Summer Special : A Nostalgic Look at Chamatkar


A couple of days ago I had a chance to revisit this film on some TV channel, and I sat through it again, as I used to way way back (in a city far far away). I chuckled at the plot, which is riddled with more holes than James Caan's body in Godfather, but I loved the simplicity of it all. This was a movie with a targeted audience of mostly kids, and I for one used to ask my father to rent it every summer, so that my brother and I could have repeated views of it (especially the cricket match in the end...but I am getting ahead of myself).

You know it's a film for Kids when the Opening sequence is a delightfully horrible cartoom

That's an Eagle carrying Naseeruddin Shah, the movie was produced by 'Eagle Films', Deep.

And how do you know that he is Naseeruddin Shah

He got Top Billing for this movie, as he should for every movie of his

Then the artist does an exact impression of young SRK

And the animation continues to introduce the rest of the cast

You know he is the villain because of the Smokin' Gun

This was a movie released at a time when Shahrukh Khan was yet to find his facial expression/feet in Hindi films, and thus he took risks by not being called Rahul/Raj/Rahul Raj and instead was named 'Sunder Srivastava'

Also, he looked like this

He starred in this movie as a Sports coach, around a decade and half before Chak De India came, and in the movie he comes out as the most improbable sports coach in the history of films. The story goes that he is a young 'village fellow' (bollywood stock character of a UP waale bhaiya a.k.a. Simpleton) who gets duped for all his money by a clever friend, when he comes to Mumbai, and his trip results in a very unlike-kid-film song

Back then I did not realize the implication of the 'lady in frock's fear of a 'Bichhu' that will bite her. For me it was a fun song sung on a fun train.

Anyway, lost and alone in the city, (remember he gets duped and all his luggage gets stolen) he takes refuge in a Christian cemetery, cause what better place to spend the night than the most susceptible in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse. And there he meets a ghost (what else should he expect)

Marco - Winning The Best Dressed Ghost Award 20 Years in a Row
of a man called Amar Kumar a.k.a Marco (Amar Kumar - Mar Ku, get it?) who perhaps got his name from the film-makers because it gave him a true Mafia film. In a true Bankelal-esque twist, Marco escapes from his grave only because Sunder Srivastava can hear him, and thus Sunder becomes the only one who can see him too. Marco promptly beats up several goons who for some other god forsaken reason are hiding in the cemetery, and proves that he is a 'good ghost' by telling Sunder that he knows what he wants (opening a school in his village) and that he will help him towards his goal.

He proceeds to tell him about his life in crime, how he was one of the worst men possible, a true criminal etc, until he met a woman (named in a nice filmy fashion) Saavitri. The woman urges him to change his ways, which does not bode well with his minion 'Kunta' (Tinu Anand). Marco decides to go completely straight post his wedding night, with visions of turning his evil empire into something worthwhile until Kunta ices him.

But then he has had a talk with God,

Why God! Why!

arguing that why was he killed on the day he chose to go straight, and why not before when he was evil incarnate. He further challenges God that if he allows things like this to happen, then soon he will lose all relevance.

But God too has a sense of revenge (along with a sense of humour) so he makes certain convenient rules for Marco

1. He can only be seen and heard by one person
2. He cannot make his presence felt
3. He cannot kill Kunta
4. He can however, use his powers to help a Weak person

What follows is a Ghost-Superhero film, with a crude plot and crude special effects along with pure entertainment. Marco the ghost cannot touch Kunta, and Shammi Kapoor (his Father-in-law), but nothing prevents him from driving a car, firing guns, and beating up bad guys while accompanying Sunder Srivastava (whom he helps find a job as a Sports coach).

Along with a barely-there romance between Urmila Mantodkar (who is in fact Marco's daughter), plus the revenging upon Kunta done by Marco, and of course there is the classic cricket match at the end of it

Chamatkar was/is truly Naseer bhai's film, he has often said in interviews that he does not like to play roles which require him to Ham it out, but I suspect that he secretly enjoys playing such characters (that is why he played the villain in Krrish with glee).

Shahrukh Khan seems quite content (and perhaps in that period of his career to be in awe) to play second fiddle to Naseer bhai. He plays the naive, impressionable Sunder well, it was one of his two endearing roles in the beginning, and it feels good to watch him such, just to tell yourself that the Shahrukh Khan of today is a different man altogether.

This movie too is available on Youtube, and if like me you loved it as a kid, why not have a 'dekho' just to relive your childhood for a couple of hours again!

PS - Ashutosh Gowarikar, Guddi Maruti and Gavin Peckard played Sub-level villains in this film

On a sad note, Gavin Packard died recently in relative obscurity. RIP.

Anurag Kashyap's First Movie - Last Train To Mahakali


You were so confused about his first movie (weren't you?). Gulal, Paanch, Black Friday ? (For some it was Dev D as they could  not reach torrents). I am not going to confuse you even more. 

Today we present you "Last Train To Mahakali" - Anurag Kashyap's first movie as a director (short film to be precise) and Kay Kay's second movie. You might like to call it his first movie where he played the lead and was recognized too. His first movie was Naseem which becomes special for being the only screen role of great Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi

Last Train To Mahakali also stars Nivedita Bhattacharya (who is Kay Kay's wife). 

Kay Kay and Nivedita
Year 1999 was a special year for Kashyap as he won the Best Screenplay award for Satya at the Star Screen Awards and this movie was also released, for which he later won the Special Jury Award at the same award function. 

