There is more to Yash Chopra than chiffon saris fluttering in the breeze, tulip fields, pretty frames and Swiss mountains. He made his directorial debut with ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ which revolved around a young Hindu couple. While the boy is persuaded to marry someone else by his father, the girl discovers that she is pregnant and gives birth to a baby who she abandons. The child is brought up by a Muslim man whose good intentions can do little to protect the foundling. In India, where pre-marital sexual intimacy is considered as a taboo even today, it takes little efforts to appreciate that Dhool Ka Phool made 53 years ago was a revolutionary film.

A trend-setter, Chopra's 1965 critically successful drama 'Waqt' pioneered the concept of multi-starters in Bollywood, while 'Ittefaq' was a taut thriller, being the first Hindi film which did not have any songs or an interval.  Proving his versatility, Chopra on one hand directed intense dramas like 'Deewar', 'Trishul', and 'Mashaal', while on the other he made family sagas like 'Parampara' and thrillers - 'Kala Patthar' and 'Darr'.
    

Later, Chopra captured the imaginations of India's globalised generation effectively. His 2004 movie Veer-Zaara tells the love between Veer Singh (Shah Rukh Khan) and Zaara Khan (Preity Zinta), a Pakistani girl who falls for him on a trip to India to scatter the ashes of her Sikh governess. Family as well as geopolitics interferes again when she is thwarted by her politician father, who wants her to marry someone else. Veer comes to Pakistan to reunite with her and is locked up for being a spy, while Zaara flees to India. Twenty-two years later, the couple reunites.

His unfortunate death has brought an end to an era when Bollywood was at its peak. Will we ever come across another Yash Chopra in the future? It is most likely that we never will.

(JPN)

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