Dil Chahta Hai – Super Sundays – Weekly Blog

This New Year’s eve was a “different” celebration for us. In 2017, we had attended a party at Radisson Hyderabad and in 2018, we had rung in the new Year in a resort in Alibaug.  When 2019 arrived, my wife was less than two months to deliver so we had a “Monopoly” party with our cousins at our place. I had missed most of the Monopoly game as I was in a month-end sales closure and was busy shouting away on my phone in the hope that we could get as close to our targets as possible. Amidst all the shouting( you guessed right- it didn’t help in meeting the targets), New Year arrived and we hoped for a great 2019.

2019 was a great year on the personal front as we welcomed our little angel in February. Time literally flew and before we realized, she turned 10 months old. Seeing her smile is the biggest stress-buster for all of us. Our schedules and in turn our lives now revolve around her. My wife and me haven’t woken up past 7 am at all, haven’t gone to a movie theatre together, have gone out a handful of times in the whole year but we don’t have any regrets about any of these. So, we decided to have a “silent Party this New Year’s Eve. While a majority of the world around us was celebrating New Year either heading out, doing house-parties, holidaying abroad or attending apartment organized celebrations, we decided to order food (Biryani, Coke, Kurkure and Gems) and watch a movie on Netflix. The little one was asleep by 8 pm and we didn’t want to disturb her sleep. We watched Dil Chahta Hai. At the stroke of midnight, we wished each other Happy New Year and continued watching the movie.

I have never been a fan of New Year Resolutions and have never bothered to make one. This year, for a change, I resolved to write a blog on New Year’s day and all major holidays. Jinxed as it may sound, I watched Dil Chahta Hai and slept around 2 am. The New Year blog became a dream. And I have decided to go back to “no New Year resolutions”.

While Dil Chahta Hai screwed my new year blog plan, it did give me something to write about this week. My blog frequency has been very irregular of late and unless there is a special stimulus, I somehow am not able to get myself to write at the frequency I would like to. Dil Chahta Hai is the stimulus for this week’s blog.

Its almost close to 20 years since the release of Dil Chahta Hai but the movie still remains close to my heart. For all those born in the 80s, this was a cult “coming-of-age” movie. The movie was a rage in those days for various reasons – the iconic scene where the lead trio of  Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna  chlli out in Chapora Fort , Goa; Shankar- Ehsaan- Loy’s soulful music , the designer clothes worn by the stars , the scenic locales of Australia and the performances by the lead cast.

Despite it being his first movie as a writer-cum-director, Farhan Akhtar could bring out different themes and emotions in the movie with finesse (friendship, love, family, tradition etc).  The characters in the movie were easily relatable -Saif’s portrayal as a happy-go-lucky guy who always gets booted out by women, Aamir as the guy who doesn’t believe in love and Preity Zinta as the opposite to this.

To me, though, the stand-out performers were Akshaye Khanna and Dimple Kapadia.

20 years ago, for Bollywood to talk about a relationship between a young man and a woman old enough to be his mother was a big deal. The maturity displayed by these two characters was exceptional. Boundaries were pushed but, in the end, Farhan Akhtar decided not to go overboard and the climax with the respect to the status of their relationship was a “safe” ending.

20 years later, Saif, Farhan and Aamir are still going strong but unfortunately Akshay Khanna hasn’t done justice to his potential as an actor. Some of his roles in movies like Humraaz, Race 1 were amazing but beyond that , either he hasn’t got good scripts or his choice of movies wasn’t great. Wish we could have seen more of his acting prowess.

After the release of Dil Chahta Hai, The “bald Akshay Khanna” look suddenly became cool , after this movie, along with Aamir’s “Spike” cut. Farhan also ensured that the movie had enough masala to become a typical Bollywood entertainer. Dil Chahta Hai had class written all over it.

The lyrics of the title track are deep. If you have a close set of friends , these lines will strike a chord

Dil Chahta Hai, Hum Na Rahein Kabhi Yaaron Ke Bin

Din Din Bhar Ho Pyaari Baatein

Jhoome Shaame, Gaaye Raatein

Masti Mein Rahe Dooba Dooba Hameshaa Samaa

Humko Raahon Mein Yoonhi Milti Rahein Khushiyaan

And for those who are worrying about the future holds in store, including the year 2020, these lines from the same track are bliss:

Kaisa Ajab Yeh Safar Hai, Socho To Har Ik Hi Bekhabar Hai

Usko Jaana Kidhar Hai, Jo Waqt Aaye, Jaane Kya Dikhaaye

Oh Oh Oh ….

Cheers to a great 2020. May the New Year bring a lot of joy to all of us.