I would not say that the movie is too-brilliant and wonderful but it is surely a 'nicy-nice' movie, and if you consider the fact that it was shot in 4 days with a budget of just 2 Lakhs and it brought the nice league of Anurag Kashyap, K.K.Menon as well as Nivedita into limelight, you must go for it. 

While I was researching about the movie, I came across this very old interview of Anurag about this movie and I am copy pasting a part of it, hoping that you would love it - 


"मेरी शुरूआत हुई 'लास्ट ट्रेन टू महाकाली' से। 'लास्ट ट्रेन टू महाकाली' मैंने निराशा में बनायी। गुस्सा भी था कि यार मुझे कोई बनाने नहीं दे रहा है। एक बात मुझे समझ में आ गई थी कि यहां का जो निर्माता है, जो पैसे वाला आदमी है, जो पूंजीवादी है, उसको लगता है कि निर्देशक का काम है कैमरा लगाना। बाकी कोई इसका काम नहीं है। तो मैंने इसी चीज के लिए तय किया कि मैं कैमरा लगा कर दिखाऊंगा। मेरे पास कोई ज्ञान नहीं था। उस समय सबसे बड़ी मदद मिली स्टार बेस्ट सेलर से। स्टार टीवी पर तब यह सीरिज चल रहा था। उस समय मेरा भाई अभिनव 'डर' नाम का सीरियल बना रहा था। उसमें उसने मेरे नाम का इस्तेमाल किया था। जब उसने मेरा नाम का इस्तेमाल किया तो मुझे पता चला कि कुछ तो है स्टैंडिंग है मेरी। मैंने कहा था भाई से कि क्या जरूरत है? भाई ने बोला कि नहीं अपना नाम दे दो तो सीरियल हो जाएगा। मैंने बोला कि अच्छा… उसने बताया कि बदले में पैसे मिलेंगे। कितने चाहिए? मैंने बड़े जोश मे आकर दस हजार रुपए मांग लिए। उन्होंने बड़ी आसानी से दे दिए। जब सीरियल चालू हुआ तो उन्होंने सीरियल का प्रोमोशन चालू किया । 'सत्या', 'शूल' और 'कौन' के लेखक का सीरियल… मुझे बहुत तकलीफ होती थी। मैं भाई को डांटता था कि तुम मेरा नाम ऐसे क्यों डाल रहे हो। मेरा भाई बोलता था कि आपके अंदर कांफीडेंस नहीं है। मैंने खुद फोन कर-कर के स्टार बेस्ट सेलर को बोला कि मेरा नाम हटाओ। लेकिन उस प्रक्रिया में मुझे रियलाइज हुआ कि मैं कुछ हूं। सब हमको बोले तुम बेवकूफ है। तेरे नाम पर प्रोमोट हो रही है चीज। तू मना क्यों कर रहा है? मैंने बोला कि शर्म आती है। उन्होंने बोला कि चूतिया आदमी है। इससे तुम्हें मालूम है कि तुम्हारी कितनी स्टैंडिंग है। मैंने कहा अच्छा। उन्होंने समझाया कि तुम जाओ स्टार प्लस । तुम जो बोलेगे, वे करने के लिए दे देंगे। मैंने कहा अच्छा। उन्हें जाकर मैंने एक कहानी सुनाई। उन्होंने तुरंत स्वीकृत कर दिया। बिना जाने और देखे कि डायरेक्टर के तौर पर मेरे अंदर क्या संभावनाएं हैं? मैंने लिखी है तीन फिल्में। तब मुझे लगा यार किया जा सकता है। फिर मेरे समझ में आने लगा कि पूरा ध्यान लगा के कुछ किया जाए। इसमें कैमरा लगा के दिखाया। नटी का काम मुझे बहुत अच्छा लगा था। उसने 'अब के सावन झूम के बरसो… धूम पिचक वीडियो मैंने देखा। नटी से मेरी बात हुई दिल्ली में। नटी 'सत्या' का फैन था। नटी मुंबई आ गया। मैंने कहा करते हैं कुछ, लेकिन शूटिंग के एक दिन पहले मेरी जान निकल गई। मैंने कहा करूंगा कैसे? मैंने आज तक किया नहीं। मैंने शिवम को रात के बारह बजे फोन किया। मैंने कहा सर कल शूटिंग है। उन्होंने बोला कि हां कर। शिवम ने कहा कि पागल है, तेरा दिमाग खराब है। जो तुम ने तय किया वही जाकर कर। उन्होंने मुझे रात भर समझाया, जा कर, डर मत। तुमने हाथ डाल दिया। अगले दिन सेट पर गया तो, सुबह-सुबह शिवम ने कहा कि मैं भी आता हूं। मैं वेट कर रहा हूं कि शिवम कब आएंगे। नौ बजे का शिफ्ट था। राजेश टिबरीवाल मेरा दोस्त मेरे साथ था। डॉक्टर चंद्रप्रकाश द्विवेदी के सहयोगी यशवंत शेखावत मेरे साथ थे। यशवंत मेरे को बोल रहा है कि ऐसे करते हैं। राजेश ने भी एक सीरियल बनाया हुआ था। उसने भी कहा कि ऐसे करते हैं। मैं कंफ्यूज… मैं उन दोनों की तरह से नहीं सोच रहा था। फिर नटी ने पूछा कि करना क्या है। मैंने कहा,नटी सीन तो ये है। अब इसको कैसे करना है। मैंने बोला कि मैं इतना बता देता हूं कि कौन कहां बैठा है और क्या कर रहा है। मैंने सीन स्टेज करना चालू किया। नटी ने कहा कहां से शुरू करेंगे। पहला सीन था लडक़ी से बात हो रही है। उसको लेकर आया जा रहा है। मैंने कहा इसको लेकर आते हैं। मैंने कहा कि नटी ऐसा नहीं हो सकता है कि यहां से ये भी दिखे और वो भी दिखे। नटी ने कहा क्यों नहीं हो सकता है। तो नटी ने कैमरा लगाया। फिर धीरे-धीरे जो मेरा पहला सीन था… उसे शूट करने में मैंने फिगर आउट किया अपने-आप। पहला सीन करने में मुझे साढ़ सात घंटे लगे। उस समय मैंने फिगर आउट किया कि फिल्म बनाने का कोई मेथड नहीं है । जो मेथड है, वो आपका मेथड है। आप जैसे फिल्म को अपने दिमाग में देख रहे हो, वैसे ही बना दो। मेरा यह था कि मैं अपने-आप को एक्सप्रेस कर पाता हूं। मेरा विजुअल माइंड है। मैं विजुअली देखता हूं इन चीजों को। उसको आप कैसे एक्सप्रेस कर पाते हो अपनी टीम को।"

