A Conversation with Rattan Kumar’s Son Ali Rizvi (2016)
Recently I had an online conversation with Rattan Kumar’s son Ali Rizvi. I asked him few questions including Rattan Kumar’s favorite film(s), his decision of moving to Pakistan etc. The conversation has been edited for clarity and concision.
1. Rattan Kumar mentioned in his Express Tribune interview conducted by Rahul Aijaz that he first appeared in Raakh directed and produced by Krishan Chander in 1946. However, no Hindi film with that name was released in 1946. In his 1955 interview, Rattan mentioned that his debut film was Dil Ki Aawaz. That film was released in 1948 and was directed by Krishan Chander. Maybe Raakh was later released as Dil Ki Aawaz. However, I am going to take Dil Ki Aawaz as his debut film instead of Raakh.
2. Did Rattan Kumar regret his decision of moving to Pakistan?
Ali Rizvi – Yes, he didn’t want to move. Rattan’s family moved to Pakistan because his elder brother Wazir Ali who was a cricketer was recruited by the Pakistani team to play in Pakistan. My grandmother wouldn’t allow my uncle Wazir to go by himself, therefore she had the entire family move to Pakistan.
3. WHY he moved to Pakistan when he was doing great as a child star in India?
Ali Rizvi – As mentioned above, his family forced him to help fulfill his older brother Wazir Ali’s dream to play cricket on a National level.
4. Do you have any idea which movie/movies was/were his favorite from his own career and why?
Ali Rizvi – He always spoke highly of every movie that he was part of, one that was always more than others was Boot Polish, as you might know, Mr. Raj Kapoor was not happy with the original cut by the director and then re-shot the movie himself but still gave credit to the director. My father said he learned a lot from Mr. Raj Kapoor which helped him on future projects.
5. Express Tribune article also mentions that he continued to act sporadically until the 1970s. Can you give me the list of films he acted in after Dastaan (1969), so I can complete his filmography?
Ali Rizvi – I don’t know the names, i’ll working on getting this information for you.
6. He worked with so many popular Indian and Pakistani artistes of his time including Raj Kapoor, Madhubala, Nargis, K.N. Singh, Rehana, Mussarat Nazir, Neelo etc. Did he share anything interesting from his film career with you guys that could be shared with the readers.
Ali Rizvi – Please allow me to respond to this question later. I want to clarify the facts with my mom and I’ll send it. Also can you please mention that Wazir Ali being a director and that he started ‘Hayat studios’ is an incorrect statement. The fact is my father started it and owned it, my uncle knew nothing of films or anything about the film industry. The reason why the studio was under his name was that when he moved to Pakistan to play cricket, he was given citizenship upon arrival and back then you had to be a citizen in order to own and operate business in Pakistan. My father had to start his studio under my Uncle’s name for that reason. Again, my uncle Wazir knew nothing of films, however, once he started playing cricket in Pakistan, he suffered an injury to his wrist which ended his career. Later, under my father’s supervision, he started to learn about the film business.