TSP 6.2 — The Sum Is Greater Than The Parts

Aakash Ahuja
3 min readMay 14, 2022
dilip kumar

TSP6.2 — The Sum Is Greater Than The Parts

Naya Daur is one of the most successful movies by Dilip Kumar. However much lies hidden beyond the commercial success of the movie.

Take for example, the song, Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri… DK’s lush flowing hair created a frenzy for The Dilip Kumar hair cut across the country. And that followed with many other superstars of the yesteryears — The Sadhana Cut, The Amitabh Cut… and so on…

What if you were told that the lush hair shots in that song were strategized as a very vital element that could add to the movie’s success beyond the box office?

For the late DK, that movie is special because he approached it in a totally different way.

He was the most sought-after actors then, yet before Naya Daur was offered to him, he kept thinking what else could make a movie successful beyond the stardom and fast-becoming-cliched storylines of commercial cinema.

He was perhaps one of the first actors to come to the conclusion that as an actor he can contribute to a movie in many more ways than just his incumbent stardom. He started to learn cinematography, marketing, production, music, casting, direction, and what not… His mentor, none other than the legendary Raj Kapoor, who at the age of 21 had directed the cult classic Aag.

For RK, these things were passion. For DK, they became tools.

Learning these didn’t mean he started giving tips to people responsible for this. He started to evolve his acting that could aid to these components. How best to enact a certain melody? What body language suits a setting? What moves the audience in ever-changing times (Signing up Shakti with a much junior Amitabh Bachchan who was going to have a stronger role is an example of this)?

Actors live inside their bodies and minds. He started impressing his acting on these elements outside of himself.

Naya Daur was only the beginning. The number of hits before and after Naya Daur are a testimony to the fact that his out of the box thinking helped him elevate himself into the Pantheon of great actors.

Willingness to understand the bigger picture and the proactiveness to evolve ourselves is a strategy that has been valuable in all sorts of careers:
1) Rahul Dravid successfully transformed into a player who could attack the opposition at will
2) Nelson Mandela, the angry young, rebel Price, showed the humility to learn that it will take much more than raw aggression to free, build and unite a country, including forgiving his oppressors
3) Jeff Bezos understood that if Amazon has to continue its dominance, it has to transform into a company that can do supply chain like gods

If that is not the way to create a lasting legacy, then what is?

References:

The Substance And The Shadow by Dilip Kumar

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