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When Raaj Kumar said no Bollywood people will be allowed at his funeral: ‘Shamshaan yatra ko tamasha bana dete hain film line mein’

Yesteryear star Raaj Kumar was known for appearing in films like Tirangaa, Heer Raanjha, Waqt among many other hits.

raaj kumarRaaj Kumar was known for his signature dialogue delivery in movies.

Yesteryear actor Raaj Kumar, known for his signature ‘Jaani’ on screen, was a huge star in the 1960s and continued to work until the 90s in films like Saudagar and Tirangaa. Friday marks Raaj Kumar’s 95th birth anniversary and on the occasion, we stumbled across an old interview of his frequent collaborator, director Mehul Kumar.

In an interview shared on YouTube channel Bollywood Aaj Aur Kal, Mehul shared that while shooting a death scene for a film, Raaj Kumar once said that when he dies in real life, he would not want anyone to know about it as the death of a celebrity becomes a tamasha and he would not want his final journey to be that way.

Mehul Kumar remembered that while shooting for the 1987 film Marte Dum Tak, they were filming the death scene of the actor. “He was lying down in the van and I placed a garland on him. Raaj Saab said jokingly, ‘Jaani, abhi pehna lo haar. Jab jaayenge tab tumhe pata bhi nahi chalega.’ At that moment, I did not say much, I just told him, ‘I hope you live a long life’.”

tirangaa movie Raaj Kumar and Nana Patekar appeared together in Tirangaa.

But his statement disturbed Mehul so he asked him about the same post-pack-up. The Pakeezah star shared with Mehul, “He said ‘Jaani, tumko maloom nahi, shamshaan yatra ko tamasha bana dete hain film line mein. People will come dressed up in white clothes, then the press would also come in. Instead of honoring the person who has passed away, it becomes a tamasha. My funeral is for my family. No one apart from my family will attend it.'”

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When the Heer Raanjha star passed away in 1996, Mehul was reminded of his words as they felt almost prophetic. Mehul recalled that he was shooting with Amitabh Bachchan and Dimple Kapadia for Mrityudaata in Mehboob Studios when they got a call that Raaj Kumar has passed away. He got a call from Raaj Kumar’s son Puru Raaj Kumar and it was only after the family had performed the final rites. “That’s when I was reminded of the day when he told me that there will be no film people at my funeral,” he recalled.

Later in the day, when Mehul, Amitabh and Dimple visited the Waqt star’s house, it was not a filmy affair, as the late actor had wanted. “There were very few people there, no filmy mahaul.”

Raaj Kumar appeared in popular films like Tirangaa, Police Public, Kudrat, Pakeezah, Heer Raanjha and Waqt among many others.

First published on: 08-10-2021 at 06:22:17 pm
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