At 80 years Yash Chopra had still not forgotten the meaning of love. And what more he was still able to connect and associate with this wonderful emotion in the way the people wished for.
In the year 1959 Yash Chopra directed his first film Dhool Ka Phool starring Mala Sinha, Rajendra Kumar and Leena Chitnis. This film came across as modern and unconventional for the conservative era during the teething years of Indian cinema. Nonetheless Yash followed his instinct and went ahead with the film. This film eventually became one of the top most successful films of the year. Since then there was no looking back for Yashji who over the years got the sobriquet of the King of Romance in Bollywood.
The King of Romance has an expansive treasury of excellent films and it is indeed a herculean task to select a handful of them. Each film made by the talented and dynamic master of Indian cinema is a masterpiece in itself.
Unfortunately Yash Chopra succumbed to Dengue and now the world has lost one of its most valuable and precious gem. But as mentioned in the film Mohabbatein (a film which was produced by Yash Chopra), "Marr bhi jaayen pyaar wale, mit bhi jayeen pyaar wale Zinda rehti hain unki mohabbatein" and Yash Chopra's mohabbat (love) will remain with us forever.
As a film maker Yash Chopra has directed around 22 movies. The last of which is yet to be released film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
1. Dhool Ka Phool (1959):
Treading on unsafe grounds Yash Chopra ventured into his directorial debut with this film. The story revolved around the sensitive relations between Hindus and Muslims. The story revolves around a Muslim bringing up an `illegitimate' Hindu child and featured classic song, Tu Hindu banega na Musalman banega, insaan ki aulaad hai, insaan banega. This song became very popular and carried the message of secularism.
2. Dharmputra (1961):
The success of his first film as a director motivated the director to carry forward his venture based on the Hindu Muslim theme. Dharmputra was set across the backdrop of the pre independence era and revolves around two families (Hindu and Muslim). Their sacrifices for each other and their emotional bonding are depicted in a commendable manner. Once more starring Mala Sinha in the lead role opposite Shashi Kapoor, Rehman, Tabassum and Nirupa Roy this film too gained a lot of appreciation and was high in the emotional content.
3. Waqt (1965):
Waqt was a film where Yash Chopra ventured into the multi starrer zone. The story of the film was indeed thought provoking and taught us never to take anything for granted. Lala Kedarnath played by Balraj Sahni, the main protagonist was seen as a conceit person who is proud of his three sons and his flourishing business. He does not believe in destiny. Unfortunately when hit by ill fortune he loses everything including his family. The years that followed were full of turmoil and turbulence and in the end Lala Kedarnath learnt the true meaning of life and became a believer of destiny. The movie has many moments which will move the viewers to tears. It is also known for the evergreen song Aye Meri Zohra Jabeen sung by Manna Dey.
4. Aadmi Aur Insaan (1969):
This film is indeed very special for many reasons. The first being that this is the first and only film in which Yash Chopra and Dharmendra have worked together. The movie was a typical Bollywood fare of a love triangle and the friendship and loyalty between a rich brat and a poor guy. Another reason for this film to be special is its songs which are sung by legendary singers such as Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle.
5. Ittefaq (1969):
In this film Yash Chopra ventured into a different genre namely that of a crime thriller. This time too Yash Chopra took an unconventional and bold decision where he did not include any songs and dances in the film. Yash Chopra had won the Filmfare Best Director Award for this film which starred Rajesh Khanna, Nanda, Bindu, Madan Puri et al.
6. Daag (1973):
Once more Yash Chopra won the Best Director Award for this film which was a super hit and had earned a lot of revenue at the box office. Once more the star cast is par excellence. Superstar Rajesh Khanna, Rakhee, Sharmila Tagore and the famous baddie of Bollywood Prem Chopra. This film won Rakhee her first Filmfare award for the film and other crew members too basked in the glory of the success of the film.
7. Joshila (1973):
With Joshila Yash Chopra took one step ahead in the action thriller genre. But unfortunately although the film starred Dev Anand, Rakhee and Hema Malini, yet it did not generate the kind of response anticipated by Yash Chopra.
8. Deewaar (1975):
Deevar was a film which truly created history. It starred two mega stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. The dialogs of the film were surpass excellent and depicted the conflicting ideologies of the two brothers in an apt manner. Till date dialogs such as "Mere Paas Maa Hai" and others are remembered. Deewaar broke all barriers and won loads of awards by Filmfare. It is still one of the most evergreen films of Indian cinema and has retained its charm till date.
9. Kabhie Kabhie (1976):
Banking on the success of his previous hit Deewar, Yash Chopra selected the winning pair Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor in the lead roles. Starring Rakhee and Wahida Rehmaan along with other stars this film was a complete romantic love story which spanned across generations. Kabhie Kabhie was an instant hit and won loads of awards. Its song Kabhie Kabhie has still retained its soothing romantic essence and is sung even now. Another song "Mein Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar Hoon" too is potent with meaning and has a melodious tune.
