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Remembering the first Indo-Iranian Bollywood project - 'Subah-O-Sham'

Remembering the first Indo Iranian Bollywood project Subah O Sham  pardesi news 1465378080

Despite being the first Indo-Iranian project, featuring popular cine star of its time from both countries – the movie remains one of those lesser known and discussed films of Hindi Cinema.

In the wake of newly found friendship between Iran and India, a movie released in 1972 'Subah-O-Sham' was the first project starring Sanjeev Kumar, Waheeda Rehman and Iranian superstar Mohammad Ali Fardin. The movie was dubbed in both the languages and released in both the countries.

Written and produced by B. Radhakrishna, the film’s music was given by Laxmikant Pyarelal, lyrics by Anand Bakshi and Director of Photography (DoP) by Khani, an Iranian cinematographer along with many other technicians from Iran. Mostly shot in indoors instead of sets or outdoors in Iran, the film is one of those lesser known and discussed films of Hindi Cinema. The movie has month’s shooting inside private houses and luxury hotels – they rarely shoot in studios in Iran.

Sanjeev Kumar and Fardin play brothers in the movie from royal family; Waheeda Rehman is an Indian- origin dancer by profession settled in Iran with whom Fardin falls in love however the alliance was not accepted by their royal family. There was long comic sequence presenting Waheeda as a princess in front of their dominating mother, the love saga goes through ups and downs with Fardin reuniting with her and their illegitimate child at the end. The film had all predictable twists in the script ending on a positive note wherein both Waheeda and the illegitimate child of the couple is finally accepted into the family after a tragic incident. Sanjeev Kumar played the younger brother of the Iranian star.

Released with the title of 'Homaye Saadat' (Bird of Happiness) in Iran, the movie went down in history as first joint project between two countries. It had many known Indian actors dubbing for the Iranian cast in the Hindi version and it was Satyen Kappu who became the voice of the lead star Fardeen. The movie was a beginning of cultural ties between two nations which was later surpassed by Islamic extremes.

Lead actor Fardin had a huge following in Iran however news of his death in the year 2000 was not broadcasted on television and radio, which was run according to the dictates of the Islamic establishment, who had disapproved of his acting career and had banned his films post the 1979 revolution. He was buried in the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery in Tehran. More than 20,000 mourners attended his funeral in Tehran.

Recently, Indian PM Modi visited Iran visit and was successful in sealing the Chabahar port deal, while also talking on terror. He visited Iran within four months of sanctions being removed on Iran by the international community. He also tweeted that the two nations share history and hope to enhance the economic ties between the two countries. 

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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