(this excerpt is copied from Chavanni Chap)

Here is the YouTube link, go for it - 

On Why Raag Darbari Should Be Translated To Film (And Why it won't be)


If you have not yet read Srilal Shukl's masterpiece, then I congratulate you, because you still have the option of reading one of the funniest books in Hindi (or in any language for that matter) of all time. In fact, it is easily available in English too on all major online book-sellers, and if bought at a Hindi book-store, it comes cheaper than any of the New Indian Fiction novels (while being a million times better than all of them put together).

Set in the fictional village of Shivpal Ganj and told mostly through the eyes of Ranganath, an MA student who is a sheheri and visits the village on vacation, the book is full of dark-humour as it exposes corruption in small societies and the evil side of basic human nature (while managing to make you laugh in every other line), it has often been compared to Catch-22, but I rate this book better, it is both funnier and bleaker.

And the Reasons that you should take the pains to read it almost coincide with the reasons that it would make an excellent film.


The main theme of the book is Village Politics, which is not concentrated only in the village Panchayat, but extends itself to the Village School, the village Government offices, and in fact encompasses the whole of the village. Srilal Shukl used this micro-view of things to comment on the Red Tapism, the corruption, the sycophancy and the in-general attitude of our nation as a whole.

And the treatment of the subject of the book makes it Timeless. It was written in the 60s, but if you read it even today, you will realize that nothing has changed whatsoever. Consider this, there is a 'Vaidya Ji' who holds no Government post, is not the Pradhaan, nor the Sarpanch, but is still the de-facto Head of the village, as he wields his proxy through a puppet front-man (sounds familiar?). The power is enforced by Dabangai of the local Pahalwans, the Principal of the college does not do his basic duty of providing education and is just another stooge of the Vaidya, the Educated man looks on as an outsider while the working class is literally crippled (represented here by a man known as 'Langad').

Yes, we agree, nothing has changed in the 50 years or so since the book was published. In fact we are inching ever closer to the dystopia portrayed here. The subject matter of this novel is literally age-less and thus the time is always ripe for a movie to be made on Raag Darbari.

The Need of Good Humour

Which was the last Good comedy film that you saw? And if you say the Housefull series by the many Sajids (directed by Sajid Khan, produced by Sajid Nadiadwala, Music by Sajid-Wajid) or the Rohit Shetty brand of movies, then please don't bother reading further.

It has been quite some time that a REAL comedy film has been made in India, some have come close in bits and pieces recently, but the lot of comedy movies has suffered in the past decade (except if you count Ra.One, that was one Hilarious attempt at movie making). As mentioned earlier, Raag Darbari is Too Damn Funny, and in a nation griping with ever-rising prices, higher costs of living, tougher jobs, madder rushes for everything, it would be good to have something genuinely funny to watch once in a while.

The only movies that reflect a bit of Raag Darbari in them off late have been Welcome to Sajjanpur and Peepli (Live), and although they were good films, they still had a lot of potential of being better. A movie on Raag Darbari (helmed by someone who has read the book a minimum of 20 times) would be more hard-hitting and would still have people rolling in the aisles.

Yet, 'Bollywood' would have enough reasons of not making a film out of this source material, the two of which chiefly would be

The Rustic Setting

Welcome To Sajjanpur was a successful film, but it did not exactly make even half the kind of money that a Salman Khan no-brainer these days makes. Perhaps the reason behind this is that the 'Urban Audience' (I have often wondered who they are, but they seem to have a huge say in everything) has had a change of taste. It would not like to watch a film based in a small village, although serials with a Rural setting are becoming increasingly popular on TV (which makes you wonder if it would be a better deal to serialize Raag Darbari).

Lagaan was a hit, in fact it might as well be the last 'village' film to attain the kind of success that it did, but Lagaan had the power (and marketing genius) of Aamir Khan behind it. The same director tried another village story with another Khan, and the movie flopped (although the fact that it was the slowest movie ever made in the world might have had something to do with it).

