One of the most beautiful yet critically acclaimed dance form is “Mujra“. It find its roots in Mughal dynasty where kings used to spend most of their leisure time by enjoying Mujra performances by female artists. But was that all??? No, in reality, Mujra dance form involves a very intense combination of music, lyrics, expressions and dance. Not surprisingly, it is one of the most typical dance forms.
As far as Bollywood is concerned, this dance form originated in 1960s with the epic movie “Mughal-e-Azam“. As soon as I mention the name of this movie, you would surely be able to re-collect the memories of cherished performances of the great Madhubala in one of the best Mujra songs of Bollywood. And that song is, ‘Pyar kiya to darna kya‘ in the melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar which used to be the love anthem for the people of yesteryears and continue to mesmerise the younger generation till today.
The beauty of Madhubala and her dance in this song is so ravishing that one wishes to see the performance again and again. But do you know that it was one of the most challenging role and dance in her career. It is because the entire jewellery used in this movie was real and thus heavy. So much so, that, Madhubala suffered neck pains many a times during the shoot. So much was the level of perfection that costumes came from Delhi, embroidery was done in Surat, jewellery from Hyderabad, crowns from Kolapur, weapons from Rajasthan and footwear from Agra. Due to its many years of making and involvement in different controversies, people became so crazy to watch it that they used to queue up for long hours outside theatres to get tickets and their family members would bring tiffins for lunch for those standing in queues.
Another 60s movie having a series of Mujra songs is “Pakeezah“. Veteran actress Meena Kumari dancing on numbers like ‘Chalte chalte‘ , ‘Teer-e-nazar‘, ‘Inhi logon ne le lina dupatta mera‘ and ‘thare rahiyo o banke yaar” re-defined the beauty of Mujra songs in the film industry. To add to the icing to the cake, all the songs were sung by India’s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar.
Meenaji was having acute health issues during the shooting of this movie. For instance, during the shoot of the song “chalo dildara chalo‘ , her condition was so bad that her face had to be hidden in the entire song. Yes!!! You heard it right… Next time you view this song, just take a note that you won’t be able to see her face in the entire song. She faded off during the shoot of song ‘Teer-e- nazar‘. She was so weak at times that her model double Padma Khanna was used in some intense scenes and shots. You would be shocked to know that Meena Kumari lost Pinky/Baby finger of her left hand in an accident but still the film director covered up this fact so skillfully that you won’t be able to recognise it easily.
One more interesting fact is that Pakeezah had not got a good opening on the box office but the fact that Meenaji passed away immediately after its release, made people realise that it was her last movie and they rushed in to watch one of the most graceful actresses of Bollywood for one last time and eventually, it became a hit.
Next in line is Rekha starrer “Umrao Jaan“. All the songs of this movie were sung by our favourite Asha tai and the evergreen beauty of Rekha ji made songs like ‘Inn aankhon ki masti‘, ‘Dil cheez kya hai‘ and ‘Yeh kya jagah hai doston‘ – immortal. It is said that Asha Bhosle read the novel “Umrao Jaan” before giving her voice to the songs of this movie so as to bring the writer’s feel in the songs.
Hope you loved reading on this interesting facts about one of the most beautiful form of dance and music.
Author : Kanika Goyal