Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of the Hindi classic “Daag,” and actress Sharmila Tagore recounted stories about the film.
On Thursday, actress Sharmila Tagore recounted memories about the movie, her work with Yash Chopra, and what made her relationship with Rajesh Khanna so famous as her movie “Daag” celebrated its 50th anniversary in Hindi cinema.
Yash Raj Films was also founded as a result of the movie. The late Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, and Rakhee are all featured in “Daag.” It is regarded as one of the most influential love stories in Indian cinema.
Sharmila Tagore said: “I think it’s wonderful that it’s now 50 years since we made Daag, yet the movie and the songs remain so popular. In fact, recently Manoj Bajpayee (I made Gulmohar with him) was constantly singing Ek Chehre Pe Dusre Chehre Laga Dete Hai Log. I had to tell him please don’t sing it.”
Sharmila Tagore added, “My reaction when I was offered Daag was unparalleled joy, really. I saw it as a great compliment and honour to be a part of Yash’s first venture, his debut as a producer. I was absolutely thrilled.”
She added: “Working in Daag was a wonderful experience. Actually working with Yash – even when I worked with him in Waqt was a wonderful experience. He was always so much fun.
“As a director, he energised everyone on the set. Ask anybody who has worked with him, with his Punjabi endearments and just generally he was like a live wire. We shot in such beautiful locations when we were working for Daag.”
Sharmila Tagore continued and said, “We were shooting in Shimla one day and I woke up to a landscape covered in snow; a stunning view from my hotel window but that also meant that I had to walk to work as no car could come to us through the snow; I remember that I would get ready in make-up, hair and everything and barely walk 5 steps when something had hit me really really hard and it was a snowball.”
“I turned around to protest, I found a bunch of giggly girls and they said ‘Yeh toh hamara khel hai, hum toh khelenge’. I tried to explain to them but they wouldn’t listen (laughs). And I had to walk the distance to the location which was thankfully not too far being constantly hit with snowballs; I think I also threw some at them but my aim was not half as good as theirs!”
“But anyway, I think I quite enjoyed that by the end of it; it’s another matter that I had to change at the location because I was drenched; so they made sort of a make-shift room where I changed my sari! Anyway it was a great experience playing their game ‘Yeh toh hamara khel hai, hum toh khelenge’.”
Sharmila Tagore praised Rajesh Khanna’s “memorable performance” in “Daag” and added that he was incredibly attractive in his subsequent role as Rakhee’s husband with that moustache.
So you know he played 2 different stages in his life and he already was the heartthrob of the nation and he was very good. I am really very grateful and happy that the audience liked Kaka and I working together and we became a hit pair and I think we made some great films together – Daag of course being one of them and even today they talk about our pair! I’m very grateful.
The main thing Yash Chopra did as a filmmaker, in Sharmila’s opinion, was “bring our Hindi films to the western audience and popularise Switzerland as the most desired location. This was also acknowledged by their government.
“He was showered with accolades and praise from them, and when we travelled to Interlaken, we came across a cafe that was called Bollywood Cafe, which made us incredibly happy and was wonderful. However, in my opinion, it ought to have been called Yash Raj Cafe since he frequented the area and captured the beauty of the place.