The audience of today might not like to watch the problems of a small village on screen (even if you include an item song by Katrina Kaif) and this is perhaps one of the reasons that no producer would touch the subject with a pole. What this book needs is the backing of someone like Ronnie Screwala and the understanding of Raju Hirani.

The Narrative Humour

One of the main problems that Catch-22 the film faced while measuring up to its book is that much of the humour was in the narration by the author, and Overhead narration is something that cannot be used continuously in a film, it would lose much of its humour and the charm.

Like Catch-22, Raag Darbari too depends a lot on the twist of the phrase by Srilal Shukl, it has witty dialogues (in fact all its dialogues are witty) but it's the narration that binds them together that provides the basis for the dark humour in this book. And translating it to a screen-play would be a very very exacting job.

Movies based on books (and even Hindi books) have been around from almost the time that the Indian film industry started, although this particular novel has been over looked (in part due to the reasons above), but it remains our wish that a true fan of Srilal Shukl ji's slim powerhouse novel comes forward and makes a great film out of it. We promise to be first in line to buy advance tickets for it.

PS : For Fans of Raag Darbari, here's a wish list of Actors who should Play Characters in the book 

Vaidya Ji

Well...every film should have him, shouldn't it

Ruppan Babu

This get-up is already perfect for the role

Badri Pahelwan

He can act well and is exactly a 'Pahelwan'

Chhote Pahelwan


Has the ability of playing the Sycophant well

Principal Sa'ab

Vinay Pathak hasn't often played a dark character, it would be interesting to see him in one


OR, Ayesh Takia, if you know what I mean

and Ranganath

Well..Why not...

5 Great Gangster Bosses in Hindi Films


There was a time when it was pre-requisite for the gangster of a Hindi film to have a huge mansion, with sliding doors, strobe lights, lava pits and dancing girls (along with the well stocked bar full of VAT 69 Bottles). However, with the advent of that strange thing called 'Realism' in Hindi Cinema, the size of these huge halls of pain+pleasure reduced, and we got people living in Joint Families in bungalows or in Chawls, not entirely as impressive. Yet, overall the lot of Gangsters in Indian cinema has been memorable, and we present to you the first edition on our series on Hindi Filmy Mafia by giving you a list of 5 Great Gangster Bosses in the hindi film industry, with a promise of more to follow in a later article (Note : This list would not include Terrorists/Super-Villains)

5. Bhiku Mhatre (Satya)

As a character, Bhiku Mhatre broke several conventions, one of them being that the Boss of a gang should be an Old man, and another being that no matter how uncouth or unkempt the goons of the gang are, the boss should remain in style.

You see, in more ways than one, Bhiku Mhatre was a path breaker. He heralded the realistic 'Don', one who did not roam around in Tuxedo (like the Italian Mafia), but rather, lived in claustrophobia inducing surroundings (as is the norm in Mumbai), and went around his business without much of a show-sha or an entourage.

A self-proclaimed 'Mumbai Ka King', he did not believe in sending a Shetty types to do his dirty work, and in what might be Manoj Bajpai's best performance till date, he managed to over-shadow the eponymous lead character of the film

Chakrabarty...Who? Close The Door When You Leave Please

Bhiku Mhatre did for the Indian Filmy Gangster what Charlie and Johnny Boy had done for the Hollywood versions in the 70s. He was the frontrunner (and still the best character) in a slew of 'Gritty' gang war movies that have since hit Filmistan.

4. Jahangir Khan (Angaar)

Kader Khan (apart from being Yamraj) has played characters on the other side of the law a lot of times before he sold his soul to David Dhawan and became largely avuncular. He usually played type-casted menacing gangsters who relied on guns and henchmen to take care of the Hero, but one of his different roles is in the 1992 film Angaar, where he played a Gangster with Principles.

Here's Kader Khan getting the better off Nana Patekar, something a lot of people have not been able to do off screen or on screen

The film was based loosely (read : largely) on the lives of Haji Mastan and Kareem Lala, with Jahangir Khan being a representation of the former. He was intense, strict and a man of Usool and Adarsh, who had his own definition of what is right, and did not let others cross a line. But he wasn't the stock 'Good Gangster' character, watch how he slowly loses his cool in this conversation

And yet, he is a man of reason. He takes up the cause of the down trodden, and is not vary of threatening his own

Kader Khan was involved in the character development of Jahangir Khan in two ways, both as an actor and the dialogue writer. Sadly, no other film had him playing another role of this depth and intensity ever.

3. Don (Don)

Although he had much less screen time than it is usual for memorable Gangster bosses (I am talking about the awesome/original version of this movie), the fact that it was played by  a 'Hero' of the time, and the ruthlessness with which he carried himself left quite an impact.

Not to mention his fetish for Bow-ties
Amitabh Bachchan had played a villainous character before in the film Parwana, and he successfully portrayed the anti-hero archetype in Deewar, but for the initial part of this film he glorifies Villain-ry through and through.

And he plays the villain with ishtyle. He has sexy chicks, a well stocked bar, strange decor on the walls, sliding doors, the works. And this was a gangster who literally bossed around people twice his age (and size too), exuding real power. Besides, when he spoke the dialogue 'Mujhe Jungli Billiyan Pasand Hain' you could feel the menace coming across, Shah Rukh Khan was no match for this.

