By Esha Razdan, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Celebrating birthdays is always special, especially when one turns 94! Bollywood Hungama celebrates the birthday of this master storyteller, who went against the tide and left an indelible imprint in the history of Hindi cinema. Yes, we are talking about the one and only legendary filmmaker Baldev Raj Chopra (BR Chopra). His films comprised of 'social gyan' along with the tinge of 'Bollywood Tadka', if you think we are wrong, we can always put it to debate.
Even at the age of 94, he is as energetic and enthusiastic about everything he does like he was in his 20's. Despite crossing his second childhood, he creates the same magic in his films with his son as his right hand. And, on this occasion, Bollywood Hungama would like to take you down memory lane to his Black & White days and see what his friends and associates have to say about him.
Yash Chopra: “Chopra Sahaab is the living legend of the Indian film industry. He has been my greatest influence as a filmmaker and as a father figure - in fact, I consider him my guru and have always maintained that everything I am today and all that I have achieved is because of his support, guidance, and blessings. Today, on the occasion of his birthday, I give him all my love and blessings and wish him a long and healthy life. May he continue to be an inspiration to me and to so many others of our fraternity.”
Amitabh Bachchan: "My good wishes and prayers to Dr. B R Chopra on his birthday today. Chopra Saab has been one of the most prominent pillars of the Indian Film Industry. His contribution is immeasurable. Apart from giving the Indian Film Industry some of the most memorable films, the outstanding feature of his contribution has been the fact that all his films have remained close to issues and morals that our society in India has been continuously troubled with. In today’s times of speedy communications, xhibitionism, it is heartening to note that films coming from his house still maintain the original principles ingrained deeply by Dr B R Chopra.
May he enjoy good health and even greater prosperity."
Ravi Chopra: “Dad has been my mentor and has always stood by me throughout my life. I remember, the expenses of the first four episodes of 'Mahabharata' were getting sky high and I went to seek some advice from him as to what can be done. He simply suggested that money does not matter as long as one is aiming for a high goal. If I come up with a nice product, money will eventually pour in. Another incident, which talks volumes about his sensibility as a filmmaker was while shooting for Humraaz it started raining heavily at Kulu Manali. We were wondering how dad would react. But dad was a step ahead, he ordered for 'pakodas' and all the unit members including him played Table Tennis until the weather was favorable for shooting. I wish him good health and peace of mind for the rest of his life.”
Farida Jalal: “What can one say about a stalwart like BR Chopra, he is undisputedly one of the pillars of Hindi cinema! Even after working with some wonderful directors, I had the regression of not working with the legendary before marriage. However, post marriage after taking 'sanyas' from films for quite a while, when I returned to films, Chopraji was the first filmmaker to approach me with Kal Ki Awaaz and I just grabbed the offer. I still cherish the moment when he complimented me of being one of best actresses in Hindi Cinema, after watching Henna. Praises coming from him meant the world for me. Many happy returns of the day Chopraji, I wish you all the happiness and prosperity in life.
Raj Babbar: “To me B.R. Choprasaab has always been a teacher and I feel fortunate and proud to have worked with such a marvelous filmmaker. His level headedness both in real and reel life would place him in a different league altogether. His smile was his trademark. I remember during the shoot of the rape scene by me on Zeenat Aman in Insaaf Ka Tarrazu, I requested him if I could do rehearsals before giving the shot. The perfectionist in him let me rehearse the entire scene with the cameras on so that he could explain how it would do justice to the scene. Well, I must make a mention here that, I could see the reflection of Mr. Chopra in Aamir Khan while watching TZP. And on his Birthday I wish him success, good health, and prosperity.”
Jeetendra: “B.R. Chopra is one of the very few directors who could blend both commerce and art so beautifully on screen. He proved his mettle making films on the subjects, which the filmmakers of his times could not even think of. Not just this, I remember his film, Kanoon which was ahead of its times, he changed the tradition of songs in films and made movies without them. The other day, both Ravi Chopra and I were cherishing those days when he was on his toes for whatever he digs his head into. May God bless him and give peace of mind to this incredible man named B.R Chopra.”
Rishi Kapoor: “I have worked with B.R. Chopra only for one film called Tawaif. It was an experience of lifetime. He was simply excellent. I had a phenomenal time working with him. I respect him a lot and it increases with time. I would like to give him my warm wishes on his Birthday and hope he has a happy and healthy life. God Bless him.”
Subhash Ghai: “I did not get an opportunity to work with him but yes I did interact with him on a personal level. He was the one who had suggested me to go to FTII Pune for learning the art of filmmaking. I still remember that particular moment when he planted a tree at the anniversary of Whistling Woods last year. I was moved by his gesture and was very fortunate to have him there. May God bless him and bring him all kinds of happiness for the rest of his life.”
Courtesy by: Rashmi Sachdeva