Mumbai: It was actor-singer Kishore Kumar, not Rajesh Khanna, who was to do the role of Anand Sehgal in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's classic film Anand, one of the top 25 must-see Bollywood films.
But a hilarious goof-up proved to be Kishore Kumar's undoing, and the plum role went to Rajesh Khanna.
Actually, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who was addressed as "Babu Moshai" by the legendary Raj Kapoor, wrote this story, when Raj Kapoor was seriously ill and Mukherjee thought he could die. That is why, film Anand is "dedicated to Raj Kapoor and the people of Bombay".
Hrishikesh Mukherjee wanted to cast Kishore Kumar as Anand Sehgal and comedian Mehmood was to do the role of Babu Moshai. He went to meet Kishore Kumar to persuade him to agree.
Here, a goof-up took place. Kishore Kumar had a quarrel with a Bengali event manager over some stage show payment, and he had ordered his gatekeeper to drive away the "Bengali" whenever he came.
When Hrishikesh Mukherjee went to Kishore Kumar's house, the gatekeeper brusquely asked him to leave.
A furious Hrishikesh Mukherjee then decided to drop both Kishore and Mehmood, and opted for Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, and the rest is history.
Film expert and musicologist Rajesh Subramanian says, Hrishikesh Mukherjee shot the film in 28 days.
The dialogues of Anand were written by poet Gulzar. They have a lyrical and poetic touch as the characters of Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee (played by Bachchan) and the dialogue writer of film, Gulzar, are poets in the film and in reality.
Anand was later remade in Malayalam as Chitrashalabham (Butterfly) starrying Jayaram and Biju Menon.