Archive for the ‘Rajesh Khanna Special’ Category

Mukesh sings for Rajesh Khanna

August 28, 2012

Kishore Kumar was the voice of Rajesh Khanna. But Mukesh and Rafi have sung few songs for him and such great ones at that. I had started this post last month to publish it in the last week of July, somewhere around Mukesh’s birth anniversary and Rafi’s death anniversary.  But like it’s said – waqt se aaghe kabhi kisi ko kuch nahin milta, even a post doesnt get published. Hopefully the list of songs that Rafi has sung for him will be ready by 24th Dec.

Mukesh has sung just a few songs for Kaka. In fact, I can think of only 6 such songs. And I like all of them, so here they are!

1. Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne (Anand, 1971) : What a beautiful song this is! I can never do enough justice to this song by writing anything about it. Rajesh Khanna plays the character of a cancer patient in this movie, he knows he’s going to die and has just a couple of months left to live. But he doesnt let that dampen his spirits. On the contrary, he tries living his life to the fullest. I wont start with the dialogues all over again. I wont be able to stop at one or two if I do. I’ve seen this movie so many times but I was never sure who this song was actually meant for (in fact never thought about it). When he gets his jhola and refers before starting the second antara, there’s a hint of sadness, loneliness in his eyes. He doesnt have a heroine paired opposite to him here though he mentions a girl who he was in love with. Is he thinking of her while singing this song or is he singing this to himself, to his life. Now the more I listen to it the more I feel it’s Anand’s  life from his point of view. Both Mukesh and Rajesh Khanna have done an outstanding job and brought out the right emotions in this song.

Gulzar, Mukesh, Salil Chaudhary

2. Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye (Anand, 1971) : It’s quite a strange thing that Mukesh has sung two songs for Rajesh in the same movie! This song is a top top favourite of mine. If I ever have to make a list of my all-time favourite songs, this would definitely feature in it. I cannot explain in words what I feel when I listen to it or watch it.  This is the only time we see Anand sad, weak and vulnerable in the movie. This song reminds me of Solitary Reaper, I think of that poem almost everytime I hear this song.  It’s so poignant – the setting sun, the longing : longing for life and what couldn’t be his, there’s so much of sadness in it and yet it’s so beautiful and so soothing.

Dil jaane mere saare bhed yeh gehre
Kho gaye kaise mere sapne sunhere
Yeh mere sapne yehi toh hai apne
Mujhse juda na honge inke yeh saaye

Mukesh, Salil Da, Yogesh

I had come across this site sometime ago and I saw it today again when I was searching for this song. They have done a complete justice to it, described exactly how I feel when I listen to it.

3. Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho baalma (Kati Patang, 1970) : Another favourite Mukesh-on-Rajesh Khanna song of mine. I grew up listening to this song but saw it for the first time only while watching the movie. And Kati Patang is among the movies I saw right after Amar Prem. And this was the first time I was listening to Mukesh and watching Rajesh Khanna on screen, it kind of felt odd. He declares his love to his best friend’s widow, with a style and a charm that was uniquely his. Any girl would be on cloud nine listening to someone sing such beautiful poetry to her, but Asha, impersonating her friend,  holds herself back but that doesnt discourage him a bit.

Anand Bakshi, Mukesh, RDB

Mr. and Mrs. 55 have written about this song as well and must say they are very good at it!
4. Phool aahista pheko (Prem Kahani) : This is one movie I’ve never been able to get hold of till now. But the songs, be it cheerfully romantic title track or this one, they are just terrific. And the exchange of sher-o-shayaris before the song is masha-allah!

Anand Bakshi, LP, Mukesh & Lata

5. Zubaan pe dard bhari (Maryada, 1971) : Mukesh’s voice is usually referred to as dard-bhari awaaz. And we all know, he was the best when it came to bringing out the sorrow. Nobody can sing tragic songs like him, one of the main reasons why I have resisted him for so many years. And here he is singing Zubaan pe dard bhari. I wonder if he was roped in to sing this song because of the lyrics. But whatever it may be, this song wouldn’t have been the same if somebody else had to sing it. I dont remember much of this movie (probably because I didnt find it all that great) except for the fact that Mala Sinha was in a double role. I have vague memories of Raj Kumar wandering with a cage, and just Chup ke se dil de de and this song.

Anand Bakshi, Kalyanji-Anandi, Mukesh

6. Dil sambhale sambhalta nahin (Raaz, 1967) : This is one hell of a romantic song (Mukesh doesnt sing only dard-bhare songs) and a very catchy one. It’s one of those let-me-go shaam dhalne lagi songs which I totally love. Such beautiful background (blue sky spotted with fluffy white clouds, snow-capped mountains glistening, greenery, cattles grazing) , two very good looking people romancing onscreen and two of the greatest singers singing it for them – all one has to do is just sit back and enjoy and let it’s beauty sink in. They sound so helplessly in love and that just adds to the cuteness factor of this song!

Kalyanji-Anandji, Mukesh * Lata

R.I.P Mukesh!

Can you think of any other song that Mukesh has sung for Kaka?

K for Kishore – I (Kishore sings for Rajesh Khanna)

August 5, 2012

I am not as regular on my blog as I would like to be. Let me see if I can complete this post today. Almost everybody knows that Shammi Kapoor and Rafi are the love of my life. But they also know that it was Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar who came into my life before them. It was because of these two that I started watching old films and listening to old songs. And though I have been planning to do a post on Kishore Da for a long time, I have never been able to so it so far.

It’s impossible to select just a handful of his songs and list them as favourites. I was planning to do a post on songs that Mukesh (22nd Jul) and Rafi (31st Jul) have sung for Rajesh Khanna (18th Jul), as a tribute to all three of them. I started with it but haven’t finished it yet, though the list is ready, description isn’t. Since Mukesh and Rafi didn’t sing many songs for Kaka, it wasnt a very difficult task. But how and where do I start with Kishore’s songs?

Kishore Da was the voice of Rajesh Khanna and most of their songs were just magical, they were so popular and they still are even today. Today, on Kishore Da’s birth anniversary, I thought of doing a post on those songs of this duo which are not as popular as the others. I dont know if they were big hits and popular when they were released but these are some songs which we dont get to hear them as often as the likes of Meri sapno ki raani, Yeh shaam mastaani, Zindagi ka safar, O mere dil ke chain…etc today. There are loads of such songs but these are 10 of my favourite songs, in no particular order. I’m further restricting myself only to solo songs –

1. Ladkhadane do mujhe (Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein, 1977) : This is one movie that I had liked a lot. Simple, sweet and it had a very good plot. Rajesh Khanna is in love with Hema Malini, who’s in love with Jeetendra, even secretly married to him. When Rajesh learns about her past, he decides to help her find her love, though he himself is heartbroken. A perfect setting for a song complete with daaru ka tadka. Kishore is marvellous as always.
Maut ke baad sahi milne ka vaadha karlo
Humne bhi kaunsi jeene ki kasam khayi hai

2. Saath mein pyaara saathi hai (Dil Daulat Duniya, 1972) : This is one very romantic song, seductively so! And we can hear that in Kishore’s singing. I havent seen the movie so dont know how it was but I really like this song a lot.

Aise mein ab tum hi kaho neend kisse kab aati hai

3.  Chhalkao jhoom ke paimaana khushi ka (Phir Wohi Raat, 1980) : This song has a very happy feel to it – a typical birthday song. But when we watch it, we can sense an impending danger, especially with some characters lurking around suspiciously. The first time I saw this movie (I was still in school), I had seen it from the middle, somewhere in between. Since I had missed the beginning, I didnt know what movie it was, never knew the name. Few years later, when I had gone home for summer vacation (when I was in hostel) and realized there was a Rajesh Khanna movie coming on tv, I sat down to watch it. This time around I made sure I watched it from the beginning,I already knew the name this time as I had seen it’s trailer. Half way through I realized it was the same movie but then there was a power cut and I couldnt watch it fully. Though I remember the story, most of it, I had completely forgotten the songs. One day I was watching  a Danny-Asha Bhosle song (Nepali) on youtube and in the comments section someone had mentioned that there is a Hindi song with a similar tune. And I couldn’t rest peacefully till I knew which one it was. I searched and searched and finally found it – Sang mere nikle the saajan from Phir Wohi Raat. I was little sad that I had seen the movie and didnt remember it’s songs. So I sat and watched all the songs of this movie that day and that’s when I re-discovered Chhalko jhoom ke also.

4. Aaiye aapko main apne (Joroo Ka Ghulam, 1972) :  I simply love this song! Rajesh looks so cute, especially that image of him sitting with flour all over him is so very adorable. And love the way it’s sung. I can’t help laughing everytime it goes Aur yeh…main hoon.

5. Pyaar ki waadiya de rahi hai sada (Jaanwar, 1983) : I had heard this song on radio and always thought of this it as a “cntrl+f” song, where hero and heroine have been separated and hero’s wandering all over searching for his love. It has that longing and desperation in Kishore’s voice that gives the feel to it. I happened to watch it only recently and from the time I have seen the video I’ve been wanting to see the movie. Songs used to be an important part of the story, and that’s one thing I love the most about Hindi films. Looks like Zeenat has lost her memory and Rajesh is trying to remind her of who she is and what they once shared.