And of-course, he had a way with the ladies

Although later in the movie it is revealed that he is kind of a sub-boss (explaining why he had to do much of his dirty work himself), but then, he was one of the few people who were actually living up to the expectation of their name. (It is never revealed in the original film whether Don is his name, a title, a nick-name, or a shortened version of Donald).

If this movie had been about Italian Mafia, he would have been Don Don.

2. Arjun Singh (Jewel Thief)

Spoiler Alert : For the few people who are alive and have not seen this cult-classic, ASHOK KUMAR IS THE VILLAIN IN THIS FILM (OH EM GEE YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT?)

'What? You mean to say that there ARE people alive who have not seen Jewel Thief?'

But seriously though, Arjun Singh (Ashok Kumar) was one helluva Gangster Boss. Firstly, he is a model-boss for any organization, because he extracts the maximum that he can from all his (so as to say) employees. Every one of them is an important tool in his scheme, and he keeps them happy too, with a seemingly unlimited supply of alcohol and cigarettes, and has given them a huge game room to play cards and billiard in a scenic town.

Secondly, he devised a whole movie worth of scheme, which was so damn ingenious that it ran a risk of frequently tripping over itself (without ever doing so), you see every character in the film (who are all basically under his employment) works on the direction of Arjun Singh with a complex and sinister goal of making the hero go crazy slowly.

Even the 'Heroin' of the film is complicit in his plans
And finally, even though he is a big leader of an organization which can easily be named 'Thugs R Us', he performs all his misdeeds without spilling blood. He is not a killer, he is a brilliant schemer, and he shows that he does not need violence (although weird science may be required from time to time) to attain his ends.

In fact, even when he and his whole gang gets caught in the end, he hardly bats an eyelid, and suggests that they should pass the time by telling each other stories and songs, because he knows that he is brilliant, and getting caught by cops would only be a small hindrance in his operations.

1. Lion (Kalicharan)

Saara Sheher Mujhe 'Loin' Ke Naam Se Jaanta hai
Lion (minus the unfortunate pronunciation) has got to be The Most Memorable Gangster Boss in the history of Indian cinema. His trademark dialogue delivery, his huge 'Gangster-Headquarter', the vardi waale goonde' in his gang, Mona, Sona, and a lot more things became a blue-print for future filmy gangsters to emulate.

Ajit had played the suave villain character before, once even with ill-fitting shoes, but it was THIS role that has got him an enduring (and overly parodied) legacy. There are typical jokes popular as 'Ajit Jokes', in fact even his son didn't flinch while cashing in on this

I wish all sons could make money off their father's legacy this way
But before the jokes, before the comedy was the Master Criminal 'Din Dayal', who to a large extent got away with the murder of the hero (only to be foiled by a duplicate, this has been a regular bane for Hindi Film villains), and he commanded his gang with great authority.

And of course, off screen he made the life of a generation of men named Robert and women named Mona hell. Which other Gangster Boss has been able to break the fourth-wall thus!

Passing Mention

A Gangster Boss who did not get to show a lot of gangster-giri in the film, but needs mention here because of the way he caricatures an entire era of filmy villains is the Sentimental Don Anthony Gomez from Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

Goga Kapoor, Rest In Peace,
PS : If you liked reading about these gangsters, do check the other end of the spectrum in our article on Filmy Policemen

Disco Dance and Bollywood


As mentioned in the article about Ramsays, the post-liberal generation of the 90s missed out on a whole plethora of Bollywood in the 80s and Bappi Da was one such hysteria. Looked down upon with disdain by culturally elite and misunderstood by the common man, Disco Dance was the kind of stuff that caught up instantly with the crowd but was always going to find it hard to match the boring antics of the early 80s and so the movies based upon D.I.S.C.O found instant place in 'so trashy that its good' genre

India me 'Paap' kaun laya? me laya!!!

Biddu might have something to add to what Bappi Da believes as introduction of Pop music to India. In India, Pop music was interchangeably used with Disco and its roots go ages back to times when Bhagwan Dada was laying down seeds by slowly shaking his bum in 'Shola jo bhadke'. But the real kick was given when Presley inspired Shammi Kapoor started doing violent movements in his songs, inspiring a whole generation of Indian males who never knew that they were supposed to dance except for 'shaadi-baarat' and Bhangra. And enter the 80s, Usha Utthup, Nazia Hasan, Bappi Da, Biddu, Mithun and poor economy. All collaborated to form an explosive solution - Disco Dance - and the first of this pack was this song from movie Armaan - Rambha Ho Rambha ho (For DD1 lovers, in the legendary serial Aankhein by Ramanad Sagar, this is the song that always plays in Carlos and Kangaroo's hideout)

                            Seedhe utha hua hai 'Que Sera Mi Vida (If You Should Go)" by The Gibson Brothers' se

So this era of Disco Dance was so pure and direct that it made people believe that the Disco of the west was somehow inspired by us (In one of the possible explanations, the westerners use time machine to go into the future, check Bollywood music and then again go back and replicate it in their own age, saves shit loads of plagiarism issues you see). The era also featured some gems before the real onslaught was started by Prabhuji, born Mithun Chakraborty. And Nazia Hasan and Usha Utthup were the ones to hit the deck off and running.

It was an awesomeness personified song while we were kids and we had our own version of the song addressing our old school principal - Hari om hari, budhiya mari!!

