Anwar Ali narrated an incident from the shooting of the film ‘Aulad’ (1968) where Mehmood played a character inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s tramp. Ali recalled, “Whilst filming the song Jodi Hamaari Jamega Kaise Jaani, in his Charlie Chaplin avatar, he wanted to accurately emulate the famous Chaplin walk. Matching the speed of the walk with that of the song was posing a challenge, since there were no VFX resources back then, so he asked the director to maintain the camera speed at 22 frames per second but the sound recordist to decrease the sound speed in order to match the walk. The edited final product was reinstated with the original sound speed having achieved the desired effect.”
Ali recalled that Mehmood’s presence in Hindi films ensured the audiences got their money’s worth. He revealed, “A separate, independent comedy track would be created just for him, sometimes after a film was complete, due to the demand of the distributors who would lap up a film only if Mehmood was in it. The audience wanted him, the distributors wanted him, the lead stars wanted him if just to ensure a super hit.”
Mehmood’s films and his style of humour has stayed relevant through the decades and Ali believes it’s a testament to the late actor’s talent. He said, “Fine Arts can never get outdated. Music, architecture, performing arts, cinema, have all stood the test of time. ‘Bombay to Goa’ still manages to throw people off their seats with roars of laughter as does a ‘Bhoot Bangla’ just like or a ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2’.
Sharing more anecdotes from Mehmood’s unforgettable off-screen life Ali revealed, “Bhaijaan would often accompany wife Tracy to Mother Teresa’s charity home in Bangalore and over a period of time, he developed a fond relationship with Mother. In one instance he complimented on the holy cross worn by Mother and she instantly took it off and put it round his neck.”
Recalling how Mother Teresa gave Mehmood and his wife an additional responsibility, Ali said, “One day Tracy Bhabi found a new born baby girl lying on the roadside close to their 200 acre farm in Yelahanka, Bangalore. Bhaijaan and Bhabi decided to take the unclaimed baby to Mother. Mother took the baby in her arms and in her soft, calming voice said that the baby was now theirs to nurture. Bhaijaan and Bhabi instantly accepted baby Rehmat naming her in the spur of the moment, as Mother’s blessing. Rehmat was one of eight siblings, who went on to settle in the US with Bhaijaan and Bhabi.”