6. Ruk meri jaan (Bundal Baaz, 1976) : Yet another song which I had heard very often on radio but never watched. I haven’t seen the movie yet and came across this song on youtube only recently. It’s a catchy song and entertaining too but I feel sad to see Ranjeet so helpless. Bechare ki image ki toh dhulai kardi . And Rajesh looks like a safedi ki chamkaar 🙂

7. Tera dil kya kehta hai (Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, 1977) : I dont remember the story though I think I have seen this movie. I vaguely remember the climax, ie if it’s the one where Rajesh is left on an island/or surrounded by waterbody where there are alligators all around. And Danny also makes it a point to leave some raw meat behind so that it’s smell would attract the reptiles and they would attack Rajesh. I had found the way Rajesh escapes from there very funny. I only remember the songs of this movie – the catchy title track, Purab Aur Paschim inspired song in the club – Mashriq se jo aaye and this one.
The best thing that I like about this particular song is Yunhi raston pe chalte jaye hum aur manzil kabhi bhi na aaye.

8. Ek raja ka ek beta tha (Tyaag, 1977) : This movie had some great songs. I love this one and a duet Hum tum tum hum hum tum ek nadi ke hai do kinare.  I like the chemistry that Rajesh shares with the kid and the way Kishore sings it – the conversational/story-telling like tone it has – esp tum jaichha hi pyaala pyaala. Though this song is not a complete solo song, I just cant help posting it.


9. Aisa rangeen sama hai re (Aanchal, 1980) : It’s picturization is OTT, but I still like this song because it makes me feel good and brings a smile on my face everytime I listen to it. It’s also about – we want lots of things in life but dont always get them. But it doesnt mean that we get disheartened and lose hope. A ray of hope always gives you a reason to look forward to and feel happy.


10. Fauji gaya jab gaon mein (Akraman, 1975) : There were few more songs in my mind and I had reached the end of this post even before I realized. After debating a lot between  Yeh mera jeevan tere liye hai from Babu and this one, I chose this because it’s so colorful to start with. And the narration is so entertaining – a total paisa vasool performance, esp Mera Baapu saath mere Jarnail Singh ban baitha and Rum ki botal part!


As always, I’ve reached the end of the post too soon. Be it popular or lesser popular songs, Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar have left a legacy behind and they’ll continue to live in our hearts forever.

Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein (1977)

June 16, 2010

Ravi (Rajesh Khanna) is a well educated guy but hasn’t got a job yet. Unlike others, he doesn’t find any job big or small…he just takes up anything that comes his way. The movie opens showing him delivering Newspapers at people’s door – but the job is not permanent. He likes painting and usually makes paintings that depict village life…on being asked by his friend he says city life is very mechanical and he doesn’t like it.

When his Maa ji (Pratima Devi) sees one of his paintings she says that the house in his painting is so much like his dadaji’s house. But alas, his father had to  leave it and come to the city because of sarkari naukari.

Saying that she leaves for post office to collect her husband’s pension but he stops her. He goes to the Post Office instead.

At the Post Office, Om Shivpuri is interviewing people for the post of a Post Man at Sitapur and gets so frustrated talking to people who come for the interview.
When Ravi comes to collect his father’s pension, he takes it for granted that he’s one of the interview candidates and starts asking him questions. He asks Ravi for his age and Ravi says : As per certificates, it’s 21 but that’s not correct.
Om : How can you say that?
Ravi : Because noone knows which year I was born in…Mom says there was a flood in the village the year I was born, as though I wouldn’t have been born had it not been for the floods. She also says, I was born after 2 years since she got married and there was a drought that year.
This part is very interesting. Ravi, unaware that he’s being interviewed answers with such carefree attitude. And Om Shivpuri, on the other hand is also pleasantly surprised and enjoys the conversation.
At the end of 5 minutes, Om Shivpuri offers him the job and Ravi gladly takes it up.

Now that he’s an official postman, he comes home in Postman’s uniform and says : Postman….money order. His mom comes to the door, checks the sheet:
Maa : Yeh kaisa moneyorder hai bhai? (What kind of money order is this, Bhai?)
Ravi : Bhai nahin maa, beta kaho beta! (Bhai nahin, call me Beta)
Maa tu toh aise ghabra gayi…daakiya bana, koi daaku thodi na bana…aur phir sarkari naukari hai – rehne ke liye kapda makaan muft aur rotiyaan Manoj Kumar se maang lenge. (You were so worried…I have become a daakia – a postman, not a Daaku. And it’s a government job, I’ll get accomodation and uniform for free…that leaves roti and I can always ask Manoj Kumar for that)
Maa : Woh kaun hai? (Who’s that?)
Ravi : Maa tu picturen nahin dekhti. (Maa, you don’t watch movies)

His mother is worried that he’s going for such a job when he’s so well educated. But he is happy to be employed. So he sets out for Sitapur.  After getting down from the train, he boards Nattu’s (Amjad Khan) Tanga bound for Sitapur.

Existing Post Master explains his job to  him…says his job would also include writing letters for others, reading out their letters etc apart from just delivering them…because not everybody in the village is literate.

Ravi is asked to share his quarters with Raghu Rampuri(Asrani), who’s a unique-piece item. The moment Ravi enters the house Raghu says  : The only two things that are famous from Rampur are – me and chaku (wonder what Laxman had to say abt it :P). And then introduces him as  a poet. When Ravi says that he’s never heard his poems, Raghu says : it’s just that I am ahead of my poems – I became more famous than my poems 😛

Parcel (Rajoo Shrestha) lives with Raghu. He cleans the house and cooks for him, in return Raghu teaches him how to read and write.
Ravi : Kiska ladka hai? (Whose child is he?)
Raghu : Daak khaane ka (Post Office’s…no wonder he’s named Parcel). He lives at the post office, noone knows who his parents are but he loves reading. Maybe he’ll also become a Postman like you when he grows up.

On his first day at work, he goes to the temple in the morning to deliver Panditji’s letter and sees Mohini (Hema Mailin) there.

There’s an old lady in the village, whose son, Rasulla, had joined the Army and gone away… and who never returned back. She’s gone insane waiting to hear from him. She sits guarding a mango tree from other kids in the village. She’s been dying to hear from her son for years and when Ravi comes there and chases the little boys troubling her away, she sees the letters on the carrier of Ravi’s cycle and takes them away saying all those are her son’s letters.

He has to coax her into giving those letters back to him. And then he pulls out a blank paper from the stack of letters and recites : Meri pyaari ammi….pretending to read the content from a letter. And at the end he asks her : Nani, what’s your son’s name? And after she says the name, he ends the letter saying : Tera beta Rasulla.

Then he goes about delivering letters…he goes to a house and  knocks, Mohini opens the door and is delighted to see the Postman…he hands over a letter  –
Ravi : I am new here, had I known this letter was for you,  I would have given it at the temple itself.
Mohini : You are new, that’s why I didn’t ask you if there was any letter for me when I saw you in the temple.
But the letter is not for her, somebody showed him the wrong house and she’s very disappointed.

She, however, guides him to the correct address, Choudhary’s house. His daughter, Chhutki (Farida Jalal) opens the door and talks non-stop that her father is not home with lots of if-else conditions. Finally when she’s done, he gives her the letter and leaves.

Chhutki’s wedding has been fixed and the letter is from her sasural, she’s very excited to know what’s written in it…so she comes to call Mohini so that they both could go somewhere and read the letter. She takes permission from Mohini’s maa (Leela Mishra) and they both leave with an excuse of  fetching water from the well.

She opens the letter, puts the envelope behind on a stone wall surrounding the well and starts reading the letter. But she can’t read properly and can’t figure out what’s written in it…she asks Mohini for help but she can’t read either. She says she would have gone and joined the army if she knew how to read and write.

When they see people coming towards them, she tries to collect the envelope and leave from there, but in a hurry, she misses it and the envelope goes flying down into the well.

There’s a beautiful song here – Allah megh de. The letter finally reaches the Chaudhary and he reads it but is perplexed thinking how the Daakiya could have brought the letter without an envelope, which means no address. Chhutki lies to him saying that the letter was delivered without the envelope. And as though her saying so would help she says : Good that the kept the envelope. Imagine if he had to keep the letter and just give the envelope to us. We would never get to know what’s in the letter.
When Daakiya comes the following morning, Chaudhary is still perplexed wondering about the missing envelope and he asks him if he has come to distribute just the envelopes today. Now, it’s Ravi’s turn to get confused. He’s accused of taking the envelope away. (What could he possible do with it even if he had to take it?) Finally Mohini comes to his rescues and spills the truth to Chaudhary.

Next, he goes searching for Aarti Sharma to give Money order….when he reaches her house, he sees her busy making quilts.She stops her work to chat with him for a while and says that it’s her husband’s pension.