In all certainty, 1982 was the year of Disco in Bollywood. And its not just because Mithun Da took birth that year in the industry but also because outside India ABBA and Buggles had starting creating music that made people shake their hips. Even Paul Stanely and co. couldn't resist that and became disco-disco. That year in India will be remembered for some of the best musical tracks ever created. We always talk about how influential 1949, 1952 and 1991 were for Bollywood music but we overlook the fact that 1982 had all the ingredients that the music industry was missing. The year was iconic in bringing out 5 legendary disco songs. All of them are listed below

P.S. stop staring at Reena Roy's outfit in Disco Station - Its cool somehow

Disco Deewane by Nazia Hasan

Disco 82 from Khuddar

Disco Station from Hathkadi

Jaan-e-jaan ... Nisha from Sanam Teri Kasam

                                                              and of course the legendary

Koi yahan naache naache, koi wahan naache naache, aaoowa aaoowa!!! Shakti Kapoor got his inspiration of saying aaaoooo from this song

A lot of people will be amazed by the inclusion of 'koi yahan naache naache' and exclusion of 'I am a disco dancer' and I blame you not, because 'I am a Disco Dancer' was an epic, is an epic and is way beyond inclusion in stupid lists, no matter who has made the list (including myself). So it was the genius of Bappi Da coupled with an immoderate brilliance of mister Babbar Subhash (Kareebi log unhe Bee Subhash bulate hain because his movie songs were so much like Bee Gees  - Stayin' Alive) that came up with the epic 'Disco Dancer'. So Mr. Subhash with his first name being B, introduced a whole new generation of tricks in his movies starting from pronouncing dance, commonly pronounced by Indians as ‘daaance’. He introduced a suitably western, ‘dance’, said, ‘daence. And the name of the lead character suitably chosen as Jimmy (who knew that almost 25 years later, Mimoh will make his dad prouder than ever, using the same name)

So the movie has everything, an electric guitar producing electric current and killing Jimmy's maa but 'poori picture ka saar bas is ek gaane me hai'

The more you talk about this song, its lyrics, the video, the choreography, the costumes, everything is perfect. It has multi layered meaning that can send Alan Moore on a stroll. The song starts with girls shouting Jimmy's name and fainting. Side characters using guitars as gun (Hello Johnny B. Goode), prabhiju walking the stage in a costume that can blind you,(Bruce Springsteen, Gene Simmons, Presley, all combined in one) and then the real game begins

Say D. D  (Chorus)!!!
Say I. I (Chorus)!!!
Say S. S (Chorus)!!!

I am a disco dancer. Just dissolve into the ride and enjoy the trip. This is the song for the stoners, the philosophers and the intellectuals of the society

And lightning did strike twice when 4 years later, the same trio of Prabhuji, BappiDa and Subhash came up with Dance Dance in 1987. And it indeed was a resurrection, a divine experience. Copied frame by frame from its Disco Dancer itself, the movies merge into a single wholesomeness.

The movie had one cult song which is played without fail in all the marriages in India

Another gem in the movie was the song 'aa gaya aa gaya, halwa wala aa gaya'. I am still bedazzled by the intricacies of the the song. No matter how much be written about Disco Dancer and Dance Dance, it will always fall short of the praise they deserve in establishing Disco Dance as a selling genre in Bollywood. Although people tried different variations of Disco in India but all of them had to fall back as they were not good enough. Some such mistakes include 'Disco Bhangra' by Amitabh Bachhan and 'Disco Dandia' by Govinda, but non of them matched the originality of Prabhuji.

The impact of Disco Dancer was immense, so much so that it has inspired a book. Anuvab Pal, who has authored four plays and two films – Loins Of Punjab Presents and The President Is Coming – has written a book titled ‘Disco Dancer'. The author explain how the movie became a global phenomenon and the influence it had across the planet. ‘In Russia, there are statues for Jimmy and some acquaintances in Kazakhstan told me that when Mithun Chakraborty went to Almaty, the capital, the president’s address to the nation was cancelled because a million-strong crowd was busy welcoming Mithun at the airport'

Still Disco had more to offer and not everything was a phenomenon, there were disasters and the below mentioned song from Inquilab was one such instance
Amitabh Bachhan, OMG, Shakti Kapoor ZOMG, the song 'Disco 84' ZOMGWTF

बालीभुड के राकर जनावर - The Animal Farm


We have had bad characters, bad actors, directors, story writers etc in our long history, but what our nice film industry has never lacked is Animals who have risen to the occasion whenever demanded of them. These good actors (and often good characters) are more memorable than the combined efforts of Deepak Tijori and Aditya Pancholi, and so today (not) being Environment Day, we present an article on our favourite animals of Filmistan.

Kuttey (Main Tera...) -  

Oh Bwoy !! I was touched 

There are two types of Kuttey in Bollywood, ek jinka khoon dhararm paji pi gae, aur doosre jinka khoon unhe pasand nahi aaya. We'll not talk about 276 (more or less) Dharam Paji movies (where they acted as side-side actors, just to get cursed in every alternate line), rather, we shall talk about other notable movies where they acted as notable side actors.

Bollywood has always been obsessed with Pomeranian dogs. I could never understand "WHY"!! I mean, they were good for nothing, this breed is not even shameless and courageous enough to pee over BMW/Mercedes rear-wheels, they only bark and that too in Annu Malik's voice

Anyway, they have been Tinsel Town's favourite. I liked Mr. Tuffy (I didn't know how to spell,no school records were found) in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. He was an umpire, a playboy in Ray-Bans and the most intelligent trouble-shooter in the entire Joint-Family (or let say Mohalla). The way he sorted Madhuri-Mohnish_Behl-Sentiyaap was brilliant and since then I always wanted to find one such multi talented dog. 

