By Grace Cyril: They say ‘behind every man’s success is a woman’. This surely holds true in Yash Chopra and Pamela Chopra’s case. The veteran playback singer and late Yash Chopra’s wife breathed her last today, April 20, at the age of 74. According to the reports, she was admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati hospital for the past 15 days. She was put on a ventilator by the doctors but her health deteriorated. She was cremated in Mumbai today at 11 am.
On Throwback Thursday today, we decode how Pamela supported her husband throughout his YRF journey and how she wrote Kabhi Kabhie and co-wrote Dil To Pagal Hai.
DYK PAMELA CHOPRA WROTE KABHI KABHIE?
Pamela Chopra was last seen in the YRF documentary, The Romantics, where she lovingly spoke about her husband Yash Chopra and his journey. The Romantics not only focused on the contributions made by Yash Chopra to the Hindi film industry but also the contributions made by Pamela. On the show, Pamela recounted the days when the director faced many a sleepless night before the release of his first film as a producer (Daag, 1973). Yash also often reached out to his wife to understand how the female perspective works.
In The Romantics, we also got to know that Pamela Chopra wrote one of the most iconic films in the Hindi film industry. She wrote the story of the 1976 film, Kabhi Kabhie. It starred Amitabh Bachchan, Raakhee, Shashi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor in lead roles. Kabhi Kabhie was Yash Chopra’s second film as a director after Deewaar with Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor in the lead roles. It was particularly noted for its musical compositions by Khayyam.
The storyline of Kabhi Kabhie followed poet Amit (Amitabh Bachchan) and Pooja (Rakhee). They fall in love and want to get married. But destiny has other plans, as Pooja bows to the wishes of her parents and marries Vijay (Shashi Kapoor). Amit marries Anjali (Waheeda Rehman) to forget Pooja.
Interestingly, in Kabhi Kabhie, Pamela Chopra also sang the song Surkh Jode Ki Yeh Jagmagahat along with Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Kaur.
PAMELA CO-WROTE THE SCRIPT OF DIL TO PAGAL HAI!
Pamela Chopra also co-wrote the script for Yash Chopra’s 1997 film Dil To Pagal Hai along with her son Aditya Chopra and professional writer Tanuja Chandra. The musical romance film was directed by Yash Chopra. It followed the love lives of the members of a musical troupe, in which two dancers played by Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor, get entangled in a love triangle with their choreographer, played by Shah Rukh Khan. Akshay Kumar played Madhuri’s childhood friend. Dil To Pagal Hai became the highest-grossing film of the year.
PAMELA SANG MOSTLY IN HUBBY YASH RAJ’S FILMS
Not many know but Pamela Chopra mostly sang in Yash Raj’s films. She was the playback singer in songs such as Aa Ja Aa Ja Yaar Habibi from the film Nakhuda, Angna Aayenge Sanwariya from Doosara Aadmi, Main Sasural Nahin Jaoongi from Chandni, Jag Gaya Jag Gaya from Kaala Patthar, Jaan Meri Rooth Gayee from Doosara Aadmi, Ashiq Ho To Aisa Ho from Noorie, Chale Aao Saiyaan from Bazaar, Gudiya Chidiya Chand Chakori from Lorie, Idhar Aa Sitamgar from Sawal, and many others.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER AND DRESS DESIGNER
When she was not singing or acting, Pamela took on the role of an associate producer or even a dress designer in YRF films. She played the role of an associate producer in YRF films like Mohabbatein, Mujhse Dosti Karoge, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai and Veer-Zaara. She designed dresses for Silsila (1981) and Sawaal (1982).
REMEMBERING PAMELA CHOPRA…
YRF shared a statement to confirm Pamela Chopra’s death. It read, “With heavy hearts, the Chopra family would like to inform that Pamela Chopra, 74, passed away this morning. Her cremation took place at 11 am today in Mumbai. We are grateful for your prayers and the family would like to request for privacy in this moment of deep sadness and reflection (sic).”
Pamela married Yash Chopra in 1970 in a traditional ceremony. It was an arranged marriage. The two families had a common friend, the mother of filmmaker Romesh Sharma. She contacted BR Chopra’s wife and suggested that Pamela Singh would be ‘the ideal bride’ for his younger brother Yash Chopra. The couple met each other for the first time in a formal setting and decided to get married.
They have two sons together, Aditya and Uday Chopra. Aditya is a film producer and director. He is married to Rani Mukerji. Uday is an actor and film producer. She is a cousin of the actress Simi Garewal. Chopra’s father Mohinder Singh and Garewal’s mother Darshi Garewal were siblings.
Pamela Chopra has sung several film songs, all of them for her husband’s films – from Kabhie Kabhie (1976) to Mujhse Dosti Karoge! (2002). The 1993 film Aaina was independently produced by her. She has also appeared on-screen on one single occasion. It was in the opening song Ek Duje Ke Vaaste of the film Dil To Pagal Hai, where she and her husband appeared together.
May her soul rest in peace!