Aazadi ke jung mein saheed hue the – She claims to be an army’s widow and yet she puts sindoor. He’s kind of confused. And finding his puzzled expression very natural, she goes on to explain that she’s Amar suhagan and all the others in the village call her Suhagi didi. She says she waits for this day not because she would get money but for her husband…she feels connected to him in some way and when she puts sindoor she feels that he’s still somewhere around. 

Ravi takes her hand, and takes her thumb impression on the paper before giving her the Pension amount. But she doesn’t keep the money…she sends it for the welfare of other armies who are fighting day and night, protecting the country and ensuring everybody’s safety. At the end he realizes that she’s educated and can converse fluently in English as well. He leaves feeling embarrased for taking her thumb impression instead of asking her to sign.

Ravi sits under a Peepal tree infront of Mohini’s house and sorts his letters. And she awaits a letter herself quite desparately so keeps asking him if there’s a letter for her. Ravi replies to her and continues with his work. 

Mohini (to her cow) : Do you want some water?
Ravi (assuming she’s asking him) : Yes, a glass of water, please.
Mohini : What will a glass of water do, I will have to get a bucket full of water for you.
And then she asks him if he would want some water…to this he replies –
Ravi :  Yes, but not in a bucket.

She goes towards the house and then stops half way through to ask if buttermilk would do. He nods. And she comes with a glass of buttermilk for him.
Mohini :  if I get any letters, do give it to me.
Ravi : Who else would I give it to?
Mohini: Oh I mean, dont give it to Maa.
Ravi : Once bitten twice shy, I would never make that mistake again. I have learnt a lot from Chaudhary saab’s letter episode (Dhoodh ka jala hoon na, dekho chhach ko bhi phook phook ke pee raha hoon).
She behaves pretty mysterious asking about letters so he asks her if she gets letters often.
Mohini : No, but just in case if I get any letters.
Ravi : You wait so much for them, you must have got them earlier too.
Mohini : No, not yet, but…
Ravi : Who is it that you expect to hear from so much?
Mohini : (Little uncomfortably) I am supposed to get a letter form my Mamaji.
And goes away saying she has to give buttermilk to her cow.
Ravi : Buttermilk? To cow?
Mohini : I mean water…don’t know what I am saying today
Ravi (jokingly) : You get so confused, has it ever happened that you kept your food plate infront of the cow and started eating the grass yourself?
She laughs and goes away. 

Ravi sings Daakiya daak laaya as he goes about his work.  He comes home from work very hungry and asks Parcel for food. Raghu gives him water and starts asking about Mohini. The entire village is talking about the two of them now. Ravi confides that he likes Mohini but has no idea how she feels for him. Just then Parcel comes with a sheet of paper and asks Raghu if it’s ok…Raghu after going through it approves of it and asks Parcel to post it. Ravi is confused as to what they both are upto. Raghu explains to him that nobody ever wrote him a letter in his life, so he’s making Parcel write one and post it. He would reply to it on receiving it.

One day on his way back home, Ravi sees Mohini sitting on a tree branch and staring.

He asks her what she’s looking at and she says she was thinking about the armies who were there few months ago for training. She would sit there and look at them for hours together.
Mohini : This area used to be so full of armies some time back and now…
Ravi : And now, let’s both go and do a parade.
Mohini : Who will distribute your letters then?
Ravi : We could ask anybody to do that…what’s the name of that liar friend of yours? Chhutki? Let her go around giving the letters and her father will go behind her with the envelopes 😉
She asks him why he didn’t come and sit under the Peepal tree today to sort his letters and mentions  she was actually waiting for him the whole day.
Ravi : You were waiting for me? or for your mamaji’s letter?
Mohini : Had made daliya today, you come everyday so had kept some for you too.
Ravi : Is it still there or did u give it to ur cow?
Mohini : I have kept some for you.
Ravi : Ok then, I have to go to Suhagi didi’s house now, I’ll come over after that (extremely delighted).

Suhagi has made some quilts and blankets and she gives them to Ravi to send them across to some regiment. Ravi comes to Mohini’s place to have daliya. He barely sits down when Mohini’s cow breaks free and runs away with the rope entangled with Ravi’s cycle. Mohini’s cow running away with Ravi’s cycle – this becomes such a big breaking news and the hottest gossip in the village.

Ravi goes behind the cow and finally brings both the cow and cycle home. But he gets hurt in the process. So Mohini tends to his wounds. She notices Suhagi’s parcel and asks Ravi about it.
Him : She has sent it for the armies.
Her : What if I want to send a parcel to somebody?
Him : You should have his name and regiment address and it will reach him. But…why? You know any fauji?
Her : No, I was just asking.

Rekha makes a special appearance in this dance – Surme wale sainyaan hamaro ji.

After a few days, she meets him by that tree again and takes his measurements for a sweater. He’s very happy and is now sure that she likes him too.

Another day she complains that he never brings a letter for her and then he promises to bring a letter for her the following day.

He goes home that night and sits awake the whole night writing a letter to her – putting down his feelings on paper. When he meets her, he gives her the letter and she’s extremely delighted. Then she shows him the sweater she has knit and asks him to try it. He’s happily trying it out when she looks at the letter and says – now that he has written to me and I have his address, I can send the sweater too.
He is shocked to find out that it’s not for him. All his dreams are shattered and he’s heart is broken…

She then tells him her story – She had met Ravi (Jeetendra), an army officer when his battalion was training near her village, fallen in love with him and had also quietly married him in a temple. But he had to go almost immediately after that and she has never heard of him since. However, she’s sure he’ll return back to her some day.

Now that he knows she’s already married, he decides to help her locate Ravi (Jeetendra). Heartbroken as he is, he cannot help himself from singing a song – Ladkhadane do mujhe. He goes to the town the following morning searching for Ravi (Jeetendra) but with no luck and finally comes back to Sitapur again.

He meets Rasulla’s mother at the station, she gives him a letter and asks him to read it. It has the news of Rasullah’s death and the letter is dated ten years back.

The very same day he receives a telegram saying that the Army Officer he was looking for has been killed in the war. With a heavy heart he goes to give the news to Mohini but there’s a huge crowd gathered there. Mohini tells him that Rasulla’s mother died of sorrow because somebody told her that her son is dead. Ravi feels guilty and tells her that he was the one who had read the letter out to her. At this she tells him he should have lied and hidden the truth from her. At least a lie would have saved her life. Everybody in the village knew of Rasulla’s death but nobody had dared to break the news to her because they were scared she would die of shock.

Now, Ravi (Rajesh) cannot bring himself to tell Mohini of Ravi’s (Jeetendra) death. And he goes back home with a heavier heart. He’s in a dilemma as to whether to tell Mohini the truth or to hide it from her.

Mohini, on the other hand, now aware that the war has come to an end starts waiting all the more eagerly for Ravi (Jeetendra) – Ghungta gira hai.

What will Ravi do now? Will he ever be able to tell Mohini the truth? Will she ever come to know that he was once in love with her? Will she misunderstand his intentions? Mohini’s Maa is pressurizing her to get married…how long will she be able to postpone it? Will she be able to voice out and explain about her marriage with Ravi (Jeetendra)? Is Ravi (Jeetendra) really dead? Or Ravi (Rajesh) has something else in mind?

What I liked about the movie : Everything! 🙂 I loved this movie. The simplicity and the sensitivity with which the story is executed is simply amazing. It’s a slow paced movie that builds up with every scene, every frame. I like the way how the story and the characters grow together hand-in-hand.

It’s set in a small village where hardly anybody knows to read and write. The entire movie is about small hurdles and obstacles that they have to overcome in their day-today lives. Not everything is perfect but how the characters still find a reason to smile and be content with what they have in life. It’s about relationships – how one can confide in a stranger, how a mere gesture of affection could be mistaken for love. Again, having said that, it’s not just Rajesh Khanna’s fault that he falls in love with her.  Admit that Hema Malini looks stunning in her deglam avataar but in addition to that she does lead him on, though unknowingly. Subtle performance, witty one-liners and lilting melodies, though not very popular, are the highlights of this film. Hats off to Gulzaar for writing such a beautiful story, Director Meraj for a wonderful job of executing and presenting the story, Laxmikant Pyarelal for beautiful music and all the actors for their great  performance.

Daakiya daak laaya made me feel very nostalgic – my eyes were brimming with tears when the song got over. Less than a decade ago, I myself used to wait so eagerly for the postman to come. The moment I would spot him cycling towards the hostel gate, I would literally run out to ask him if there was a letter for me. The joy of recieving a letter is something that emails and chat messengers can never match up to. Even with the advent of internet, I didn’t have much access to e-mails back then. Laptops were very rare and not allowed in hostel. And with all the rules in missionary hostel, we would get an outing only once a month. So had to wait for one whole month to go to an Internet cafe. Letters were faster. 😉 Postman would usually come during our lunch break but sometimes he would get late and come only after we left hostel for afternoon class. If I was fortunate enough to catch him on the way, I would still collect my letter before rushing for the class…but having to sit in class and concentrate on lecture with an un-opened letter in hand seemed to be the most difficult thing to do  in the world – 45 mins seemed like ages. But  it used to be worth all that. And oh how I miss all those simple joys of life now! 😦

What I didn’t like : Amjad Khan was wasted here…he hardly had 5 minutes role as the taangawaala. And even Jeetendra for that matter, though I am sure that except for bollywooddeewana and Nasir, nobody would actually mind that or miss him. He just has around 2 minutes time on screen. The end was a little too abrupt but other than than I foudn the movie very good.

