Indian cinema lost some of its greatest milestones forever to a fire, which broke out at the Borivli office of the legendary film studio, The Bombay Talkies Limited, yesterday.
Master prints of around 60 films were reduced to ashes. These included “Jeevan Naiya” (Ashok Kumar's debut film), “Achhut Kanya” (Ashok Kumar's first hit), “Neel Kamal” (Raj Kapoor's first big break), “Jwar Bhata” (Dilip Kumar's debut film), “Ziddi” (which launched Dev Anand's career as a leading man), “Andolan” (Kishore Kumar's first film as a hero), “Bandhan” and “Jhoola” (two of Ashok Kumar's biggest hits).
Founded in 1934, the studio, which produced 102 feature films and was the launching pad for some of Hindi cinema's biggest stars, was the country's first public limited film company. Rajnarayan Dube known as the 'Pillar of Indian Cinema', financed all the films produced by the company. Now, his grandson Abhay Kumar, is reviving the banner along with Johnny Walker's son Nasirr.
When contacted, Abhay told the Mirror magazine, “It took around 45 minutes to douse the flames. The fire was set off by a short circuit. I was in Delhi when it happened. I returned to Mumbai only on Monday morning. I am shocked beyond words. I have lost my treasure trove. Fate can be so cruel at times.”