopra, whom he married in 1970, a relationship that held strong for more than 40 years. Their love spread beyond their personal lives too with Pamela Chopra singing in Yash Chopra’s films like ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ and ‘Darr’, and also co-writing ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’.
If Yash Chopra’s earlier career was a constant collaboration with Amitabh Bachchan, his latter films showed a liking for rising actor, and eventually superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
But that does not mean, it was just the men who enjoyed a good partnership with him. The actresses, be they of any age, had ambitions of being a Yash Chopra heroine, with those chiffon sarees, dancing with their heroes in scenic locations. It was like a stamp of approval.
In October 2012, he was admitted to the hospital and within a few days, breathed his last. His friends from Bollywood came to be with him in his last moments on Earth. But it doesn’t matter that Yash Chopra has left us in body because through his films, the Man of Dreams will be with us in spirit and in soul.
Thank you for the dreams, Yashji.