I had bought this movie in December and wanted to review it as a part of Rajesh Khanna special post I was doing then for his  birthday, but I couldn’t even watch it then. So, when Jeetendra’s birthday was around the corner I thought I would write about it then, I had an excuse to pull out this movie from my stack. I finally watched the movie, but was so occupied that I couldn’t post it till today. I had come back home today with my mind set that I wouldn’t go to sleep without completing this post. And finally I have succeeded. 🙂

Ajanabee (1974)

January 17, 2010

Let me come come to an end with Rajesh Khanna special week with this movie.

One night, a pretty young girl, Sonia (Yogita Bali), gets down from a Taxi and runs towards the Railway station in Deena Pur asking for a ticket to Bombay.

The train to Bombay pulls off the station before she can board.  She doesn’t have any place to go and decides to wait at the station for the next train, the following morning. She’s carrying an attache case containing jewellery worth lakhs. She deposits it to Rohit, which he safely locks in his safe.

Since Rohit feels it’s not safe for her to wait at the platform he offers to drop her at his quarters, near by and she readily agrees to it.

It’s so obvious that she’s running away from someone and Rohit feels she must have stolen the jewellery but she denies the accusation. She tells him that she inherited them from her mother but there are goons behind her because of it.  And she’s escaping from them. He buys the story and assured that she’s safe and comfortable there, he goes back to the station.

Sitting on his chair in his office, he goes back in time and lives in flashback for a while thinking about how he first came across Rashmi (Jeenat Aman).

He’s riding a motorcycle on his way to his uncle’s (Asit Sen) house for his cousin’s wedding. On the road he sees a car ahead of him and they have a race. After a while,  Rashmi’s car runs out of petrol. Attempting to help her and also not wanting to lose an oppotunity of spending some time with a lovely dame, he empties all the petrol from his motorcycle into Rahmi’s car and decides to travel along in her car. But before he can get in, she drives off. With no petrol, he gets stuck and finally manages to get a lift in a lorry.

He meets her again for his cousin, Shanta’s sangeet, – she happens to be Shanta’s friend. When forced by everybody, he sings Ek ajnabee haseena se, saying it’s a true story.

They meet a couple of times during his stay there and they fall in love.

Her father, Diwan Sardarilal (Hari Shivdasani), is looking for an assistant for Moti Babu (Prem Chopra), her brother-in-law, who has been looking after the business now. And Diwan feels Moti Babu is over-burdened with work and responsibilities. Rashmi presents Rohit to Diwan and he agrees to hire him.

Rashmi has a hunch that Moti Babu is not as honest as he appears to be and tells Rohit about it. Rohit immediately begins auditing the records and discovers that the entries are not correct and a huge sum of money has been missing.

Moti Babu, scared that the truth will come out, plots against Rohit. Since Rashmi is so fond of him, the best way to get Rohit out of his way would be to somehow make her dislike him. As a part of the plan, they have a celebration with lots of Bhaang followed a dance Satra baras ki.

And with the help of Bahadur and Bijli he manages to prove that Rohit tried to rape Bijli and has cheated on Rashmi. As per Panchayat’s decision, a punishment, he’s thrased in front of the villagers and asked to leave the place immediately.

Moti Babu is celebrating his victory with Bahadur and Bijli. Rashmi happens to witness this and is disgusted. Much against Diwan’s and Moti Babu’s wish she leaves the house and runs away with Rohit singing Hum dono do premee . They go to Bombay and get married in a temple.

Two men show up at his office and they wake him up from his reverie. They introduce themselves as Inspector Tiwari and Inspector Sinha and enquire about a girl with an attache – Sonia. They tell him that she has stolen some valuables and has run away, and they are investigating the case. Though suspicious, Rohit doesn’t reveal her whereabouts. He goes to his quarters and confronts her. But she tells him she hasn’t stolen anything and gives him her mother’s letter. After reading it he’s convinced that she’s innocent.

He comes back to his office. It’s raining very heavily outside. Standing by the window he stares out and gets into a flashback mode again. This time the newly wed Rashmi and Rohit are singing Bheegi bheegi raaton mein in the rain.

Brought up the way she was, Rashmi doesn’t know much of household work. She has a tough time trying to learn how to cook. They get acquainted with Chetan Kumar (Asrani), who lives in the floor below and become friends with him. He also helps her develop her culinary skills

Rohit works for Bombay Publicity, an Ad Agency and Rashmi, on the other hand gets bored sitting at home the whole day with nothing to do. Since she has a good knowledge of colors she starts painting (inspired by Chetan) and wants to gift the painting to Rohit on his birthday. One fine day Chetan suggests her to start modelling.

Having seen how his boss, M.M. Puri (Madan Puri) deals with models, Rohit’s not happy about the modelling idea.

(That’s one of the models with M.M. Puri – I found her so much like Rakhee Sawant)

But Reshmi, with a wealthy background is not used to live the way she is living and doesn’t like compromising for every little thing. And she remains adamant about her decision until Rohit gives in. Indifferences start creeping in but Rohit is understanding and does all he can to keep Rashmi happy, though his ego keeps coming in between (sounds conrtadicting?). In no time she becomes a top model and even goes on to win a beauty pageant. And she’s so thrilled about it.

Soon after, she realizes she’s expecting. She wants to pursue her career and thinks it’s not the right time to start a family and even thinks of going for an abortion. But Rohit wants the child. So she decides to keep it. One day Rohit calls and when she goes down to Chetan’s flat to answer the call, she slips and falls down the staircase. This results in a miscarriage. But Rohit feels she got an abortion done and gets mad at her. They have a row and he walks out of the house. Having realized that he over-reacted, he comes back home in the evening and apologizes but only after a while he finds out that Rashmi has left the house and gone.

He later on learns from Chetan that she had fallen down and had a miscarriage. He calls her but she desont speak to him. He resigns from Bombay Publicity and he sets out to bring her back. He goes to Diwan’s house but learns that they have left the place and gone on a vacation. Noone knows when they’ll come back. Devastated, he goes to his uncle’s house. There’s a letter for him there, a legal notice asking for a divorce. Not knowing what to do next, he seeks employment and with the help of Mr. Saxena (Mama’s friend), he gets the post of a Station Master at a remote hill station, Deena Pur.

Back to present…he’s at work and Mr. Saxena comes to meet him. He’s surprised to see Mr. Saxena at such a remote place. To this , Mr. Saxena says he had come hunting with Diwan Sardarilal, who has put up at a place named Karimganj, near by.

He leaves for Karimganj to meet Rashmi. But he is humiliated by Diwan and Moti Babu because he is poor. He also vows that he’ll earn enough money and get Rashmi back.

But he doesn’t know how to get so much of money. He eyes the safe with Sonia’s attache. And next, he is arrested for Sonia’s murder.

Did Rohit really kill Sonia? Why did he take Sonia to his quarters? And who was Sonia in the first place?  What were his intentions? Is Rohit the Ajnabee who nobody actually knows? Will he be proved guilty? What happens to Rashmi and Rohit’s relationship? Will they get back together or will Rohit be sentenced to death/life imprisonment?

Few loopholes – Though Rashmi knows what Moti Babu is upto, Diwan never gets to know about it. And she also doesn’t do anything to get him caught. What’s Chetan’s profession? It’s never expalined (or was it deleted from DVD?) – he’s shown as an artist who sits at home painting, but once Rashmi decides to take up modelling, he becomes her photographer. And he’s an MC for the Beauty Pageant contest!

It’s a nice movie (though not one of my favourite Rajesh Khanna movies) – Story is quite convincing, but very predictable. Lovely tracks and good performance. But what I liked the most was Prem Chopra’s sidelocks 😉

Ittefaq 1969

January 4, 2010

Movie begins with two police vehicles leaving the Police Station in the night. They drive through the darkness and finally reach a house. Admist many on-lookers the camera rests at Renu (Bindu) for a second, moves in to a room full of paintings

And then to to Sushma’s (Alka) deadbody lying on the bed

and finally to Dilip Roy (Rajesh Khanna) who screams “Nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnn”.

Dilip is accused of murdering his wife. Renu, Sushma’s siter who lives with them,  is the eye witness of this murder and she narrates how Dilip had killed Sushma –

Dilip is a famous artist. Sushma falls in love with him and they both get married. And even this she feels Dilip married her sister for her money. But soon after, they realize how different they are from each other. Sushma loves going to parties but Dilip is usually engrossed in painting and refuses to go out with her. Even on this very day, Sushma comes to call him for a party. It’s their wedding anniversary and some Mr. Sinha is throwing a party for them. But Dilip refuses to move till he’s done with his painting.

They have an argument over it and  he grabs her by the neck and chokes her to death.

Renu having witnessed this calls the police.

