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Bollywood Classic Series  ---- By Mohan Siroya

“DIL EK MANDIR” (1963)

 This film is a classic love triangle fully embedded in Indian traditional familial web. Meena Kumari gave a sterling tragic performance with impressive Rajendra Kumar as her ex-flame, now a renowned Cancer specialist in a hospital. Meena’s Husband, stalwart and inimitable actor  Raj Kumar is suffering from Terminal Cancer so she gets him admitted in this hospital. She  also has a 3-4 years old daughter. Love pangs get nostalgic and revived, disturb the still bachelor Rajendra Kumar who dreams to get her ex-flame back .But Meena Kumari is now fully  devoted ,  loved  her husband  and little daughter and abhors his desires.  Meena even doubted the sincerity of Doctor Rajendra Kumar in effectively treating her hubby. In the process husband Raj Kumar also comes to know about their past love and sincerely advises Meena to go back to the Doctor as he is ,otherwise  a terminal patient. Meena Kumari sternly refuses such an idea and expressed her  devotion in the mind-boggling serious song “Hum Tere Pyar Mein Sara Aalam Kho Baithe, Tum kehte ho ke Aise Pyar ko Bhool Jaaoon” aptly worded  by Hasrat Jaipuri and touchingly tuned by Shankar Jaikishen. On the other hand . Rajendra Kumar was also a man of strong conscience and sense of duty.  He painfully worked hard in saving Raj Kumar but in the process jeopardized  his own life.
Story writer director C V Sridhar, a veteran of Tamil films  excelled in treating thematic emotional conflicts of the Characters. It is delight to watch tragedienne Meena Kumari superbly enacting her role . For the first time Rajendra Kumar was found impressive in acting and was also nominated for the Filmfare award in a leading role.  Inimitable Rajkumar brilliantly essayed his role for which he received the best supporting actor  award. Meena Kumari , Sridhar and  the film were  also nominated  for Best actress, Director and Film respectively .

All the songs in the film were of top class. Child lullaby “O Meri Ladli”, sentimental  with tragic tinge “Ruk Ja Raat Thehar Ja Re Chanda”, “Yaad Na Jaaye” and the theme song “Dil Ek Mandir Hai” are all unforgettable. In this film Hasrat Jaipuri was the solo song writer for the Music maestros Shankar Jaikishen and he did full justice in lifting the mood of the film .



Written by: 

Mohan Siroya


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