Raj Kapoor, The Ambassador Car And K.A. Abbas
It was like a team made for each other. One understood the other perfectly and even when they had misunderstandings, they had mastered the art of handling each other and their moods and tantrums. Raj Kapoor called K.A Abbas his conscience and Abbas had played a vital role in the building of R.K studios by writing films like 'Awaara ' and ' Shri 420″.
Raj Kapoor tried other writers like Arjun Dev rashq for 'Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai' and Inder Raj Anand for ' Sangam' , but he said he couldn't find the satisfaction he found with Abbas.
And so when he was planning his most ambitious film, ' Mera Naam joker' which was a kind of autobiographical film, he opted for Abbas again because he knew that no other writer could do justice to his life because Abbas knew everything about his life. Infact, their relationship was so close that the only two pictures hung up in the personal room of Raj Kapoor where a picture of the two sitting together and another picture which only had a poem Abbas had written about Raj Kapoor.
As history' is now witness to, 'Mera Naam Joker' turned out to be one of the greatest flops which led to the selling of all of Raj Kapooor' s property and even mortgaging his studio and his house. He was shattered and a man who loved his whisky literally got drowned in it, till he regained his senses one day and the first name that came to his mind was Abbas.
He came to the office of Abbas which was on the fifth floor and there was no lift. He was so drunk at noon that his manager,Mr. Bibra and another friend had to hold him as he found it difficult to climb the five floors leading to the office of Abbas which was more like a cabin of a muqadaam of a factory where there was no sign of any luxury and no sign of anything filmy.
The first reaction of Abbas who hated alcohol was to ask the greatest show man of India to leave his office immediately as he didn't like anyone coming to his office in a drunken state. But when he saw the state of his friend, with his hands folded and tears in his eyes and knowing the colourful tragedy he had just gone through,he asked him to sit down in a steel chair opposite his wooden table.
Raj Kapoor kept saying, ' Barbaad ho Gaya hoon , mujhe malum hai, sirf tum mujhe aur R.K studios Ko bacha sakte ho. Mere paas aur koi raasta nahin hai, mera beta hai Chintu jisko main hero banana chahta hoon aur ek nayi ladki Ko Lene ka soch Raha hoon. Lekin yeh sab tab hoga jab tum mere liye ek Kahaani likhoge '. The meeting ended with Abbas promising him to give him a rough draft of a story within three days. Raj Kapoor reached the office of Abbas on the third day and Abbas who had realised the emergency wrotethe complete script of ' Bobby' in three days and handed it over to Raj Kapoor , who immediately rushed to touch his feet and he was the usual Abbas again when he screamed, ' Main Bhagwan nahin hoon. Maine mera kaam kar diya hai . Ab Tum aur tumhara bhagwaan hi jaane'.
The film was shot in Bombay and Goa over the next six months with everyone from the young lead pair and seniors like Prem Nath, Pran ,Prem Chopra and Aruna Irani going out of their way to be of help.
Raj who had made all his earlier films with the combination of Shankar - Jaikishan and Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri had now replaced them with the team of Laxmikant- Pyaarelal and Anand Bakshi and had introduced a new young singer called Shailendra Singh to sing all the songs for Rishi Kapoor.
The film turned out to be massive hit and thw glory of R.K films was back .
Raj Kapoor was back as the showman and he had a line up of Celebrations. He also decided to present all the senior members of his team with a brand new Ambassador car and others with bikes and Hercules cycles.
It was time to present Abbas with his car and Raj Kapoor travelled to Juhu in his own white ambassador with the new Ambassador following him. He went upto Abbas and asked him to come down for a minute and Abbas again sreamed, ' Tumhari bevakoofiyon ke liye mere paas waqt nahin hai'. But Raj Kapoor again touched his feet and said ' Abbas Sahab , bas ek minute '. They reached the compound where the new Ambassador was parked and Raj Kapoor looking very emotional handed over the keys of the car to Abbas and pointed out to a driver called Ashfaq and told Abbas that he would be his driver and his salary and the petrol money would be paid by R.K , but Raj Kapoor had only one condition , he asked Abbas not to sell the car under any condition, because he knew that the moment Abbas had any resources to raise money to make a film of his own,he would go all out and do it. For him worldly matters did not matter when it came to his work and especially the making of his films.
There were many temptations for Abbas to sell the car, but he kept the promise he had made to his friend and towards the end of his life,the car was not so important for him. But he still kept that Ambassador in a garage the landlord of his building Mr. Correa had gifted him and the car was showing signs of turning into junk when Abbas died and that was the last time o saw the car.