CID Inspector Karwe (Iftekhar) takes the report and arrests Dilip though he cliams he’s innocent. While he’s being taken away by police, he almost strangles Renu. He is presented in the court, and even there he threatens to kill the judge. It’s decided that he’s mentally unstable and he is sent to a mental asylum for psychiatric analysis under the care of Dr. Trivedi (Jagirdar) and under the charge of Inspector Diwan (Sujit Kumar).

The Public Prosecutor, Mr. Khanna (Madan Puri) comes to pay Dr. Trivedi a visit to inquire on the progress of Dilip’s state.  They discuss whether Dilip is really insane or he’s just feigning insanity to avoid being convicted.

Dilip is called. He’s wise and sensible one moment and violent and crazy the very next moment. After meeting Dilip, Mr. Khanna is convinced that he’s really mentally unstable. He’s sent back to his cell. But finding life unbearable in the mental asylum, Dilip escapes and seeks shelter in the nearest house he can get into without being caught. When he reaches the house Rekha aka Mrs. Jagmohan( (Nanda), all alone in the house, starts closing all the doors and windows after listening to an announcement on a radio about a patient who has run away from the mental asylum. He somehow manages to get it and threatens to kill her if she makes any noise.

He first makes sure that there’s nobody else in the house. Drenched in the rain he looks for something to change to and finally settles on Mr. Jagmohan’s black t-shirt and red pants.

Rekha tries to call police when he goes to change and he almost kills her too.

Calling bell rings and thinking it’s police he goes to the bedroom upstairs to hide and sends Rekha to open the door after threatening her that he would kill her if she tells anybody about him.

Since she lives near the asylum, Dr. Trivedi and Inspector Diwan have come to give her a word of caution. They advise her to lock all the doors and windows properly and stay.

Inspector Karwe and Inspector Khan, when they they learn of Dilip’s escape, go to Renu’s house to check if he has come there and also to make sure Renu is fine. They are scared he might attempt to murder Renu as well because she testified against him.

Back in Rekha’s house, Dilip lets a sigh of relief when Dr. Trivedi and Inspector Diwan leave, but that doesn’t last for long, for the bell rings again. He goes to hide and Rekha opens the door to find her neighbour, Basanti (Shammi) who has come to borrow some milk for her son.

Rekha, feels terrorized caught in the clutches of this madman and tries couple of times to get him caught but is unsuccessful. After the initial qualms (that includes some quarrels, threats and almost a murder attempt), both calm down and with no choice left, they try to settle the differences. At times he’s so understanding and rational and the very next moment he’s violent….he’s very unpredictible. Rekha is not sure whether to pity him or to get scared of him. They even reach close to becoming friends (there’s some spark, some chemistry betwen the two, but that’s a completely ignored aspect of this movie. It would have been nice to see some romance but considering the plot, the movie wouldn’t have been the same with this twist. I like it the way it is). Exhausted, he fixes himself a glass of Whiskey and some Sharbat for Rekha.

They converse a little over the drink and finally decide to take a nap for a while.

Dilip hears some noise in his sleep and wakes up with a start. With the lights off he can’t spot Rekha so he rummages through the house.  In the process he bursts into the bathroom, only to discover Mr. Jagmohan’s corpse in the bath-tub.

Seeing a dead-body he screams. Police, beleiving Dilip is a danger to others have begun a man-hunt and there are policemen patrolling all over. Hearing Dilip scream, one of the police-officers patrolling outside Rekha’s house rushes in.

He turns out to be Inspector Diwan.

But assured that everything’s in place, he leaves. After that Dilip confronts Rekha about her husband’s deadbody in the bath-tub but she remains adamant that he’s gone to Calcutta and hasn’t returned back.

Dilip takes Rekha and goes to the bathroom but the bathtub is empty.

Dilip beleives he was hallucinating when he saw Jagmohan’s body. He’s no longer in a state to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t. Tired and confused, he sits down to decide on his next course of action. But before he can do anything circumstances take a turn and he comes across a situation where he has to face the police and the doctor.

How does he face this situation? Does he really see Jagmohan’s corpse or was it just his imagination? Does he manage to escape again? Is he an innocent victim being framed or is he really on a murder spree? Is Dilip really insane?

One of those very few Hindi movies with no songs and dance. When I saw it for the first time, around 9 years back, I was quite surprised by the fact that a  Rajesh Khanna movie didn’t have any  song! But I had really liked the movie and it has always remained one of my favourites in this genre. What I like the most about this movie is that it concentrates on its subject. It’s a pure murder mystery and the story doesn’t deviate from it. Inspite of it being just 2 hours long, it doesn’t include songs, romance or any other masala (thankfully no attempt is made to prolong it). All the characters have a significant role, and they all have given a brilliant performance.

Aavishkar 1973

January 2, 2010

This movie was aired on TV one fine day and I was just 14 then. Crazy as I was about Rajesh Khanna, I sat down to watch it (given a choice I wouldn’t miss even a single movie of his on tv). But my Dad told me not to watch it and like a good daughter I switched the TV off,  with a very heavy heart 😦 – This is my earliest memory associated with this movie.

My Dad wasn’t against me watching movies. In fact it was he who introduced me to the world of Indian Cinema, and that too with a movie like Amar Prem when I was merely 13. If I could understand and appreciate Amar Prem when I was 13 (frankly speaking I don’t know what I understood of it at that age, I’m surprised myself till today about it. But, I was totally smitten by Rajesh Khanna and I loved everything about the movie!!!) then I would have probably understood Aavishkar as well. But I have no idea why he felt I shouldn’t watch it. Anyways, I never questioned him about it. Few days back when I was reading an article about Rajesh Khanna, I read that he had won a Filmfare Award for it, and it suddenly occurred to me that I wasn’t allowed to watch this movie once upon a time! And when I realized that it was a Basu Bhattacharya movie, I felt it must be quite a complicated story (I guess that’s the after-effect of watching Aastha: In the Prison of Spring) and no wonder Dad didn’t want me to watch it.

I was running short of movies, so I went movie-shopping on 31st evening to this newly-discovered video store in town (the same place where I had got Aakhri Khat and Boyfriend and lots more from). And when I saw Aavishkar there, I felt it’s a high time I watch it. And the rest (if there’s anything missing) is a history 😉

Before I start with the story…the picture on the DVD cover shows Rajesh and Sharmila sitting on a rock, I didn’t see this particular scene in the movie and I hope it wasn’t one of those deleted scenes. But this picture looks so much like a cut-out from Chanda chale chale re tara from Safar.

Movie begins with this song – Hansne ki chah ne kitna mujhe rulaya hain and this song more or less sums up the entire story.

The  movie revolves around the happenings of one night with clippings from the past here and there. Amar and Mansi unfold their past in a series of flashback sequence.

Amar (Rajesh Khanna) works in an Ad Agency. One night, he’s all alone in his office, all the other staff have already left when Rita (is she Dennis Clement?) walks in. Amar is surprised that she’s still around. She says she knew he would be all alone in office and over a conversation invites him to join her for a movie. He says he doesn’t even have an excuse this time so agrees to go with her (excuse as in…it’s obvious that she likes Amar, but he usually ignores her and keeps her at bay). They both converse about life before marriage and after marriage. Amar is married but feels lonely and doesn’t seem all that happy, about which Rita is well aware of. To this Rita says that’s because married people don’t have dreams left in their lives. The dreams people see when they are in love gets replaced by desire (khwab aur khwahish) once they get married. She was herself married for 4 years but when she realized that she couldn’t live a life void of dreams she walked out of it. They go for a movie but Amar keeps thiking of his wife and feigning a headache he walks out of the theatre and drives back home. On his way home, he stops at a Florists shop to buy a bouquet of flowers (not sure if he remembers it’s his anniversary or he buys flowers just out of his guilty conscience of having gone out with another woman).

Back home, Mansi (Sharmila Tagore) is at home with her Child and Margarette, the maid. Sunil, Amar’s childhood friend comes home with flowers. He wishes her and gives them to her. It’s Amar’s and Mansi’s wedding anniversary and such an irony that they don’t remember it themselves.

After seeing the house, Sunil feels even he should get married but one look at Mansi and he changes his mind.

Sunil : What have you done to yourself?
Mansi : Why? What’s wrong?
Sunil : Look at you!!! You used to look so good before you got married. And now….
Mansi : Who do I make myself up for and look good for now?

Uninvited guest that he is, he’s not sure if there’s enough food for three. But Mansi tells him Amar might have dinner and come since it’s so late already. So he might as well stay back for dinner or else the food will get wasted.

Amar overhears this conversation, drops the flowers he had bought in the flower-pot and walks in saying he has a terrible headache and goes straight into his bedroom.

She serves dinner to Sunil and sits holding her child as he eats. She goes back in time – their first anniversary.  She’s in a Taxi with Amar (the transition here is so beautiful, at present she’s holding her child to her bosom, and the next scene shows them in a Taxi with Amar’s head on Mansi’s lap).

He has taken a day off so that he gets to spend time with her. They hire a taxi and just go around, nowhere in particular, their only objective being spending some quality time with each other. The Taxi Driver (Satyendra Kapoor), quite an interesting character, asks them if he can also bring his wife along. He says coming from a joint-family, they hardly get any privacy, to which Amar and Mansi readily agree. And all four of them set out together.