But then I found Moti (Mr. Brownie) when I saw Teri Meherbaniyan (1985) and the poor chap made me cry a lot. I felt so bad (not because Jackie dies, but because Brownie cries like hell) that I did not eat for a day. It was something that could make you a Nihilist and/or an Atheist. (Ehh....Jada ho gaya kya?)

Jokes apart. The movie was wonderful. And another movie to match Moti's performance was the dog's role in Maa (1992), performed by the same legendary Brownie the Dog (Dobby in this movie). After Mamta (Jaya Prada) dies, he takes complete care of her new born kid. he even talks to her ghost, saves the little boys life by taking him away from burning in "ultra-violet sun rays" and then rubs Burnols on his body.

(Touched? ...Ladies - "Aww...chho cute")

Kabootar (Atariya pe 'Lotan' wale) - Well, they were everywhere. Jango from 'Roop Ki Rani - Choron Ka Raja' (1993) was my favourite. Though this multi-crore movie, directed by Satish Kaushik was an epic fail but Boney Kapoor (Mr. Producer) ek khate pite ghar se talluq rakhte hain. Jango saved Romeo and Seema in the climax but he could not save poor Satish Kaushik - 

(Seema meri aankhon me dekho...I am scared..Buhuhu...Yes Romeo, I ll see your face only because you have hair everywhere else...Hihihi.....)

Jango must be a boy-pigeon, though I am not sure. But I can bet and I am pretty sure that this kabootar from Sooraj R. Barjatya's Maine Pyar Kia (1989) was a girl. She was also multi talented, she could deliver P-Mails (pigeon mails were launched way before Google mails) and she could convey to the hero that your darling is having an epic orgasm in her room, alone, so you must come and take care of her. 

(Ja meri saheli...ja usko kah de ki main mandir me apna qatil dance step karke uska intazar karungi)

Not to mention that they were everywhere. When there was just one, it was a sign of Love, Cupid, Puberty and Orgy and when they were plenty, they were a sign of chaos. Remember Vidhu Vinod Chopra's award winning film, Parinda (1989)? Movie's most thrilling scene was when Anupam Kher is shot by a handful of hit men and hundreds of pigeons as well as Anil Kapoor (his best friend in the film) are horrified to death. 

Other notable Kabootar movies/sequences are Gutar-Gutar (Dalaal), Masakali (Delhi 6) and Kabootari Bole Kabootar Se (Suraj) many more. For the time being, enjoy this - 

(Lady I know what does 'Kabootar' mean... Manne chhoto na samjhyo...I have read Mastram)

Haathi (Mere Sathi) - Of course the first name which comes to your mind would be Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) which was a children’s favourite in 70s. Kaka (Rajesh Khanna) was the biggest star of that period, and Haathi Mere Saathi made him children’s favourite too (he was already famous with Ladies and ‘Havells Fans).

Orphaned Raju, in this movie, is raised with elephants, performs with them at streets, in order to keep his living. Haathis of this movie had an IQ level of Rajnikant. They could sense that Raju broke up with her wife because of them, so they make a master-plan to handcuff them together for always.

The movie (and this particular sequence) could make you cry as much as Teri Meherbaniyan did -

"Nafrat ki duniya ko chhod ke
Pyar ki duniya mein, khush rehna mere yaar
Is jhooth ki nagri se tod ke Naata ja mere pya,r,
Amar rahe tera pyar Khush rehna mere yaar
Jab jaanwar koi insaan ko maare 
Kehte hain duniya mein wehshi use saare 
Ek jaanwar ki jaan aaj insaano ne li hai, 
Chup kyun hai sansaar
Khush rehna mere yaar"

After this movie, Maa was another film where our loving haathi had a cameo (and our kutta, and our saanpu). Later, Hemant Birje starrer Tarzan had elephants as a part of the narrative but not as the main characters. (But who would watch the movie for the haathi, watch it if you are feeling a little 'itchy') - 

 (Notice the hard on Tarzan gets at 4:44)
India me Rawk kaun laya ? Me (Bappi) Laya

Bandar (Bade Kaam Ka) - Before I say anything, watch this song, and meet the two 'bade kaam k bandars' (Ehhh...Sorry, I somehow counted Chunky Pandey too) - 

I love this song for Bappi Lahri, Mohammad Ajij and of course the Bandar. He could understand whatever Kader Khan or Govinda said. He could also console Kader Khan when he was so frustrated with his kids (who won't be frustrated with Chunky?). It's in fact the monkey who is at the center of attraction here, and it is the simian's tricks that actually help these two losers earn some money.

Hindi films have been kind to monkeys (consider Tushar Kapoor), and thus have allowed them to drive cars (Ishq), give them second-billing along with Dogs, and let them be friends with Prabhu ji (Gunda), however, Monkey movies (not counting Delhi 6) have waned since, if you would ask us, we would say - Less of Tusshar Kapoor and more of Friendly monkeys on screen please.

