Guide – the evergreen Hindi classic from the 1960s

“Gaata Rahe Mera Dil”. Song sung by Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar and picturised on Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman, this outdoors song brilliantly photographed, actually sums up our feelings of happiness and joy too, when we see the wonderful scenery and two lovers on the screen sing as two free souls, away from the cares of the world.

Based on The Guide, an English novel by R.K.Narayan, the film Guide is a 1965 romantic Hindi film starring a young Dev Anand and a beautiful Waheeda Rehman in the main lead, with screenplay and direction by Vijay Anand and music by Sachin Dev Burman. Award winning performances from a good cast, refreshing locales and memorable music, the plot though adapted to taste for Indian audiences, proved a smashing hit of its time and an evergreen classic that has been relished till date.

The story of Guide         

Raju (Dev Anand) is a guide who earns his living Waheeda in Guideby taking tourists to historic sites. Marco (Kishore Sahu) and Rosie(Waheeda Rehman) are husband and wife; Marco aging and wealthy, Rosie, a young woman and daughter of a courtesan.  Marco wanting to do research on the caves outside the city hires Raju as their guide. While Marco busies himself with the mysteries of the caves, Raju guides Rosie all around the place. Romance and passion, intertwined in a fabric of lies and deceit, sees Marco and Rosie move away from each other, while Raju romantically inclined towards Rosie helps her achieve her dream of becoming a singer and dancer on stage and she then becomes a star in her own right. But Rosie’s background does not go down well with Raju’s mother and brother, they shun him just like his friends and others in the town as well.

Twists and turns in his fate, change the rhythm of his life when he takes to drinking and gambling, does a forgery to get the jewels of Rosie, serves a two year jail term reduced for good behavior and lands in a remote village that has not seen rain for quite some time and the parched land and dry tongues yearn for the rain gods to show mercy. Mistaking the stranger Raju to be a miracle man the villagers see him as one who would deliver them from their misfortune. Miraculously the rains come but Raju passes away peacefully. A guide while he was living to earn his living; a reluctant guide who shows the villagers the way to deal with life and guides them out of their misery.

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What is special about Guide?

To ask what is special about the film prompts a question in turn – what is ordinary in Guide?

  • A storyline that is out of the ordinary, strange and unusual turn of events with an even more surprising end.
  • Excellent star cast not for their individual achievements but for playing their parts so well and naturally that the story carries through and through from start to finish to get the audiences involved in all the emotional drama that unfolds.
  • Dev Anand (Raju), Waheeda Rehman (Rosie Marco / Miss Nalini)
  • Leela Chitnis (Raju’s mother), Kishore Sahu (Marco)
  • Gajanan Jagirdar (Bhola), Anwar Hussein (Ghafoor)
  • Rashid Khan (Joseph), Ram Avtar (Pandit), Nazir Kashmiri (villager)
  • Superb photography by Fali Mistry – a renowned name in the art, Bhanu Athaiya looking after the costumes
  • Evergreen Hit Songs that are relished even today. Written by Shailendra, composed by S.D.Burman.
Song Singer(s) Picturised on
“Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna” Lata Mangeshkar Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Din Dhal Jaaye” Mohammed Rafi Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Gaata Rahe Mera Dil” Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya” Mohammed Rafi Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Piya Tose Naina Laage Re” Lata Mangeshkar Waheeda Rehman
“Saiyaan Beimaan” Lata Mangeshkar Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Tere Mere Sapne” Mohammed Rafi Dev Anand & Waheeda Rehman
“Wahan Kaun Hai Tera” Sachin Dev Burman Dev Anand
“He Ram Hamare Ramchandra” Manna Dey & Chorus Dev Anand
“Allah Megh De Paani De” Sachin Dev Burman Dev Anand
  • It won 5 major awards in the Filmfare awards

Best Film               Navketan films received the award

Best Director         Vijay Anand

Best Actor             Dev Anand

Best Actress          Waheeda Rehman

Best Music Dir.      Sachin Dev Burman

Interesting facts associated with Guide

  • An English movie version (U.S.) of the novel by R.K.Narayan was written by Pearl. S. Buck and directed and produced by Tad Danielewski. As luck would have it, it got screened after 42 years of its release at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Dev Anand had been approached by both the writer and director to do an English movie by an Indian author, but he initially refused. Then later at the Berlin film Festival in 1962, he met Tad again. The Guide by R.K.Natayan was mentioned which Dev read and finished at one go. He liked it very much. He discussed with Pearl Buck in the States and agreed to do it. Pearl Buck even worked on the diction of Waheeda Rehman for the English part. Meanwhile Dev Anand purchased the rights for the movie from R.K.Narayan, the author.
  • There were differences between the two language production teams. So the Hindi version was delayed. This gave Chetan Anand the elder brother of Dev Anand and partner in Navketan to finish Haqeeqat, a war movie, that did extremely well at the box office. Their youngest brother Vijay Anand got his chance to direct Guide in turn.
  • Two memorable shoots of the movie were the song picturised on Waheeda Rehman “aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai” that was shot in Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan and the other the climax scene shot in Limdi, 90 Km from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  • Though Guide was selected as the Indian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 38th Academy Awards, it was not nominated.
  • K.Narayan, the author of The Guide, whose story was adapted, was a little unhappy that the original novel had not been stuck to in verse and rhyme in the making of the movie. But the Anand brothers had no go but to cater to the prevailing taste of filmgoers and had to suit certain portions for Indian audiences. The rest is History.

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Movies like Guide come once in a while and it is but chance that all factors that could play a hand in its success came together at the right time. No wonder that it is still lauded as one of the best movies that has hit the silver screen by both national and international media. Those who have seen it, recall it nostalgically, those who haven’t and are eager to, must definitely see it once at least.

A must-see Bollywood classic, that can never fade for any length of time.

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if there is something that she does not know about Bollywood, it is not worth knowing - is what she always quotes. Grown up on Neeta's Natter of Stardust fame she eats, breathes and lives Bollywood in all her wakeful hours and dreams about it in the others she is not. No wonder she has become an encyclopedia on Bollywood and its colourful crowd. Fashion lover too, she models her clothes along the lines of the fashionistas and femme fatales'of the film industry and she is fondly teased with the chant "ticket to Bollywood" whenever she playfully imitates a ramp walk. Our window to the big screen, the sections on films and fabrics are hers to entertain us all with her filmy stuff. If you wish to know who's moving with whom and who's not you may venture into notpraachinprachi@unnatisilk.com