She’s woken up from her revierie when Sunil gets up to leave. Amar in the mean time is lying down in the dark, also thinking about their past – of the time when he had gone to meet Mr. Sharma, Mansi’s father to ask for her hand.

Lying down on the bed, they both think about their past – about how happy they were.

They think of the days when they were carefree and madly in love with each other, when nothing seemed impossible, when they cared a damn about the rest of the world, when life’s only meaning was to dream together of times to come and of realities these dreams promise.

They start off with an ideal marriage, their small world is brimming with love, it’s so perfect just like what they had dreamt. Hours to days to months to one whole year and they are still happy with each other. On their second anniversary they decide it’s time to extend their family and plan to have a child.

In a flashback, they show Mansi’s father is against their relationship. One day Amar bunks office and stays back home, Mansi runs away from college and comes to his house to meet him. She cooks for him and they are eating when Mansi’s brother comes running saying that her father came to know she ran away from college and will he arriving here anytime. Mansi tries to go back home but Amar stops her saying there’s nothing to fear – they are in love and it’s not a crime to fall in love. As long as they havent done anything wrong, there’s no reason to get scared (in a very filmy style he says – pyaar kiya toh darna kya?)
Mr. Sharma slaps Amar and tries to take Mansi and go but Amar stops him from taking her, saying she was eating when he came and she’ll go only after she finishes her meal. After he leaves Amar says it’s time they also go back home and try to convince him. At this Mansi says – “Let’s eat first. There’s no work that you can do properly without eating.”

Looking back he thinks there was a time when she cared so much for him, knew that he couldn’t do anything without a proper meal even in a situation like that and now he’s sleeping with no dinner and she’s not even bothered.

After such a promising start, two whole years of happily married life and with so much to look forward to, they are very happy and excited. They are blessed with a lovely baby whom they both adore a lot.

But somewhere the enchantment seems to fade away leaving both of them dissatisfied in their relationship. They live not for each other anymore but for the worldly values and social conventions which they had despised themselves as lovers.

Amar starts finding fault in everything that Mansi does. He even suspects that there’s something going on between Mansi and Sunil. Mansi also knows about Rita. But she believes Amar when he says that it’s she who comes to him and not the other way round. He wishes Mansi was as understanding as Rita. There are problems, and they have fights but they do talk about them and sort them out. But at times it just gets too unbearable for both of them.

There’s a picture of Amar and Mansi hung on the wall that forms a background of everything. It’s always there no matter whether they are happy or whether they are having a fight.

They don’t talk the whole night except for a few sentences in the beginning, immediately after Amar comes back home and she makes coffee for him(after Sunil leaves). Just the fragments from their past keeps flashing across their minds. There’s a song as well in the process that again takes us to the past Naina hai pyaase mere.  And the transitions from present to past is amazing. The fragments are not disjoint, they are all connected. Something that happens in present invokes the scene  from the past. I have already mentioned one case above from holding the child to the scene in a Taxi. In another instance, Mansi is lying down on the bed with tears streaming down her cheeks and suddenly the scene shifts to Amar coming to her with a lotus leaf with dew-drop rolling on it, comparing it to tears and him quoting a line describing the tears in her eyes. He also tells her a story about some tribals where people drink each others’ tears and get married.

She gets up the following morning when the milkman comes. There’s a song in the background Baabul mora. (Since the song itself shows how the movie ends, I thought I might as well write the ending instead of keeping it a big secret).  And when she goes out she sees the flowers that Amar had left outside the previous night. Amar comes from behind and sees her pick them up, he hugs her and they walk in together.

Amar : Let’s catch up on some sleep
Mansi : Let’s have something to eat first. You can’t do anything without eating

At one point he explains to her that when people are in love they don’t get to spend enough time together…In the little time they get they try to look their best, wear their best outfits, be at their best in every way possible to impress each other. But when you begin living together you cannot be your best all the time. We all have our faults and weaknesses. He says she’s not the most beautiful girl he has met nor is she the most intelligent one but he still loves her for what she is.

And once she says just love is not enough to sustain a relationship. It needs devotion as well. But a man may look at his mother or at the most, at his sister with devotion but usually not at his wife. At this Amar tells her that he looks at every woman with devotion because they deserve it. Though he agrees that women are the weaker sex and are not always equal to men, there’s one thing that men can never do – a man can never be a mother. It’s a woman who gives birth to a man!

Amar is always brimming with convictions and Mansi is always so understanding and full of dreams, but still in an attempt to live their ideal lives, their own expectations of each other remain unrealised. They begin wondering if they did the right thing by getting married.

This movie is all about discovering oneself, finding out what one exactly expects or wants from his/her partner, discovering the relation between dreams and realities, discovering the relation between the little time one spends as lovers and putting up with each other for 24 hours a day as husband and wife.

Aavishkar comes to an end with an amazing comparison between the relationship that a man and a woman share and the nature – from the everlasting relationship between the sun and the earth.

When both are so understanding and they love each other so much, where does the problem creep in from? Why does love, understanding, the enchantment slowly fade away after getting married? What is it that we overlook? Is it because we take each other for granted?

I am not even sure if qualify to write a review of this movie . And this is just my humble attempt at it. This subject, has so much in it out of which I must have grabbed just a bit (could actually do a research on it).

It’s an amazing movie – A perfect blend of a crisp story, subtle and yet fabulous performance, beautiful cinematography and great direction. Hats off to Basu da, Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila and entire unit associated with this movie. Kanu Roy’s music and Kapil Kumar’s lyrics do right justice to the story. Unlike other movies of that era, this one doesn’t have many songs, and neither are they all that popular, but music still is very vital here. Mansi is a good singer since college days and there’s something or the other playing in the background most of the time.  But it’s never too loud.

I loved everything about this movie!!! It’s a MUST watch!!!

Now I wonder, had I seen it at 14, how much of it would I have understood? Even now I have run short of vocabulary more often than not to describe the story and of how I felt about it.

Agar Tum Na Hote 1983

January 1, 2010

Movie begins with Meena (Rekha) singing the title track – Hume aur jeene ki. Ashok Mehra (Rajesh Khanna) and Meena are a very-much-in-love happily married couple expecting their first child.

Ashok, a wealthy industrialist throws a huge party when Meena delivers a baby girl. He sings Sach hai yeh koi .

But shortly after giving birth, Meena suffers from post-delivery complications and dies leaving Ashok devastated and lonely.

Shakur Ahmed  Chacha (Madan Puri) consoles Ashok over his grief and tells him that can’t lose hope and stop living. He has a daughter to care for. And slowly Ashok goes back to work.

Ashok’s company has launched a new cosmetic range of  Emami products but with no proper ad campaigns, the brand remains unknown to public. So his company hires a famous photographer Raj Bedi (Raj Babbar) and gives him the charge of designing ad campaigns and publicity of the product. Ashok pays him an advance of Rs. 50,000 and says he wont interfere Raj in his work but would like to see his designs and plans ready in two months.

Raj sets out in search of a model for the campain. He spots Radha (Rekha) on a beach one morning and follows her to the orphanage where she lives. After a little convincing she agrees to model for him.

She poses in her typical-Rekha-style for Emami products and Raj is happy with the shots he has clicked. He informs Ashok that he’ll be ready with the Ad Campaign soon.

During the shooting there’s a song Dheere dheere zara zara

But Radha and Raj fall in love and they get married.

Now that Radha is his wife, Raj doesn’t want her to appear in Ads and Magazine covers. So he tells Ashok that all the photos he had taken were destroyed due to some problem in reels. Chandu (Asrani), Raj’s assistant, loses his job because he says something about Radha and Raj no longer wants to work with a person who doesn’t respect his wife.

To take revenge, Chandu goes to Ashok and tells him that Raj married his model that’s why he has refused to handover the photographs to him as per the contract. Ashok respects Raj’s feelings as a husband but as per business rules he can’t just let Raj get away for breaching the contract.

Raj sells everything he has (including his house) to pay back the contract amount to Ashok. Radha and Ashok move into a new house. There’s a song here – Kal toh sunday ki chhutti. Then he goes out searching for a new job. Since he had left his earlier project incomplete he’s not able to find a proper job. But he blames Ashok for using his influence and holds that as the reason behind him not getting a job.

He finally gets a job but meets with an accident while working on an assignment, and is hospitalized. He does recover, but his legs are paralyzed and is confined to a wheechair. With no income, it starts getting difficult for Radha to run the household and provide for Raj’s treatment. So she decides to work. She’s so happy about getting a job that she bursts into tears. But when the interviewer learns that she’s in desperate search of a job because her husband is ill, he takes back the offer letter saying with her husband sick in hospital she wont be able to concentrate on her work.

Ashok’s 5 year old daughter Mini ( Baby Shabana), misses her mother a lot. When she asks about her, Ashok tells her that her mother’s gone to god and lies to her that she’ll come back some day. She ties letters/messages to her mother to a balloon and sends them to god.

