He would always be remembered as a gentle person of self belief who never compromised on his moral values while making films. "Yash Chopra made the kind of movies he will always be remembered by because he made only the cinema that he belives in, never compromising on his ethicist and on his sense of beauty. He was true to his cinema," actor Shabana Azmi told Times Now.
But the journey from Lahore to Punjab and then to Bombay (Mumbai), making films and earning this amount of respect in film industry was not an easy task. In his latest interaction with one of his favourite stars, Shahrukh Khan, director and producer Yash Chopra revealed his journey of more than 50 years and how he always wanted to make films only.
Born in Lahore in 1932 in a Punjabi family, Yash Raj Chopra was the youngest child among eight siblings who were already a part of film industry. Most renowned and well known was BR Chopra who was a great director and producer of his time.
But, as per Yash ji his family never wanted him to go to the film line and wanted him to become an engineer. They all were set to send him to England to study engineering and admission was finalised in a college also. But the desire and destiny of the young boy in his teens was something different.
"I thought to myself that how can I become an engineer. I don't know even the ABC of it. I was upset but one day courageously I told about my desire to my brother (BR Chopra) that I don't want to become an engineer," Chopra recalled in an interview on his 80th birthday last month.
His legendary brother was quite shocked and asked him what he knew about filmmaking. "I think to become a director there is no need to learn any subject but to learn from the life to become a good director," Chopra replied to his brother.
From that day onwards his journey of filmmaking started. BR Chopra referred his younger brother to assist IS Johar initially. But Yash Chopra wanted to adopt style of his brother's filmmaking and learn from his brother only. Thus he left to become an apprentice on the film sets of BR Chopra.
He did not start as assistant director but his work was to do odd jobs like to call actors, arrange their dresses or collecting properties etc. and carried on with this for 2 years.
Being from very conservative family, Yash Chopra was always supported by his mother. "No one was happy with the work I was doing but my mother said do what your heart says to you," he shared. Then he took 200 rupees in his pocket and blessings from his mother and left on his way to Bombay (Mumbai) from Jalandhar.
After assisting his brother for many years he got his first chance to direct his independent movie named, "Dhool Ka Phool"(1959), a title given to him by poet and singer Pradeep. This movie was based on illegitimate child, starring Rajender Kumar.
This was a hit with the idea of Yash Chopra who believed that children are not illegitimate but those parents are. After that he directed Dharamputra in 1961, for which he got a national award as well in spite of the fact that the film didn't become a blockbuster. Later, as a young director, he took a big risk and did his first experiment to make a first multi starer film "Waqt", which also was the lost and found formula which continued for many years.
Not many of us know that an original cast of the film of three brothers was of Kapoor family - Raj Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. But Bimal Roy, a great director, suggested producer BR Chopra not to do that for the benefit of the film.
But the most interesting thing to happen for the benefit of the movie was that at its time of release, India and Pakistan went to war in 1965. "We distributed all prints but the war started but the experts of the trade were saying that when war will stop people will be hungry to see movie," Yash ji said.
After that Yash Chopra never looked back. He directed many films including Ittefaq (1969) giving break to superstar Rajesh Khanna and after that Daag and Joshila in 1973 under his own banner Yash Raj Films, after separating from his brother BR Chopra. "In life if you have to grow then you have to grow in your own feet not on somebody's shoulder," Yash Chopra believed.
Then again experimenting with his genre, he discovered an angry young man Amitabh Bachchan from Dewaar (1975). Action and emotion based film created a new superstar. Then his association with Amitabh was proved as most hit duo provided other hits like Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Trishul (1978), Kaala Patthar (1979) and Silsila (1981).
Then in 1984, he again experimented by bringing a legend and a newcomer in his film Mashaal. Legendary Dilip Kumar and newcomer Anil Kapoor was part of film and that was the result of Yash Chopra's great desire to bring some new casting.
In 1989, he again changed his cast and brought Sri Devi, Rishi Kapoor and Vinod Khanna in Chandani which again became one of the most romantic films of the decade. Music is something that Yash ji always was very concerned about. So Chandani was also the musical hit of the decade.
Then film lovers saw Anil Kapoor first time without moustaches in Lamhe (1991) which was simply trend breaker film. In 1993, he gave another star Shahrukh Khan in Darr again something different where protagonist of a movie was cast in a negative role but still got sympathy and attention. Movies like Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and Veer Zaara (2004) followed Yash Chopra made his latest yet to be released film 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'.
In his interview just before his death, he told SRK that this is his last film and now he wanted to enjoy personal life.
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