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The Dialogue of Awaara: Raj Kapoor's Immortal Classic

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: Born in Panipat (now in Haryana) on 7 June 1914, Khwaja Ahmed Abbas, popularly known as K.A. Abbas, was a prominent man of many talents. A film director, novelist, screenwriter and a journalist, he wrote in Urdu, Hindi and English. An IPTA (Indian People’s Theatre Association) member, known for his strong political beliefs, Abbas was famously on the side of the underdog. Awaara is his first collaboration with Raj Kapoor. A celebrated journalist, film critic and publisher, V.P. Sathe was also an active IPTA member. Hugely knowledgeable about Indian cinema, Sathe ran a successful film advertising agency and was responsible for R.K. Films’ publicity for many years. He co-wrote with K.A. Abbas a number of film stories, including Awaara. Notes on translator: Author and documentary filmmaker, Nasreen Munni Kabir has written many books on Indian film, including Guru Dutt, a life in cinema (Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1996) and Lata Mangeshkar in her own voice (Niyogi Books, 2009). Her next publication is The Dialogue of Mother India, Mehboob Khan’s Immortal Classic (Niyogi Books, 2010).

: The Dialogue of Awaara, Raj Kapoor’s Immortal Classic is a book for lovers of both cinema and language, featuring K.A. Abbas’s original screenplay and dialogue, based on a story by K.A. Abbas and V.P. Sathe. A seriously neglected area of Indian cinema is the subject of film dialogue. Though cinema is mainly a visual experience, it is through dialogue that we know the thoughts and emotions of the film’s characters. Through K.A. Abbas’s words and the poetic songs by Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri, Awaara’s Judge Raghunath (Prithviraj Kapoor), Raj (Raj Kapoor) and Rita (Nargis) come alive. The film has a wonderful mix of one-liners, quips, punchlines and catchphrases while being modern, witty and full of nuance. Awaara’s dialogue and songs have been carefully transcribed from the film’s original soundtrack by Suhail Akhtar and Vijay Jani and presented in Hindi, Urdu and Roman scripts. The English translation of the dialogue, an introduction and commentary are by Nasreen Munni Kabir. With a foreword by Randhir Kapoor, this unique book also features many stills from a most loved and enduring classic by Raj Kapoor, one of Indian cinema’s master filmmakers.

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