But god doesnt send her mother back to her.  Tired of waiting for her mother to come, she loses interest in studies and fails in all subjects.  Ashok doesnt know how to deal with her. Tired of Mini’s tantrums, her governess quits her job. Now he’s on a look out for new governess.

Radha sees an ad in newspaper for Governess, but the first requirement is that the governess should be unmarried. Since the pay is good and she feels she can save enough for Raj’s treatment with the money she gets as a governess, she goes for interview. Once she reaches the venue and sees the range of Emami products displayed there, she recognizes it as Ashok’s office. Aware of what had happneed between Ashok and Raj, She decides not to work for him and turns to leave. But one of the employees in office sees her and informs Shaukat chaha about her. He’s shocked to see her there. He offers for more money and hires her as the new governess.

When she goes to Ashok’s house the following morning, Ashok doesnt beleive his eyes when he sees her. He literally piches himself to make sure he’s not dreaming.

When Radha comes home to teach Mini, Ashok sings Hume aur jeene ki

Mini tries to chase Radha with her usual pranks but when Radha doesnt complain to Ashok about it and after the initial qualms they bond very well.

All are happy with this arrangement. One day when Ashok takes Mini to a beach, Radha accompanies them. When Ashok goes to get ice-cream for her, Mini sees some balloons flying and starts running behind them thinking they hold a message for her from her mother. She is almost hit by a car, Radha saves her on time and tells her the truth about her mother – that she’s dead and she will never come back again. There’s a puppet show that they go for after this, and needless to say, there’s a song here – Hum to hai chui mui

As time passes, Mini starts looking at Radha as a Mother-figure.

On another occasion when Mini wants to go out for lunch, Radha and Ashok take her to a restaurant and a local magazine photographer clicks their picture.

Chandu, when he learns about Raj’s accident goes to his house to see him and says he’s really sorry to see him that way. When he learns that Radha has started working and that Raj is alone at home the whole day with nothing to do, he starts coming to give him company. But as the saying goes, old habits die hard, he starts gossiping about Radha.

On the eve of Mini’s birthday, she sees Meena’s photo in Ashok’s cigarette case and takes it for granted that it’s Radha. Mini’s birthday, RAdha and Raj’s wedding anniversary and Radha’s birthday are all on the same day, 15th December. Radha plans to take a day off so that she can spend her anniversary with her husband but Mini says she wont have the party without Radha. So Radha is forced to go to the party where Mini announces that Radha is her mother. Radha doesn’t know how to react to it. There’s a song, a duet version of Hume aur jeene ki.

The same day Chandu tells Raj that Radha’s working for Ashok Mehra. He also shows the photo in a magazine (the one taken during lunch at restaurant with Ashok and Mini) which refers to her as Miss Radha (and not Mrs. Raj Bedi). Raj is furious and feels that Radha has cheated on him in favour of a wealthy lifestyle that Ashok can afford.

When Ashok comes to drop her to her house after the party is over, he gives her a ring and proposes to her. She comes home leaving the ring in the car. Ashok follows her inside only to overhear Raj and Radha having a quarrel due to the misunderstanding created by Chandu’s gossip.

One can’t blame Ashok for asking Radha to marry him, neither can Radha be blamed for hiding the truth. Ashok is heart-broken once again when he learns that Radha is married (I simply love it when he says : Tumhe paaya ek baar, lekin khoya do baar). He doesn’t know what to do with Mini, who had started treating Radha as her mother. So admist tears he packs her off to a boarding school.

But as time passes he understands the circumstances better, and sends an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs to Radha’s house through Shaukat chahcha telling that it’s lottery prize money. With so much of money in hand, she knows she can afford for Raj’s treatment in America (As per the doctor’s suggestion)  and they decide to leave immediately.

But Raj sees Ashok at the airport. And when Ashok offers Raj  a cigarette he sees Meena’s photo in it.

How will Raj react to it? Will he ever realize and accept the fact that the photo was Meena’s and not Radha’s? Will he get to know that the money with which Radha is taking him to America is given by Ashok? What happens to Mini? Will she be able to bear the greif of separation from Radha? And last, but not the least what does Ashok do?

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. All of them have given such a great performance. Not a very happy-happy movie but it isn’t sad and depressing either.

A family drama with realistic and natural portrayal of characters, never over the top. Rekha’s dresses and style are worth mentioning when she models for Emami. Rajesh Khanna is sooooo handsome even at 40+. Raj Babbar looks quite sexy donning deep V-neck shirts and t-shirts with jeans. Even his protrayal as an over-possessive, egoistic crippled husband is great. Feels so good to see Madan Puri in such good roles and baby Shabana is cute too, though a little loud at times. What’s with Asrani and his screen name as Chandu? He is named Chandu in so many movies!!!

I have seen most of RK’s earlier films (60”s and 70’s) but not many of the later ones. Now I think I’ll have to start watching more of his movies from the 80’s 😉

Before I end the post, here’s wishing you all a very happy and a joyous new year! May all your dreams come true. God bless you! 🙂

Red Rose 1980

December 31, 2009

Anand (Rajesh Khanna) lives a wealthy lifestyle in his palatial house in Bombay.  He has two man servants – Shera (Om Shivpuri), the mali who is a very mysterious character and Chotu (actually nobody calls him by any name, so I just gave it for convinience) – the 16 year old bawarchi (whom Anand sends back to his village with some money for his education).

Every year on 12th October, which happens to be Anand’s birthday, he goes to the jail and distributes sweets and fruits to the inmates there.

On being asked by Jailor Bhushan (Roopesh Kumar) he says he comes there for humanity. There are so many people outside who are greater criminals than the ones in prison but just because they are not caught, they are termed innocent. And it’s not necessary that all those arrested are always guilty. Proofs and wintesses are not always true. Also says that his father was arrested and punished for no fault of his and he comes to meet the inmates out his his empathy for them.

Must say a pretty good-looking jailor. And the other guy is one of the prisoners who Bhushan gets introduced to Anand. Anand has a problem of remembering names. In a short conversation with Bhushan he calls him Roshan once and then Gulshan. He goes on to explain that in his line of business he comes across so many people with so many different names that he just can’t keep track of it but however he remembers people’s faces.

Anand owns and runs a business “Export India”. He’s in need of a Stenographer in office. There’s a  group of girls who have turned up for the itnerview. After interviewing them all he finally selects Chitra (Snehlata) for the post.

One fine day he accidentally bumps into Sharda (Poonam Dhillon) who works in Roop Saagar Clothing store. He goes to the store following her and finally buys a hand kerchief from her counter once he locates her.

He goes to the store everyday and buys a handkerchief from Sharda’s store.  And the looks he gives her….I had only seen the likes of Prem Chopra and Ranjeet eyeing the heriones this way. Sheila (Aruna Irani), Sharda’s friend is jealous of Sharda because she has such a good-looking customer coming to her counter everyday.

One day he comes to the store again but totally ignores Sharda  and goes to buy a vest from Sheila’s counter.  But on his way out he sees a book on Sharda’s counter, flips through the pages and sees Sheila written on the first page.

He calls the store and asks for Sheila (that’s what he thinks Poonam’s name is) and calls her to meet him at a park. When she says she doesn’t know who he is, he says he’ll be wearing a White suit with a Red Rose pinned to it. He waits for her at the park but is surprised to see Aruna there instead of Poonam.

Sheila is surprised as to who had called her there. She doesn’t come to work the following day and the Store Manager (Shammi) is worried. Since it’s her brithday Sharda says she will go to Sheila’s place and find out what happened to her.

Anand calls the the Store Manager (Shammi) to find out what time the store closes. He comes and waits outside the store just before it’s closing time and follows Sharda.

On her way to Sheila’s house, Sharda is almost hit by Anand’s car. He then offers her a lift and finds out that her name’s Sharda. She lives in Mahatma Gandhi Road working girl’s hostel. And then he proposes to her (must say in quite a strange way) :

Anand : Raat ke sannate mein driver ke paas baithkar is tarah chup rahengi toh accident hone ka darr hai (If you sit so quiet, there’s a chance we might meet with an accident)
Sharda : Ji, main kya bolun (Hmmm….what do I say?)
Anand : Achha hum sawaal karte hian aap jawaab dijiye, thik hai? (I see. In that case I’ll ask some questions and you just answer them, ok?)
She nods her head
Anand : Hum baar baar aapke dukaan pe aate rahe, aapko bura toh nahin laga? (I kept coming to you store, didn’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No)
Anand : Dukaan par aane ke baad hum aaphi ke counter pe aate, rahe aapko bura toh nahin laga (I always come to your counter, don’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No)
Anand : Us din jaan pehchaan ke bager hi humne aapko tohfe mein rumaal diya, aapko bura toh nahin laga (That day I gifted you a hand-kerchief, didn’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : ji nahin (No)
Anand : Agar hum is waqt aap se yeh kehde ke hum aapse pyaar karte hai, aap ko bura toh nahin lagega? (Now if I say I love you, will you mind?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No) It’s after she says that she realizes what he had said.
Anand : Sharda, I LOVE YOU (the tone in which he says that and the way he looks at her, I dont know what made her fall for him)

A song follows this conversation – Tere bin jeena kya

Sheila has disappeared but Sharda doesn’t seemed worried about it. She’s happy in her newly found love. When Anand is in a club one night, he thinks of how he had killed Sheila.