Baaz (Bollywood- Where Eagles Dare etc) -  Amitabh Bachchan had a great affinity with Eagles. In fact, he has had these fine feathered creatures as his friends in two of his movies, Coolie and Ajooba. Also, in Coolie, the Eagle 'Alla Rakkha' gets a song dedicated entirely to him

And later, when The Big B's epic awesomeness was translated into the short-lived comic book series Supremo, Alla Rakkha followed him there, because he was that damn good

The only Rocker Bird in Bollywood to Be Immortalized Thus
And there is a reason that eagles in bollywood deserve more than faint praise, you see because unlike their mild mannered feathered friends (Read : Kabootars) who hog the limelight but are in fact glorified courier agents, the eagles are bad-ass Side kicks for the hero.

Consider this, you have a major villain that you wish to fight, who would you rather have with you - An Eagle with a mighty beak and kick-ass talons or a pigeon? I mean, what CAN a pigeon do, apart from dropping some shit from the skies? An eagle can enter the fight scene and cause some real damage. 

A Better Side Kick Than Rishi Kapoor Any Day
The regal name of Eagles was sullied when Dino Morea starred in a film called 'Baaz : A Bird in Danger', and since then these fine feathered actors have decided en masse not to grace hindi films anymore, sadly.

Ghoda/Ghodi (Horsing Around in Filmistan) -  There was a time, when every second movie (and every movie starring Vinod Khanna) was centered on the theme of Dacoits, and what our lovely film Industry would like you to believe that all the Beehad ke Baaghi log had huge stables, but how these stables were maintained and how they fed grass to their horses (considering they mostly lived in Rocky Terrain) is a question that is and shall be never answered.

Horses (as extras) feature in too many to count films, whether 'epic' tales, or 'Modern Cow-Boy Inspirations', the equestrian creatures were ubiquitous (even in films where the characters clearly had modern vehicles at their disposals) however, there have been several movies in which the horses have shown as prime members of the star cast, and we shall select two of them to illustrate our point.

Case 1 : Mard
Horse(s) Names : Bahadur and Badal

Every horse should have an awesome name, Like Betaal's was named Toofan, Dara Singh's Horse is Bahadur

Not Pictured but Honourably Mentioned - Badal
There was a time when regulations on the use of animals in films did not rob these gentle creatures of a honest day's pay. The horse(s) (I am not sure if the same Horse played the characters of Bahadur and Badal) perform more stunts than Amitabh Bachchan, have a high level of intelligence, as evidenced by their various acts in the film and in a movie title Mard, look as manly as Amrita Singh. It was a time when Horses could liberally jump over spikes and break through glass doors to enter swimming pools. Sadly, it's all CGI these days.

Case 2 : Sholay
Mare Name : Dhanno

This was a mare made out of fine material, she easily pulled the load of carrying Dharmendra AND Hema Malini (along with the slight weight of Amitabh Bachchan), and she had the additional hassle of having to listen to the constant chatter of Basanti

Dhanno wishes that her Ears and not her Eyes were covered
But she was one valiant girl, not only did she help in Hema ji earn her daily wages, she gave it her all when big moustached Dakus chased her (Chal Dhanno Teri Ijjat Ka Sawaal Hai). It is because of her iconic status in hindi films that all girls with names like Dhanlaxmi, Dhanashree (etc) are lovingly nicknamed Dhanno.

A couple of years back she re-incarnated in Human form and started working in films again, because you know, once an artist always an artist

Pictured : Dhanno Reborn as a human being

Saanp (Motherf*cking Snakes in Motherf*cking Movies) -  Not quite unlike horses, snakes TOO have been part of loads and loads of Bollywood films, possibly because they form such an integral part of our mythology as both Good and Evil beings (But then, more Good than Evil), this is represented in our modern mythos- Movies.

Again, to keep things simple(r), let us consider the two varieties of Mainstream snakes (not counting the hundreds and thousands of snakes who appeared as extras/guests), the Snake that is out to help the Hero and the Ichchadhari Snake, who is generally out for revenge. In fact, let us straight up give you a small (very small) glimpse of Filmistan's tryst with Snakes

And now, consider the case of The Good Snake, a.k.a The Snake in Doodh Ka Karz

One of the most awkward scenes in Cinema history
This was a movie in which a heroic snake shared equal screen space with Jaggu Dada, and his loyalty stemmed from the fact that Aruna Irani (there is no easy way to say this) Fed him with (there, I said it). And because of this act of bestiality, the snake remains indebted for life, helping the hero in qadam qadam, even frowning at him when noticing an Odd romance and making sure that the baddies are outdone by the end of the films.

Then there are the Revenge Snakes (who are invariably Ichchadhaari), they can be subdivided into two types

1. The Hot and Sexy Ichchadhaari Naagin

2. The Fat and Over-the-hill Naagin + The Flop Actor Naag

Please make our movies a hit, please please please
The Revenging Snakes had this distinct advantage of having the Photographs of their Lover's killers, and then with the added advantage of being able to turn into a snake/human at will (although their mirror image showed their true form, and opened up a can of physical impossibilities), our snakes went on with their killing spree.

A couple of decades ago, the Snake movies were meant to help sexual release in the audience with various tharki metaphors and conical blouses. That time may have passed and Motherf*cking snakes in Motherf*cking movies maybe passe, even Samuel Motherf*cking Jackson couldn't make it work with Snakes and Planes, but for an entire era, these Naags provided bread and butter to thousands of people in the film industry.


P.S. - We found one more Rocker Animal, which was the best of them all, but we had no clue regarding what should we call it ? Check it out for yourself