Vijay Bhatt takes Baiju Bawra to Russia
Vijay Bhatt even visited the Soviet Union in 1954 as a member of the first Indian film delegation. He had taken with him his film, "Baiju Bawra", which was a great musical hit with exquisite "raaga" based songs tuned by Naushad. The story centered around a great musician of the medieval period, Baiju, who had a musical confrontation with the court musician of Emporer Akbar, the great Tansen. Naushad had ingeniously used the playback singing of two eminent vocalists, the late Pandit D.V. Paluskar, who sang for Baiju, played by Bharat Bhushan and late Ustad Amir Khan, who sang for Tansen.
All songs of Baiju Bawra were immensely captivating. Right from the rehearsal stage, melody queen Lata Mangeshkar's personal favourite was "Mujhe bhool gaye sanvariya".
Such was her love for good music, that on the day of the recording, she was running a high fever but went ahead and did it, although the director and the composer wanted her to rest that day. The result? A classic sad song that reflected the physical pain she was going through at that moment.
The Russians, who were then obsessed with the working class ideals, particularly liked the confrontation sequence in Vijubhai's film. For them, it was the triumph of the fiery working class musician (Baiju) over the court musician (Tansen).
En route to Moscow, Vijay Bhatt along with eminent film personalities like Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Nargis, Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukherjee made a stop over at Switzerland as guests of the legendary entertainer Charlie Chaplin at his villa.