They go out pretty often after that and this song is in bits and pieces everytime they go out. One day while driving he’s unusually quiet and Sharda is surprised and asks him if everything is ok.

Anand : Jab insaan ki zindagi mein naya mod aata hai toh kadam uthane se pehle usse achhi tarah se soch lena chahiye (When there’s something new happening in a person’s life, he needs to think seriously about it)
Sharda : Zaroor soch lena chahiye (Definitely, one has to think)
Anand : Kisi naye kaam se pehle experience ka hona bhi zaroori hai (It’s necessary to have an experience before you start something new)
Sharda : Bahut Zaroori hai. Agar experience na ho toh bahut mushkil ho sakti hai (Ofcourse,it gets difficult without an experience)
Anand : Toh phir kahan chale. Samundar ke kinare, club, hotel ya kisi hill station (So, where do we go – Beach, club, hotel or some hill station?)
Sharda: Kya matlab? (What do you mean?)
Anand : Agle mahine hum dono shaadi kar rahe hai. Abhi se kuch experience ho jaye toh kya bura hai? (we are getting married next month. What’s wrong in it if we decide to have some experience?)
Sharda : Ji? (What?)
Anand : Nahin samjhi? (You didn’t get it?)
Sharda : Nahin (No). (Then after a while) Chheeeeeeeee….(love the way she says that) Jab dekho bas ek hi baat. Aur kuch nahin aata aapko? (Chhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeee…That’s the only thing in your mind, don’t you know anything else?)
Anand : Aata toh bahut kuch hai lekin aap mauka de tab ta. Ek baat batao Sharda tum itne angrezi films dekhti ho, novels padhti ho, tumhe in baaton mein, mera matlab hai ke sex ki baaton mein zara sa bhi dilchasbi nahin hai?
(I do but you never give me a chance. Tell me one thing, you watch english movies, you read novels, aren’t you interested in sex at all?)

Chitra has also disappeared and her brother calls up Export India to check . But the Manager (Ram Sethi) informs that she hasn’t come to work for days now.

Anand and Sharda get married at the Registrar of Marriages and he takes her home.

On the way he says :

Anand : Aaj hume jo naam pasand hai woh ek hi hai -Sharda (Today, there’s only one name that I like and that’s Sharda)
Sharda : Bhool toh nahin jayenge aap is naam ko? (Won’t you forget this name?)
Anand : Arey hum aapko bhool sakte hai, aapke naam ko nahin bhool sakte (I can forget you, but not your name)

And this dialogue hold quite a significance at the end of the movie 😀

Once home, he gets her introduced to Shera and Ghasitaram (the new Bawarchi). Then he shows her his father’s photo.

Sharda : Such a huge house and you have only 2 servants?
Anand : Socha toh yehi tha lekin baad mein irada badal diya. Jyada log honge toh bheed hogi aur mauka nahin milega (I felt the same but on a second note I felt with too many people in the house, it’ll get crowded and we wont get an opportunity)
Sharda : Kis baat ka mauka? (Opportunity for what?)
Anand : Ek hi toh baat reh gayi hai zindagi mein. Shaadi ke baad pati ka jo farz banta hai ussse fohren poora karlena chahiye (There’s only one thing left in life. After marriage, I have to immediately fulfill my duty as a husband)
Sharda : Ji nahin. Aap ka farz banta hai daftar ke kaam mein dil lagaye aur mera farz banta hai ke aapka dil lagane ke liye main bhi daftar mein aapka saath doon (Your duty is that you concentrate on your work at office and my duty is to help you do that)
Anand : Hum dono ka farz banta hai ke daftar mein double bistar lagaye (It’s our duty to put a double bed in office)
Sharda : Aapko bistar ke siwa aur bhi kuch soojhta hai ya nahin (Can’t you think of anything other than the bed?)
Anand : Thik hai agar aapko bistar pasand nahin hai toh aapke liye sofa laga denge (Ok, if you don’t want a bed, I’ll arrange for a sofa for you)
Sharda, I love you, isi liye hum tumhe jaldi se jaldi bistar wale kamre mein le chalenge (I love you, so I will take you to my bedroom first)

But she remains adamant about seeing the rest of the house. So  he takes her to his librabry.

Sharda : Baapre itni saari kitabein? Lagta hai aapko kitabe padhne ka bahut shauk hai (So many books??? Looks like you love reading)
Anand : Padne ka shauk toh pehle tha. Ab toh jo padhliya usse aazmane ka shauk hai (I liked reading, but now I prefer using all my knowledge in practice)
Sharda : Kya matlab? (Again after a pause)  Chee…yeh sab kya waisi kitabein hai? (So all these are that kind of books?)
Anand : Nahin sab ke sab waisi kitabein nahin hai, 2-4 doosri bhi hai (Not all, there are 2-4 other books as well)

Next he takes her to his games room. She sees a chessboard laid out, a carrom board, TT table. She’s surprised that he plays all thses games alone and challenges that she’ll beat him at them.
Sharda : What’s the fun if there’s no one to win or lose?
Anand : I can tolerate everything in life, but I cant tolerate someone else winning me
Sharda : Then you’ll have to lose for the first time in your life
Anand : Lose? With who?
Sharda : Me. I challenge you
Anand : Wait until dark. Shaam dhalne do, tumhe bhi pata chal jayega hamara khel. (Wait until dark then you will understand my game).

He takes her to a window and shows a room below saying that his dad lives in that room. Long ago he had gone to jail for no fault of his. He’s gone insane after that. And he always shuts himself in that room and lives like a prisoner.

Finally he reaches his destination, takes her to his bedroom and says nothing can stop him now. He’s even got the license to cross the lakshman rekha.

But the phone rings and he has to go to office because Chitra’s brother has come to see him. Chitra’s brother says that his friend, a waiter at a night club, had seen her with a boyfriend before she disappeared. And since he feels that the boyfriend may be from office, he has brought his friend along for identification. Anand tells his manager to help Chitra’s brother and show all the employees in the office but the waiter doesn’t find Chitra’s boyfriend.

Anand, peeps from his cabin door and sees the waiter.

In a series of flashback Anand recollects seeing the waiter when he had gone out for dinner with Chitra.

That night Anand goes to the same club in search of the waiter. He offers him some money and asks him to keep his mouth shut but when he starts increasing his demands and threatens to expose Anand, he kills him.

Back home Sharda cooks dinner for Anand and waits for him (all decked up) to come back home. She sings  Kiski sadayen mujhko bulaye.

Tired of waiting and hungry herself , she cuts an apple but cuts her finger in the process. The moment Anand’s cat smells blood, it pounces on Sharda and she runs around the house with the cat behind her heels.

When she finally manages to put the cat off her trail, she goes and stands by the window. It’s raining heavily outside. She sees water oozing out from one point in the garden forming a fountain and feels the water pipe must have bursted. Suddenly she sees a human hand shoot out from the base of the fountain. Scared to death she goes running and reaches a room where she finds skeletons.

She also discovers that Anand had killed Sheila. In a series of flashback, Anand’s history is revealed.

A picture flashes through Anand’s mind everytime he sees a girl – A face and a pair of feet wearing payals.

Who is this girl? What does she have to do with Anand’s past? And why is Anand such a maniac?

This is Munna (Mayur Verma), Anand when he was young.

Why did Anand marry Sharda? Will Sharda be spared? Or does Anand kill her too? What had happened to Anand’s father? Was he  an innocent victim or was he really guilty?

I loved Rajesh Khanna’s performance – his portrayal as an arrogant, wealthy, short-tempered maniac who hates women. Neither it’s a big mystery nor a great love story. I have no idea how successful this movie was at box-office. It’s a zara hatke movie and that’s what I liked the most about it. I also liked the way movie ended.

Had I seen this movie as a teenager when I was totally crazy about Rajesh Khanna and almost treated him like a god, when everything he did was more than perfect to me,  I don’t think I would have liked this movie. But today,  though I am still extremely fond of RK, I’m more matured as a person and can differentiate the on-screen role from off-screen, I appreiciate good performance irrespective of what kind of a role it is (good or bad) – I really liked this film!

Most of the story doesn’t make much sense or may be it does, quite silly at times, and our hero is such a psycho, Poonam is good in the little space and time that she has. I am surprised to see  a mainstream superstar (though this was after his reign as a superstar was over) doing a role like this. But I was more surprised to see him talk so openly about sex! (such talks are usually censored even to this day or should I say till Dev D and Dil Kabbadi).

Rajesh Khanna Special

December 29, 2009

Rajesh Khanna is one of my first crushes ever (the other one being Shammi Kapoor). Starting today, I plan to watch and review his movies for the rest of the week.

Here’s wishing him a very very Happy Brithday!

Though I re-watched Roti and Prem Nagar in bits and pieces on tv and the whole of Red Rose for the first time today, I didnt have time to review it. Will definitely put them up tomorrow.