Because I mentioned him a lot a couple of posts ago, some people told me they couldn’t recall having seen him in any films, and he popped up prominently when I was viewing my favorite Shamshad Begum songs as well as the new upload of Mirza Sahiban… I have decided to post several favorite songs that either starred or featured Gope. In the last two songs here, he is just an onlooker, but a very distinctive one. For those who don’t know, you can spot him by looking for the heaviest fellow in the clip – who is also often the funniest. But he was a fairly convincing villain, too…
P.S. Reading a little about Gope, I learned that he was born in Sindh. I looked for Gope performing “Lal Meri Pat,” but alas, no such luck.
I have just learned some very sad news from Madhu of the Dustedoff blog, that Shamshad Begum has died. It was only ten days ago that we were celebrating her 94th birthday (and as I said, my Latika post was originally a Shamshad Begum post, because she had done the terrific vocals to that song). RIP, Shamshad Begum.
P.S. On April 14, 2011, I posted my own list of my ten favorite Shamshad Begum songs. I was reminded of this today when I checked my stats and saw close to 100 hits on this post via Google (at about 6:15 pm New York time). I then went back to the post and fixed a few things, replacing two videos (one was missing and one could use improving) and adding a little note about Latika. (I actually had identified her by name, but I couldn’t find anything else out about her at the time.) And by the way, my list today would be pretty close to the one that I posted two years ago, maybe with only the slightest changes.
It was pure coincidence that I wrote a post about Gope’s “beautiful Jewish wife” shortly before a screening of the film Shalom Bollywood at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. I did not know about this event until my friend and blog reader Ann informed me in an e-mail that my post was “fantastically timed.” But I also must thank Swarup (whom all this blog’s readers should know by now) for the article link that he sent in comments to the last post. I had no idea that I was about to receive this very interesting info!
It was also a coincidence that just a little while earlier, I wrote a post about Nadira that linked to other articles on the same subject and featured the photo that is now being used as the “profile” pic on Shalom Bollywood‘s Facebook page. Nonetheless, I am glad that I have unintentionally been promoting this project, because I should have posted about it sooner. Now I am able to post about it knowingly, and I can even add a couple of trailer/excerpt clips. These are very entertaining, and I hope that it won’t be long before I get to see the entire film.
Yep, according to my latest research, that’s who she is! And by the way, happy 94th birthday, Shamshad Begum!
P.S. Originally, I had labeled her as Gope’s beautiful Jewish wife, but further evidence shows that she was not actually Jewish (see comments). However, there is shot in this clip of one of the great Jewish actresses, Ruby Myers aka Sulochana (somewhere in the middle). She’s a big woman here (though maybe not as big as Latika’s husband), and she’s wearing a nice big hat. This is the best clip of this song that I have seen, and it includes very nice parts that were edited out of the version(s) that I’ve posted before.
Had I not been busy, I would have posted this for April 1.
P.S. As a few of you know, this is the original song in Mirza Sahiban (1947):
I do not know anything about the Padmini-Sivaji film. But maybe one of the South Indian film fans or Padmini fanatics out there could fill us in a little.