GHAR (1978): Finding Home

I have been watching a lot of old Hindi films on Amazon Prime of late, given the lockdown it is strange that Bollywood is giving me solace, it is my comfort zone. I must say that I was surprised by Ghar, a pleasant departure for a film that talks about rape and rape victims and the people close to them. After the horrific Nirbhaya Delhi case there have been many films where rape has been a pivotal point only to take the narrative arc of having a male hero or even films like MOM where the only retribution is the killing of the preparators of crime.Continue reading “GHAR (1978): Finding Home”

Khoobsurat Movie Review: A Sweet Surprise

Every time you develop a pre-conceived notion, some higher power quietly smirks to mock you. Many a times it has been proclaimed loud and clear, do not judge a book by its cover, and yet the human nature is such that we do inevitably conjure up a feeling by just looking at things and not experiencing them. Now that the life gyaan is over, I must admit that despite many years of writing film reviews, I can’t help forming an opinion of the film before even seeing it, like most of us. However, I try my best to not force the opinion on anyone before I get to see the film, neither do I fish around for the buzz or response to the film before buying the ticket. On first chance, I walk up to the window and purchase the ticket, ready to see my predilection turn true or false. The beauty lies in being surprised with a crash of your earlier notion. Khoobsurat is one such film.Continue reading “Khoobsurat Movie Review: A Sweet Surprise”

Holi & The Unholy

HOLI is one of the most important festivals of India, as it marks the victory of good over evil. Yes,Dussehra/Diwali are not the only festivals celebrating the end of sin/sinners; but Holi also is celebrated for the same reason. Continue reading “Holi & The Unholy”

Love is all around me

It was a regular Saturday afternoon with vegetable shopping being the first one to be ticked off the checklist which brought me to my present avatar of ferrying the wife to the market and making do with taking rounds of the neighbourhood till a good parking spot is filled in. I tuned into a random radio station to kill time for the next 40minutes and it had the contrarian effect. Continue reading “Love is all around me”

Faasle – Vijay – Parampara! Yash Chopra’s Trilogy Of Terrible!

Yash Chopra, who can be described as the grand vizier of Bollywood possessed a body of work that any other director would only aspire to achieve. He has tackled various subjects, some safe, and some rather controversial. He has worked across diverse genres and his movies have ranged from big budget visual extravaganzas (Waqt, Chandni) to character driven minimalist cinema (Ittefaq) and has usually done a fantastic job of them all. Continue reading “Faasle – Vijay – Parampara! Yash Chopra’s Trilogy Of Terrible!”

Silsila- the unequal harmony

 

India is a country where people have worshipped everything that they detest in their real lives. The “Khap Panchayat” kills anyone who doesn’t marry according to the norms of his / her society. A duo that elopes to get married is considered outcast.
But when the lord of their myths kidnaps a woman from her wedding and marries her or manages to get his sister to abscond with his best friend, he is considered as the warrior of love and stories are woven around his valiant act of eloping. When a boy on the street whistles at a girl, he is called an eve-teaser; but when a lord picks at the belle of his village, he is considered ‘Saawariya’! “Krishna” is possibly one of the most worshipped gods in India. But if we look at his story closely, we would see that his life was anything monogamous; neither did he seem to profess a stringent belief on the same.Continue reading “Silsila- the unequal harmony”

Fun Mode : Kishore-da's Unbridled Enthusiasm

Just the other day I was listening to Kishore songs, not the sad depressing numbers which can make even a normal person melancholic, but some fun songs for a change. One thing that came out loud and clear was the fact that he enjoyed singing those songs, however silly the lyrics was or however absurd the tunes were; he gave it his all.

If a singer himself does not seem kicked about a song, how will he ever enthuse others? That’s the feeling I get when I hear those inane new talents on the numerous talent hunt shows. They come, they sing, they don’t even bother to work on the comments given by the judges [some of the judges are not even worth their salt, better not hear their comments at all] and mechanically appear again in some other show.

Anyways, back to Kishore da. He totally gets into the mood, full-on, unplugged. There are legends about Kishore and the manner in which he rendered the Khaike Paan Banaraswala number. It goes like this: Kishore actually asked for a bunch of pans which come in those cases [as seen in Padosan] and a peek-daan to spit out the paan. He sat on the floor or some kinda bed and literally rambled the words Bhang Ka Rang Jama Ho Chaka-chak. I go back to my previous para where I mentioned that unless the singer does not enjoy the song, there is very less chance that others will. And Kishore was a master of that. The kind of energy that he would blow into the song and the infectious jovial nature is unparalleled.

