Well its difficult to give a miss to Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s movies. Some of the notables which stick prominently in my memoryscape being 1942-A Love Story, Mission Kashmir, 3 Idiots, (seen in Nashik, Chittaranjan and Sagar respectively). Its not easy to forget the Dushasana of Jaane Bhi Do Yaron (JBDY), who also happened to be the production controller of that movie and producer of PK. Incidentally Naseer played the character called Vinod Chopra in JBDY, which I guess was after the Vinod Chopra being discussed above (I would do injustice to the memories of this iconic movie-JBDY, if I don’t mention, that, the other lead actor, Late Ravi Vasvani was called Sudhir Mishra in the movie; Sudhir Mishra was the writer of the movie-he got best comedian award for this role in 1984. His most memorable dialogue for me is ‘Vinod chal ghar chalte hain’).
So getting back to PK!
We have a Mrs Rastogi of 3 Idiots fame playing mother to the heroine (Mrs Rastogi is Amardeep Jha as Wikipedia informs us. I don’t want to sound nasty but cant help it- Amardeep is an apt name for Jagatjanani’s mother-Anushka Sharma, heroine of the movie is named as Jagatjanani in PK). Also Mr. Quereshi of 3 Idiots is to be seen as Jagatjanani’s dad-Sahni saheb (Parikshit Sahni plays Sahni saheb! Well this, for me, was JBDY moment in PK). So the mom of Raju Rastogi marries father of Farhan Quereshi in PK-good, no wonder the movie has a message to give!
Boman Irani-the Virus of 3 Idiots is the editor in PK who reminds of a major political party’s spokesman whose photograph in shorts and kurta while giving a bite was widely circulated on WhatsApp-bhai you only see what the framed shot contains-a key lesson of life in these times.
Both the movies get set in Delhi. Both movies see heroine driving a scooty-Amir being the constant in the equation. The format of the movie also reminds one of Anand where the movie gets narrated by way of a book being read by one of the principal actors.
Amir has grown quite a bit since Deewana Mujh sa Nahin (a coffee from me to those who remember the movie-I saw this otherwise eminently forgettable movie some 2-3 times in Agra in college days).
Movie raises questions the way OMG did, but brings a lot more sophistication in terms of arguments marshalled. The story and screenplay writers have done a splendid job-Rajkumar Hirani now has a veritable midas touch! Song Tharkee chokro’s writer, Swanand Kirkire brings nuances like ‘Patna to Patan‘ in the song. This small tribute to Rajasthan touches the small Rajasthani corner of my past.
To see Sanjay Dutt who enacted gandhigiri in another of Vinod Chopra-Hirani film, die in a terror attack, is kind of ironical-as he serves a sentence in the same prison where Gandhiji was kept having been punished for aiding the terrorists.
As one adds years to one’s life, it takes a sudden resonance to uncover memories which had tumbled in to the hidden crevices of past. Something as innocuous as a song can prise them out. So when I first heard Phata Poster Nikla Hero’s ‘Tu mere agal bagal hai’, many memories flooded back and also made me smile as I drove back, listening to the number on FM. That the Ministry refuses to listen to us, that the Railways are finding it difficult to get funds for routine maintenance, that there is festering anger over all you see about yourself, that someone acted funny in office, that you picked up an argument with a senior-all melted away…as one was reminded of the original proclamation-made by an autorickshawallah from Hyderabad…our very own Naseerruddin Shah in his younger days when he marks his arrival by driving through a poster (he goes in his auto from Hyderabad to Bombay!)…that was original—phata poster nikla hero in Hero Heeralal in 1988. Our Hyderabadi autowallah falls for Sanjana Kapoor (elder first cousin of Karishma, Kareena and Ranbir-interestingly, though our objects of affection have changed, but we have been loyal to the family!).
