Updated May 7th, 2024 at 21:48 IST

Did You Know Mukherjee's Friendship With Raj Kapoor Inspired Anand?

Did you know that Hrishikesh Mukherjee's friendship with Raj Kapoor inspired his film Anand starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh? If not, then let's find out.

Anand still | Image:IMDb

Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 1971 Hindi film Anand, starring Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, is a classic. Despite being over five decades old, the dialogue "Babumoshai, zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi" continues to fill the audience with hope. But did you know that Mukherjee's friendship with Raj Kapoor inspired his film Anand? If not, then let's find out.

Raj Kapoor's illness was Hrishikesh's inspiration to make Anand

In an interview with Rediff in 1998, Hrishikesh Mukherjee revealed that Anand starring Rajesh Khanna was a biographical film. He said, "I got the idea to make this film after I became friends with Raj Kapoor. In fact, it is a kind of biography. I wrote Anand when Raj Kapoor was not well."

A still from Anand | Image: IMDb


Meanwhile, Raj Kapoor remained optimistic throughout his illness. Instead of expressing his pain, he would spread happiness. Mukherjee instilled the same positivity in the character Anand, played by Rajesh Khanna. He also based the character of Amitabh Bachchan on himself, a friend who was constantly concerned about losing his friend.

"He (Raj Kapoor) was suffering from a pulse problem, but he still managed to smile and spread happiness around. I used to think if something happens to him, what will happen to me? We all were worried about him, and he would be smiling always. The same way Amitabh would worry, and Rajesh would brush it off," Hrishikesh Mukherjee recalled.

Anand poster | Image: IMDb


How long did it take Hrishikesh Mukherjee to make Anand?

During the same interview, filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee revealed that Anand was made in the span of 30 days. "I made Anand in 30 days, and I was confident of what I shot," Mukherjee said. Though the film was titled Anand, Rajesh Khanna, whom Hrishikesh Mukherjee affectionately referred to as Pintu Baba, was not the lead actor. Instead, he believes Amitabh Bachchan played the lead in Anand.

"He (Bachchan) was the main character because he is there throughout the film, and through him, we get to know the story. Rajesh Khanna was the second main character. I just had to look at Amitabh to know that he was right for the role," the Anand filmmaker said. Meanwhile, the renowned director was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India in 2001. He breathed his last on August 27, 2006.


Published May 7th, 2024 at 21:48 IST