Jo Hum Chaahein, Voh Hum Paayein
Masti Mein Rahe Dooba Dooba Hameshaa Samaa
Humko Raahon Mein Yoonhi Milti Rahein Khushiyaan

Dil Chahta Hai

Timeless Classics – Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro : Freaky Fridays – Weekly Blog

Last Sunday afternoon, I decided to watch a Bollywood movie with family. All of us wanted a stress buster as the past week had been very hectic. We decided to watch one of the best-ever Bollywood movies– Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. All of us,barring my wife had watched the movie earlier but still we wanted to watch it all over again. By the time the movie ends, you want to watch it one more time. That’s what makes it a special movie.

A 1983 comedy directed by Kundan Shah (the man behind TV series Nukkad, Wagle Ki Duniya ,director of SRK starrer Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Kya Kehna ( Preity Zinta)), the film is an out and out laugh riot.

The film takes us through the journey of two struggling photographers, Sudhir Mishra ( Ravi Baswani) and Vinod Chopra ( Naseeruddin Shah). Sudheer and Vinod open a photo studio in Bombay but struggle to find a single person walking into their store. Shobha Sen ( Bhakti Barve) , editor of  a publication “ Khabardaar”, decides to use these two photographers on a sting-op to get some inside scoop on a corrupt builder Taneja ( the ever brilliant Pankaj Kapoor). Faced with no other choice to make ends meet, Sudhir and Vinod follow Taneja and get exposed to the dark and murky world of builders and corrupt bureaucrats. A corrupt Municipal Commissioner D’mello (Satish Shah) is seen taking favors from Taneja for getting the contract for building a bridge. Taneja’s beautiful assistant , played by Neena Gupta, is used as a bait to lure D’mello. The plot thickens when they realize that Commissioner D’mello is double crossing Taneja for another builder Ahuja (Om Puri).

Frustrated by the rampant corruption, Sudhir and Vinod decide to end their tie-up with Khabardaar publications and handover the photographs to Miss Shobha Sen. A photography contest is announced , with a reward of 5000 rs ( 35 years ago, 5 grand was a big amount !!). They shoot pictures all over the city. While developing the image of one of the pictures which they had shot in a park, they see an image of a man shooting someone. Upon enlarging the image, they are shocked to see that it is none other than Taneja. They go back to the park, and to their shock, they see a dead body. They also find a cuff -link. Director Kundan Shah and the actors of the movie take it to an altogether different level, post this turn of events. Every minute is hilarious, due to a comedy of errors. There is no error in acting though. Each of the characters fit the bill perfectly. In the climax, the last 15 to 20 minutes, all the finest theatre artistes of Indian cinema, converge and deliver one of the all-time great satirical comedies in Bollywood history. Full marks to the writers of this movie, Sudhir Mishra and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. These two names are still relevant in Bollywood and this movie is proof that they are no fluke.

It is sad that the underlying theme of the movie, a corrupt Indian bureaucracy hand-in-glove with the builder mafia, still holds true despite 36 years of the movie.

This movie is a show case of some of the most amazing talents of Hindi cinema – a true ensemble Ocean’s 11 (Naseer, Ravi, Satish ( Shah & Kaushik) , Pankaj, Neena and Om Puri). None of the actors over-act in this movie. In such a star-studded acting masterclass, it is difficult to pick one stand-out performance. Bhakti Bharwe as the scoopy editor plays an effortless role, but we haven’t seen much of her post this movie. Same goes with Ravi Baswani. Nasseruddin Shah shows why he continues to be one of India’s finest actors. So do Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Satish Kaushik and Neena Gupta.

However, amidst this galaxy of acting powerhouses, one performer who stands out is Satish Shah. He’s the life of this movie. He turns out to be the hidden gem. While he’s neither the hero nor the villain in this movie, his character is the best – it has all shades, black, white and grey. There’s also a colorless shade to him, which is revealed in the second half.

Friends – if purely on laughter quotient, if I must rate this movie, I would rate it a 11 on 10. However, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is much more than just a comedy. It is a class apart on various fronts – method acting, engaging screenplay, satire, dark comedy, cinematography, flawless direction. The movie can be watched by anyone anytime. If you are stressed out due to your job, or a breakup, or a failure, this is THE movie to watch. If you are happy and want to celebrate happiness, this is THE movie to watch. Go watch it if you haven’t.

I hope Indian cinema continues to evolve like the way it has and we continue to produce some inspirational, light-hearted comedies which can be watched by everyone in the family. In today’s age of VFX, sleaze, item numbers, romancing in Swiss-land, jingoism , this movie continues to hold its own relevance.

Go watch this movie and if you disagree with my views , then I only have the following words to say

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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron 😊

Jai Hind