Since his Padosan songs have been talked about no end, I shall refrain from doing so. Let me talk about his other songs, especially from the black & white era. In the same genre as Mere Bhole Balam from Padosan was a song called Gaana Na Aya Bajana Na Aya, Dilbar Ko Apna Bana Na Aya. Its a hilarious song that blows your top-off. Kishore is seen trying to create a new song and the result is pure comedy. The lyrics were again by Rajendra Krishen and music by Hemant da. There is a small Brit accent piece, Kishore trying an imitation, really funny. Who could imagine the ever-serious Hemant Kumar composing such a number, but such was the exuberance of Kishore that everyone was affected by it. Also seen in the video clip is Gemini Ganesan along with Meena Kumari who are baffled by Kishore’s antics. Probably the only time that the south matinee was seen with Kishore in the same frame.

How funny can Kishore da get? Well, turns out very funny. So funny that in the movie Aansoo Aur Muskaan, there is a song picturised on Kishore in a ashram which is called Swami Kishore-aanandam Kirtan Ashram. And the song itself is Guni Jano Bhakt Jano, which sees Kishore in the garb of a sadhu. The lyrics of the song even goes on to list all the stars of bollywood in a fine spin of words sounding like bhajan

brahmaande he koti sitaram prithvi par bhi anek sitaram
arre aashirvadam ashok-kumaram
prithvi-putram raja-kapuram shammi-kapuram shashi-kapuram
ramam shyamam dilip-kumaram purab-pashchim manoj-kumaram
arre premapujari dev-anandam, roopa-pujari IS-joharam
arre nilam-kamalam raj-kumaram, yade yadam sunil-dattam
are ittefaqam rajesh-khannam jai jaani rajendra-natham
uchhalamakudam jai mahamudam

Two of the wackiest Kishore songs feature Pran, and Kishore himself in motley attire, thats pure coincidence. In Cheel Cheel Chillake, he is dressed in a school uniform, probably on some tour in scouts jamboree. The movie was Half Ticket, I haven’t been able to see the movie yet. But if the movie is even half as good as the song, then it shall be a treat to watch.


No one can forget a pre-supposed duet song being sung by the same singer. Kishore achieved that feat in Aake Seedhi Lagi where he not only cross-dressed but also cross-voiced. He sang as Kishore for Pran and then as squeaky/screechy and rustic village-belle-Kishore for himself. I am not even finding words to describe Kishore’s ludicrous yet fantastic act. No one could have pulled it off, but him.

‘Kahani Kismat Ki’ had an unprecedented song picturisation. And much before Dharamendra had climbed atop a tank in Sholay, he was seen in a crane elevated carrier singing Rafta Rafta Dekho Aankh Meri Ladi Hai; which he does after gathering a small crowd. Towards the end, he even starts singing ghati lyrics which is hilarious, and an embarassed Rekha looks around for some kind of sanity.

Then, there is the Eena Meena Deeka number. The mukhda of the song is a string of garbled words that make no sense but have been sung with great conviction as though it were the commandments. Kishore totally believed in the song and executed it with perfection, just watch his choreography; amazing. And the lyrics of the song has some insensible wisdom. Check this

Mat socho ki sasta hai sauda
Phal paayega lagayega jo paudha
Dil ki ye kyaari banegi phulwaari
Ye duniya jalegi, jalan ki hai maari
Hasegi hasegi hasegi meri pyaari

If you thought Kishore had sung only romantic and sad songs for Rajesh Khanna, then you are wrong. Rajesh Khanna too had a fair share of Kishore’s masti songs. One of them being the Saasu Tirath, Sasura Tirath from the movie Souten. The lyrics literally mean that in-laws are are to be worshipped and visited regularly as a duty and a pilgrimage.

