- Year: 1966
- Producer: nasir husain
- Director: vijay anand
- Lyricist: majrooh sultanpuri
- Cast: shammi kapoor,asha parekh,premnath,helen
We cannot put into words, the ‘firsts’ of our life, first salary, first watch, first car, first love or yes, the first kiss. They are forever young and fresh in our heart and mind.
As we grow, we face so much of happenings in life, so many events, so many people that we come across or so many things that we achieve… but still, the firsts remain at their special place.
For artists, it is the first opportunity one gets to express oneself through his/her art. Even as he evolves and becomes successful or popular, the first major break never leaves him. A real ‘unforgettable’ of his life.
Teesri Manzil is such one break for Pancham that became the milestone of his career. Chhote Nawab was the film where for the first time on silver screen appeared… Music Director Rahul Dev Burman. Lata’s brilliant Ghar Aaja Ghir Aai and Rafi-Lata’s Arabian styled Matwali Aankhonwale announced his ‘arrival’ on the musical scene. Making his presence felt through sheer brilliant and freshness.
And to think of it… the time when legends like S J, SDB, MadanMohan, OP Nayyar, C Ramchandra, Roshan, Salilda were around, at the zenith of their careers, ruling the hearts of the audiences through their own styles and patterns. Difficult it was! To be even get noticed, leave alone being
After Chhote Nawab, Pancham had no film for four years and he continued to assist Dada Burman before Mehmood once again handed over to him his next film, Bhoot Bangla. And once again, the palette of multi-culoured songs was explored.
O Mere Pyaar Aaja, Jago Sonewalo, Aao Twist Karen underlined Pncham’s individuality. This was followed by Pati Patni and Teesra Kaun but in spite of the brilliant Maar Dalega or Kajare Badarawa Re, these films went unnoticed.
Pancham needed a big banner for a major successful break, maybe a film with a superstar or a musical where he would showcase his talent and originality. And all major films of the time were with the likes of SJ, OP, SD, Naushad who were strongly associated with Raj-Dilip-Dev or Shammi.
Secondly, when his father, Dada Burman was churning out non-stop melodies, who would have dared to opt for Pancham? Mehmood did but after all he was seen as just a comedian and didn’t have any standing as a director. So Pancham badly needed some stalwart producer/ director who would have faith in Pancham’s capacity and would offer him this opportunity. Like other fields in life, one needs a Godfather since sheer talent doesn’t always fetch you work.
And Pancham got one in Goldie aka Vijay Anand, who had seen him work as Dada’s assistant during music sittings for ‘Nau Do Gyarah’ under the banner of Navketan. And Goldie had not missed suggestions or concepts Pancham had came up with during those sittings. And being of the same age, he could relate easily to Pancham and soon became a good friend.
Goldie had started to be seen as a big name I direction and even producers outside Navketan were keen to work with him. As such Naseer Hussain offered him a film and that too with Dev Anand as hero, Dev being an obvious choice after the success of Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai. Goldie consulted with Dev and easily accepted this offer and yes, he didn’t forget to involve Pancham. Pancham was so happy and jubilant. He was thrilled with this idea of working with big names and being associated with a director of Goldie’s caliber and musical taste. It was indeed a Golden Opportunity.
Since Pncham had earlier worked nder Navketan, he knew the style of Dev Anand and what he might be expecting. He started off composing tunes keeping in mind Dev as the hero. But it was not to happen. Over a trivial debate in a party as to who is responsible for the success or popularity of a film, a director or a hero, the duo of Naseer and Dev split and Dev left the film.
Naseer had worked with Shammi also and the hit Tumsa Nahi Dekha prompted him to sign Shammi and even Goldie accepted this. Pancham felt that all was lost now because he knew how close Shammi was to Shankar Jaikishan and Shammi started insisting on having SJ as Music Director. He was not ready to face the risk of working with this new guy on the scene, RD Burman. Reading this tricky situation Goldie came up with an idea that later proved to be a master stroke.
He convinced Shammi that every new talent needs some chance somewhere and insisted that he listened to Pancham’s tunes first and then decide whether to retain him or not. A hesitant Shammi finally nodded and a meeting was confirmed. This was Pancham’s real test. He had to mould his musical expressions to suit to the image and style of Shammi Kapoor which was in total contrast with Dev Anand’s. it was a sudden transition of a romantic, chocolate hero to a rugged, flamboyant playboy. RD was well conversant with Dev’s image but Shammi’s kind of hero was new for him and to adopt music to suit him and moreover music that will triumph over SJ’s influence on Shammi. Goldie had got him thus far and now it was left to Pancham’s genius to do the magic.
The ‘now famous’ sitting started with Pancham getting Maruti and Manohari as assistants and a reluctant Shammi sitting at the far corner. Pancham started on his harmonium and rendered a tune. And there was Shammi, taken aback and suddenly ‘involved’ with the proceedings. He requested Panhcam to recite it once more. He was crazy now with the tune which later became, ‘O Hassena Zulfonwalee’.
And he became mad with ‘early trends’ of Aaja Aaja which as a tune was beyond his comprehension. Something that was unprecedented and hitherto untouched or unrevealed was getting unfolded in front of him. Shammi wished to have something in his favourite Pahadi Tune and to his amazement; he was listening to ‘Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin’…
The reluctant Shammi was now ecstatic and it was a signal of not just approval but he seemed moved. It was evident that Pancham had bagged the film. And the first man to congratulate him was Jaikishan, such was a healthy competition in those old days.
Teesri Manzil’s musical arrangement was a novelty and Pancham excelled with the company of Basu, Manohari and Maruti as his assistants. Styled in jazz and mixed effortlessly with Indian musical notes, it was orchestration that was original and unique. Opening solo pieces on drums in Aaja Aaja, also heard in O Haseena and Tumne Mujhe Dekha, The novelty in rhythm patterns, the triangle in O Haseena, the trumpet-sax and trombone in Shammi’s hand for three interludes of this same song, the note shifts in Tumne Mujhe Dekha’s melodious tune or the strange but dazzling ‘voice culture’ of Aaja Aaja and Dekhiye Saahibon.
There was so much of freshness and innovation in this music. Even the versatile singers Rafi- Asha were astounded by the way they were made to sing and who later on were showering praise on Pancham for his originality and concepts. And Shammi had made it a point to be present at each recording as he was thrilled with the thought of how he would be dancing and singing those numbers on screen.
Having worked earlier with Shailendra, Hasrat and Anand Bakshi, it was for the first time that Pancham was working with Majrooh and the combo continued to mesmerize audience for years to come.
Shammi literally lived this music on screen and appeared like man possessed. Goldie as usual was brilliant in picturisation.
And what happened with the releaseof Teesri Manzil is history. My personal opinion is that this film is the best and completely one of its kind in in Shammi Kapoor’s luminous career.
The trend was set. RD had arrived. Only to be followed by Baharon Ke Sapne, Abhilasha, Padosan, Pyar Ka Mausam, Waaris and on… and through the 70s with Kati Patang, The Train, Amar Prem , Budhha Mil Gaya, Caravan…
And in 71, with Dum Maro Dum, he made the entire youth of this nation to dance to his tunes.
Pancham became a grand success in years to come and ruled the world. Still Teesri Manzil is the ‘opening’ in his popular and hit films. The likes of Ravi and Laxmikant Pyarelal have named their bunglows after their repective first successes, namely ‘Vachan’ and ‘Parasmani’. Such is the significance or meaning of the first success…