Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Aajkal ke naujawano ko dekhkar mujhe badi mayoosi hoti hai bade baabu...

A cinematic luminary has passed away. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was perhaps Bollywood's cleanest and simplest story teller of the last century. His films have delighted us time and time over. Some of his films will be remembered as classics. He was not Ray, Ghatak, Sen or Gopalakrishnan. Neither was he in the Johar, Chopra mould. He was the quintessential man in the middle. His stories dealt with the joys and sorrows of the middle class. No one understood this class better than him and Basu Chatterjee. I remember reading an article which said that Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films are like our fondest photographs in our picture albums. How true. I'd frame them.
Of course, Mukherjee's body of work did have blemishes. He did get repetitive in theme at times and made some average cinema with films like "Kisi se na kehna" and "Jhoot bole kauwa kaate", where you could tell he was trying to paste Amrish Puri onto Utpal Dutt, Anupam Kher onto David and Anil Kapoor onto Amol Palekar. He also got a little too ambitious with "Bemisaal". However, one doesn't really care about the blemishes of the man who gave us "Anari", "Anand", "Guddi", "Abhimaan", "Golmaal", "Anupama" and "Naram Garam". His films were all about normal people in abnormal scenarios. The joys and foibles of people like you and me. He was our film maker. They don't tell stories like this anymore. I'm sure if he saw today's big budget, candy floss, music video cinema he would repeat Utpal Dutt's classic line from Golmaal.

And now the answers from last post's Quiz -

1. RD Burman and Swapan Chakraborty sing 'Golmaal hai'. Amit Kumar was also in the recording studio at that time, but I find it hard to figure out his lines in the song.

2. Amitabh is shooting for 'Jurmana'.

3. Mukherjee used the same green and white school uniform to dress up 'Guddi'.

4. Gulzar, Bharat.

5. That Bhawani Shankar is Bengali in the film is clear from the slang phrase 'Daat kelani bancharam' (teeth bearing/laughing idiot?) which he uses twice in the film.

6. Swami Vivekananda.

7. There are a total of 8 sportsmen mentioned in the film: 2 Pakistan Hockey players (Samiullah Khan and another I cannot remember right now), Pele, Sunil Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Amarnath, Bedi and Chandrashekhar.

8. In the scene where Deven Verma wears make up (mustache) the mustache curls upwards. However, when Amol Palekar has to make the excuse and introduces his twin brother to Utpal Dutt, the flashback to the same scene shows Verma pasting a mustache curling downwards.

9. Kishore Kumar and Amit Kumar.

10. 15%, but only 12% passed.

Commendations to Gaurav for his fine attempt. Well done sir.



sougata banerjee said...

Just a quick one on number 10 - Those must really have been the golden days of clearing the CA. Nowadays, I don't think the percentage is even close to 5%.

But anyway, we will definitely miss the great story teller in Hrishikesh. He made such simple films in such elegant and cinematic way. For example, I will never forget the sound of silence that Sharmila had in Anupama or the youthful vibrance of Rajesh Khanna in Anand. Its definitely a sad day for Indian films.

Abhishek Chatterjee said...

sougatada - hehe i agree with you on the nos. our generation had it much tougher.. i remember us teasing debuda with him getting BRS for his final exam!

Gaurav said...

Thanks for your appreciation. In fact, I had to look for an answer by going back to the movie(Q.10). I hope you won't hold it against me (since you didn't mention the rules of the quiz). But it was fun trying to attempt the quiz, difficult though it was.

I feel saddened by HrishiDa's demise. I don't think the void will ever be filled. I've tried to write my humble obituary to him on my blog, but it stands nowhere in comparison to his genius.

Ye manzilen !! said...

Good article for sure. But these guys have inspired hundreds of film makers and hopefully we shall see some one in his mould pretty soon.

BTW what is " pagdandiyon ka zamana" in ur profile?


Abhishek Chatterjee said...

yeh manzilen - hey thanks for dropping by! Doubt it though the munnabhai series is in the same league i guess...so good things may happen yet! PKZ is a great colletion of stories from Harishankar Parsai..

Anonymous said...

Is the other sportperson name from Pakistan, Ismail ?

- Arune