Another lesser spoken about song from the movie ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gadi’ was Hum The Wo Thi Aur Samaa Rangeen Samajh Gaye Na. The two brothers, Anup and Kishore, discussing the forbidden topic of an encounter with a woman which Anup hasn’t had and Kishore teases him with lyrics which go like this:

Khoya Mai Kaise Uski Baton Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhaha
Khoyi Woh Kaise Meri Baaton Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhaha
Kya Kya Keh Dala Aankho Aankho Mei
Kehta Hoon Dam To Lene Do Ahhha

Another song from the same movie, worth mentioning, is the Panch Rupaiya Barah Aana song. It so happens that Kishore repairs Madhubala’s car and she still owes him Rs.5.75. And Kishore is out to get that money, even if it means earning it by entertaining her.Watch Kishore dressed in leather pants, jacket and a feathered cap. And watch him each time he says Chahe Namoona Dekh Le and tunrs up in a different costume. This song later became an inspiration for a song in movie ‘Jeevan Ek Sanghursh’, where Amit Kumar crooned Dede Mera Dede Tu Bees Rupaiya, Twenty Rupees My Twenty Rupees.

Vinod Khanna has rarely been seen in comical acts, except for the movie Hera Pheri with BigB. But in this song Priye Praneshwari from movie ‘Hum Tum Aur Woh’ is a song which sees Vinod Khanna in never-seen-before getup. The only other funny getup Vinod Khanna ever did was in Hera Pheri. In this song, Vinod is singing to his lady love in chaste hindi and even I did not know the meaning of a few of those words. The lyrics of the song and Kishore’s rendition is just awesome.

priye praaneshwari, hridayeshwari
yadi aap hamey aadesh karey to
prem ka hum shri ganesh karey

If anyone is depressed, thinking about love and missing their loved ones, should listen to Hum To Mohabbat Karega from ‘Dilli Ka Thug’. Its another comical song which describes the extent to which a person can go, to prove his love and to stay with loved ones. After hearing words like Joota Polish Karega Tel Maalish Karega, they are bound to smile at their own stupidity and limitless affection for their loved one, what with thoughts like … joota paalish karega lekin tum par marega, laila laila karega thandi aahen bharega and doobegaa nahin tairega pyaar se ham nahin darega


A song which encapsulates the qualities that a man looks for in a woman is very humorously penned in Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai Zaroorat Hai, Ek Shirimati Ki, Kalavati Ki, Seva Karey Jo Pati Ki. It may sound a bit idealistic, but its to be taken with a pinch of salt; because the song is really a romantic one at heart. Sample this:

haseen hazaaro bhi ho khadey, magar usi par nazar padey ho zulf gaalo se khelti, ke jaise din raat se ladey adaaon mei bahaar ho, nigaahon mei khumaar ho qabool mera pyaar ho to kya baat hai itar mein saanse basi basi, vo mastiyo mei rasi rasi zara si palkein jhuki jhuki, bhavey ghaneri kasi kasi phoolon mei gulaab ho khud apna jawaab ho vo pyar ki kitab ho to kya baat hai 

And with Kishore enacting it, his facial expressions and the naugtiness in the voice was great.

This is just the beginning of a long list of Kishore-da’s songs which continue to enthrall us. The man was a complete maverick and no one entertained us, the way he did; whether it was infront of the camera or behind it, be it in the recording studios or shooting a movie. Whereever there was a fun moment, he was there; or may I put it like this – wherever he was there, there were fun moments. So, please go ahead and list your fave Kishore songs which tickled your funny bone, I am sure that won’t be a tough task!

Discerning Few : Rafi Sings For Bachchan

Yesterday was Rafi’s death anniversary. Hope his soul is in peace.

na fankaar tujh sa tere baad aya
mohammed rafi tu bahut yaad aya

– A song from movie Kroadh

Just the other day I was watching the song and something struck me. I felt that the song was ironical in so many ways. Although its a tribute to Rafi Saab, it was sung by Md.Aziz, a so-called Rafi clone, whose voice is such a far cry from the soothing and melodious voice of Rafi. And the fact that the song was filmed on Amitabh Bachchan, whereas Rafi hardly sang a dozen songs for him.Continue reading “Discerning Few : Rafi Sings For Bachchan”

THE OTHER WOMEN…

Bollywood has often been fascinated with the other women. Okay, by “the other women”, I am not referring to the mistresses or the item girls here. I am referring to those whom we have relegated as slangs in our daily vocab list. Not just in India, but possibly every society and every language across the world have considered the prostitutes and courtesans with such disdain and derision, that the women have rarely been able to make any headway into the ‘civilised’ social structure.Continue reading “THE OTHER WOMEN…”