10. Trishul (1978):
Yash Chopra had become a brand name by now and once more he ventured into a multi starrer project with big names such as Amitabh, Shashi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Rakhee, Hema Malini, Poonam Dillon, Prem Chopra, Waheeda Rehmaan and others. Trishul has inspired present time director Anurag Kashyap and you will see reflections of Trishul in his film Gangs of Wasseypur.
11. Kaala Patthar (1979):
Yash Chopra had made Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor into a successful team and banking on this winning team he ventured into Kaala Patthar. This time Yashiji also added Shatrughan Sinha in his film. But unfortunately Kaala Patthar failed to create ripples in the box office.
12. Silsila (1981):
Silsila was a romantic love story starring Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar. The female lead of the film was Rekha who played the love interest of Amitabh and the wife of Sanjeev. The supporting actress was played by Jaya Bachchan and this film was instantly loved by the masses. This film brought to the forefront the real life situation of the super stars Amitabh and Rekha who were having an affair. The theme of the film was bold considering the conservative times and the extramarital relationships and the feelings were very well depicted in the film. The songs Rang Barse is evergreen and no Holi celebration is complete without this song playing in the background. Other songs such as Dekha Ek Khwab by Kishore Kumar and Neela Aasmaan are still loved by the masses.
13. Mashaal (1984):
Mashaal starred Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehmaan, Anil Kapoor, Ambrish Puri and others. This was based on the idealist living by following the right values. Mashaal was the torch with which Yash Chopra tried to inspire the youth to channelize their life in the right direction.
14. Faasle (1985):
The film starred Sunil Dutt, Rekha, Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Raj Kiran, Rohan Kapoor, Farha, Sushma Seth and Alok Nath. But this film of Yash Chopra was doomed right from the beginning thanks to the lame storyline.
Post Faasle Yash Chopra took a hiatus of three years before coming back with a bang in his next venture Vijay.
15. Vijay (1988):
Starring Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Anupam Kher the film was a typical rich falls in love with the poor and the social divide. Anupam Kher played the scheming rich daddy who goes to any lengths to prevent the love alliance to succeed. Yash Chopra bought the spark back to cinema with Vijay.
16. Chandni (1989):
Yash Chopra created history with his musical love story Chandni. Although the plot was conventional love triangle, yet the movie had a breath of freshness to it and was a hit since the day it saw the light of the day. In fact the film gained so much popularity that even after two decades Sridevi is still known as Chandni by many of her fans.
17. Lamhe (1991):
Lamhe is one of the most precious gems by Yash Chopra. Starring Sridevi in a double role alongside Anil Kapoor the movie treads on unconventional grounds. Although it was a hit overseas there was a segment of viewers who were appalled by the implied incest angle to the story. Nonetheless Lamhe is a film made with a lot of class and finesse.
18. Parampara (1992):
Yash Chopra had launched many new comers and with Parampara he gave the chance of debut to Saif Ali Khan. Although the film starred Amir Khan, Sunil Dutt, Raveena Tandon, Neelam Kothari, yet it was a box office dud.
19. Darr (1993):
For the first time Yash Chopra was directing Shahrukh Khan. It was due to his efforts that Shahrukh became the King of Bollywood. Their association was one of great reverence. Shahrukh changed the parameters of the industry and for the first time a hero was seen playing a negative role with such great convention. The possessed lover obsessed image was one which was created with a lot of convention.
20. Dil To Pagal Hai (1997):
Shahrukh Khan and Yash Chopra was a team with a midas touch. It was a musical romantic film. Starring Madhuri Dixit, Karishma Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan along with Akshay Kumar the film won many awards and was an instant hit.
21.Veer Zaara (2004):
Once more Shahrukh and Yash created the magic of love; this time across borders. Starring opposite Preity Zinta the duo managed to create magic with their long standing love and how they manage to survive in two warring countries namely India and Pakistan.
22. Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012):
This movie was supposed to be indeed special. For one, it is the first movie to be directed by Yash Chopra after a long hiatus of eight years. Second he had graciously bowed out of film making and this was supposed to be his last directorial venture. Jab Tak Hain Jaan stars Shahrukh Khan opposite Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif. This movie will be released on 13th November 2012.
Although we were aware that Yash Chopra would not be directing any more films, but that destiny had other plans and he would not live to see how his last venture turns out is a news which was totally unexpected and has left everyone shocked.
Yash Chopra will be remembered by the Bollywood fraternity and fans whose lives he has touched through the emotions in his films. Rest In Peace.