This journey to Bombay by Naseer was not to be the only one he would make; his next journey to this town was again triggered in very similar circumstances, just a year later in 1989-when he, smitten by another starlet, this time, Divya Bharati once again visits this city. The city which didn’t accept Vinod-the photographer in 1984 (Jane Bhi do Yaron), Hero Heeralal-the Hyderabadi autowallah in 1988 finally accepted the oye-oye man-Jay Singh of Madhavpur in 1989 (Tridev)-marking true acceptance of Naseer in commercial cinema.
For me- Jane Bhi Do Yaaron was seen in the open air theatre in a small hamlet on banks of Ganges, Hero Heeralal on a rented VCP (not a VCR) and Tridev in a movie hall in Agra as a first year engineering student.
It is interesting to note that Shahid-the hero of Phata Poster Nikla Hero’s dad-Pankaj Kapoor as Tarneja, played villain to Vinod (Naseer) in Jaane Bhi Do Yaron-the hero whose dialog (phata poster nikla hero) in his movie Hero Heeralal became title of the movie in question.
Well this was on the title of the movie but the song which brought a w-i-d-e smile was-tu mere agal bagal hai, main tere agal bagal hoon!
Why…dear reader read on:
When the hero, who is self-proclaimed relation of Farhad and Mahiwaal (Mahiwaal ka mama, Farhad ka phoofa) and invokes memories of Majnu (Majnu se kam tu sochne ka nai), makes a mention of him being busy and that how difficult it for him to wait (…ghar se nikalne ka time to bata, Taki rahun main mod pe khada, Rehta hun main aaj kal busy, Wait karna hai mushkil bada), whatever happened to hum intezaar karengey qayamat tak…Khuda karey ki kayamat ho aur tu aaye!, and that despite hero proclaiming his right over his love (Hai tujhpe right mera, Tu hai delight mera, Tera rasta jo roku, Chaukne ka nai)-he still has to keep the practical matters straight – Tere doggy ko mujhpe bhaukne ka nai! (hope the movie ran the disclaimer of not being offensive to the canine feelings).
I think it was possibly Kishoreda, romancing with Nutan (elder maternal aunt of one Mrs Devgan) in midst of some plain speak in 1958, the pioneer in bringing the animals in to the cardiac matters of lovers; when Nutan tells Kishoreda that he is a R-A-T, rat, rat maaney chooha and that she is a C-A-T, cat maaney billi-establishing in no uncertain terms, the eternal truth about a man and a woman’s position on the food chain. However, here in the limited context, our hero clearly demands that his love matters should not be mocked at/threatened by the doggy of his affection…Tere doggy ko mujhpe bhaukne ka nai!
But for a generation which was groomed on …husna hazir hai mohabbat ki sazaa paaney ko…koi pathar se na marey mere deewaney ko, the soulful cry of Ranjeeta, as dad of Ranbir in ragged clothes was stoned in 1976, one can’t but smile when our hero in anticipation himself says…Chahe dil tod, sir phodne ka nai.
Then one finds the good old strain-of hero falling in love despite his poverty (haven’t seen the movie-my thoughts are based on the lyrics of the song), as he says …fokatiyon sa pyaar karunga, Baaton se hi pet bharunga, Miss call pe phone tu karna… well whatever happened to Amol Palekar’s soulful surrender of his love in 1977 to the harsh realities of poverty, in Gulzar’s …Din Khali Khali Bartan Hai Aur Raat Hai Jaise Andha Kuan, …,Jeene Ki Vajah To Koi Nahi Marne Ka Bahana Dhoondta Hai, Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein… Today’s youth surely knows how to live life the fullest! (by the way, going by the definition of information in communication theory, a missed call can as well be used, as it surely would be, to communicate and pass measurable information-but then despite putting entire telecom network at work, without a penny being charged, our hero gets his message across on a missed call-Shannon and Nyquist be damned)
Well, the times have changed, who has time to, waste, negotiating …In Umar Se Lambi Sadkon Ko, esp. when we have from the horse’s mouth that these roads lead to no-where (…sadkon ko…Manzil Pe Pohonchte Dekha Nahin , Bas Daudti Phirti Rahti Hain Humne To Theherte Dekha Nahin…)so why bother!
