Narendra Suri – Bollywood director of ‘Lajwanti’ fame

Narendra Suri was a Bollywood director who directed a few family dramas during 1950s-1970s. After working in the film industry as an associate director in the 1950s, he marked his directorial debut with Begunah in 1957, starring Kishore Kumar, Shakila and Helen in lead roles. Lajwanti (1958), Majboor (1964), Purnima (1965), Badi Didi (1969) and Vandana (1975) are his directorial ventures later. All those films got noticed, earned limited success and owns a few good songs too. Suri also produced Nanda – Jeetendra starrer Badi Didi in 1969.

His debut film Begunah was accused of plagiarising 1953 American film Knock on the Wood and banned 10 days after its release. Its producers filed a copyright lawsuit in India. Interestingly as per court order all the available prints were also destroyed. Perhaps Begunah is the first Indian movie whose original prints were destroyed following a case of plagiarism. But some of its songs composed by Shankarsingh Raghuwanshi (of Shankar-Jaikishen fame) became extremely popular. The director is perhaps best remembered for 1958 film, Lajwanti starring Nargis and Balraj Sahni which won national and international honours.

Narendra Suri – Some interesting and unknown facts

1. He was an associate director of 1953 Dilip Kumar starrer Shikast.

2. All the prints of his debut flick, Begunah were destroyed following plagiarism. The movie ran for 10 days after its release in 1958. It was rarest of rarest and strange verdicts in Bollywood history related to plagiarism. In fact producers didn’t fight and surrender quickly to the verdict (though copying scenes and stealing stories were common those days too), and the makers were financially ruined.

3. Begunah’s most popular song – Aye Pyase Dil Bezuban sung by Mukesh was filmed on Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal (of Shankar-Jaikishen fame). It’s one of the very rare screen appearances of the composer. But unfortunately prints are not available.

4. Mukesh was trying to become a singer and actor those days, and the song – Aye Pyase Dil Bezuban was extremely popular too.

5. His 1958 movie – Lajwanti was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Best Film at 1959 Cannes Film Festival. The movie also bagged National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.

6. While his debut film was accused of plagiarism, took off from theatre after 10 days of release and its prints got destroyed, he bounced back the following year with National award winning movie, Lajwanti. However he continued with masala potboilers later.

6. Koi Aaya Dhadkan Kehti Hai from Lajwanti is one of the rarest romantic songs sung by Asha Bhosle for Nargis Dutt. The movie also included a popular dance number ‘Ga Mere Mann Gaa’ and a lullaby ‘Chanda Re Chhupe Rehna’ of the same combo. S. D. Burman experimented by Asha Bhosle’s voice for Nargis in this movie.

Popular Bollywood songs of Narendra Suri’s movies

Humsafar Mere Humsafar from Purnima. The film was released when the lead actors were rumoured to have a relationship

1. Koi Aaya Dhadkan Kehti Hai of Lajwanti

2. Ga Mere Mann Gaa of Lajwanti

3. Aye Pyase Dil Bezuban of Begunah

4. Dil Albela Pyar Ka Mausam of Begunah

5. Humsafar Mere Humsafar of Purnima

6. Diwana Keh Ke Logon Ne of Majboor

7. Tumhe Jo Bhi Dekh Lega of Majboor

8. Aapki Inayate Aapke Karam of Vandana

9. Rut Hai Jawa Sama Hai Bada Pyara of Vandana

N.B: Any photograph of the director is not available online. So I managed with a couple of his movie posters.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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