I wonder how facebook generation and twitterati see… Is Ajnabi Se Shahar Mein Jaana Pehechana Dhoondta Hai, Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein….(not sure if Gulzar saheb is on the Facebook or Twitter!)
I am rather intrigued, how could Gulzar saheb in 1977 forget, our dear old Johnny Walker, when he described, in1956 the attributes of Bombay city in Ye hai Bambai meri jaan for posterity…as Dev Anand goes about hunting for the eternal villain in CID (how we miss K.N. Singh, his arching brows … how he could make one’s heart skip a beat).
But then our hero is a practical lad (with genes of Karamchand-our very own Holmes, with daughter of Keshto Mukherjee as his Watson) and no wonder like Karamchand, has his contingency plans ready at hand. Gone are the days when love struck heroine says …Neend See Rahatee Hai, Halakaasaa Nashaa Rahataa Hai… (Ghar, 1978), as the jasmine lady doesn’t shy, having had a pawwah in 2012, demanding attention and affection of the man she has set her eyes on. Whatever happened to…Raat Din Aakhon Me, Yek Cheharaa Basaa Rahataa Hai (Ghar, 1978), surely, this generation is fevicol generation and doesn’t like to leave things to chance! So when heroine in our days said Jaane Kyaa Hotaa Hai, Har Baat Pe Kuchh Hotaa Hai, Din Mein Kuchh Hotaa Hai, Aaur Raat Mein Kuchh Hotaa Hai…things are found to be quite different now dear reader, now its…Baahon Mein Aa Soniye, Bas Aaj Raat Ke Liye, Subah Hone Na De, Saath Khone Na De, Ek Dusre Ko Hum Sone Na De (Desi Boyz, 2011). Well, when dad of Kareena saw his control over himself loosen in company of Aishwarya’s mother-in-law, in Jawaani-Deewani, he gets her wise counsel…Nahin, nahin, abhi nahin, abhi karo intezaar. But when hero these days says, Baahon Mein Aa Soniye, Bas Aaj Raat Ke Liye, he is proclaimed as hero…tu mera hero!. I think, our times were unfair to Kareena’s daddy dear!
There were many other occasions when heroine found herself in the same room as the hero and there were times when it was apprehended that the keys to the room can be lost (dad of Ranbir had faced one such occasion in 1973 with mom-in-law of Akshay Kumar, when they imagined…hum tum ek kamarey mein band ho aur chhabi kho jaaye), before that, samdhi of Sanjay Dutt’s dad, on one such occasion in 1967 (Aman) rose to the occasion when he bemoaned…aaj ki raat ye kaisee raat, ki hum ko neend nahin aati, to wife of Dilip saheb-things remaining in control. Then, there were occasions when the foundation to a dramatic turn was seeded on one such moment…when father-in-law of Akshay lost to the charms of Kareena’s mom-in-law in 1969, aptly captured in roop tera mastana….. To be fair to the present times and for historical accuracy one must add that Aishwarya’s mom-in-law dear, who advised caution to Kareena’s dad in 1972, changed her views and instead advised Sanjeev Kumar just a year later in 1973…bahon mein chaley aao, humsey sanam kya parda….Jury is out, what caused this change of views.
Now, with doggy taken care of, with a caveat that heart might be broken not the head…these indeed are changed times-but the basic chemistry has remained the same.
Aapke paon dekhe. Bahut haseen hain. Inhe zameen pe mat utariyega. Maile ho jaayenge. No wonder the principal actors of yore were patient enough, contended, to just admire the feet of the heroine…now, jaani, things are different, eyes have moved up!
Do listen to Tu mere agal bagal hai, hope you too find a reason to smile.
Read full lyrics :