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While Bollywood Today Is Ruling The Box Office, It Lacks This Key Aspect Of ‘70s Films

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Life is a full-circle, the good one does for others will return. As will the bad things come back to you. Nothing is forgotten or overlooked. Even when the people involved move on from incidents and sentiments, the account is still pending until justice is done and fairness is achieved. It may not return in the same way, in the same form, but it surely comes back.

Does that mean one control nothing in life? No, one does. How one behaves at particular situation or circumstance is one’s prerogative. Besides one only knows what they are destined to do after they have actually done it. One must not give up. Probably, the best way to discover the goodness and joy in life, is to count our blessings as compared to those who suffer in diverse ways.

The 1970’s saw the emergence of small budget family entertainers. Amol Palekar and Vidya Sinha were two stars of such movies. Two of their most memorable movies together are “Rajnigandha” and “Choti Si Baat”. Both the films had much in common and are seen as extensions of each other.

The song, “Na jane kyun hota hai ye zindagi ke saath” from film captures the feeling of a woman living in the city. A man comes into her life and she has to make a choice. There is a chance that both might miss out on the chance of togetherness due to hesitation on both sides.

Amol Palekar is a shy and clumsy man. In the song “Na jane” he takes lessons from Ashok Kumar on the art of impressing women. It is hilarious but at the same time, it is a real cause of worry for many men, making it incredibly effective. The dilemmas that shy lady undergoes vis-‘ -vis Amol Palekar is beautifully expressed in the song.

The movie “Safar” has quite a few life-reflecting songs. Songs of the movie are the highlight of this classic film. Sung by different singers, the songs have Rajesh Khanna in common. Kishore da has given playback in the cult song “zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa safar koi samjha nahi koi jana nahi” which is still looked upon as great reflection of a journey called life.

“Nadiya chale re dhara” is sung by Kishore Kumar which went to become just as popular. The Rajesh Khanna movie is full of such touching and life-reflecting songs

The late 1970s and early 1980 are the years that saw Reena Ray playing some nice roles. It began from “Apnapan”  and led to movies like “Aasha” and “Dhanwan”. Apart from the storyline. the musical score of the film is one of its strongest. Reena Roy too, stared in some memorable life – reflecting songs which are often revisited.

“Aadmi musafir hai aata hai jata hai” from “Apnapan” is a philosophical song. It touches the heartstrings of the listeners. Its lyrics are beautifully plotted with a lot of meaning and reflection. Told in simple words, the song turns out to be a sweet metaphor of life as journey.

Picturised on a bus with Marathi actors Sudhir Dalvi and Nivedita Saraf, the bus also carries Jeetendra and Sulakshna Pandit. The song is played quite a few times in the movie as well and Reena Roy figures in all. The lyrics make the song immortal. The voices of Mohd Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar added popularity to the song. Along with this, the music by Laxmikant Pyarelal was an added advantage.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee had seen a Japanese movie. He was so impressed with the film that he not only made into “Anand” but also later remade his own remake with a female protagonist. ‘Anand’  is a classic Hrishikesh Mukherjee film. Its songs are no less memorable. Just about every song of the film went on to become a super hit.

“Zindagi kaisi ye paheli hai kabhi toh ye hasaye kabhi ye rulaye” is one such song that is a classic exhibition of Manna Dey’s voice. Salil Choudhry, Yogesh and Manna Dey collaborated to give a top number.

Annad is sitting on the beach with his doctor friend played by Amitabh Bachchan. Bachchan’s character is in love but is also reticent and clumsy. He is not able to profess his love for the lady. Rajesh Khanna blasts him and calls it a ‘buddhu (silly)’ approach.

Leaving the couple along, he starts walking away. As the song goes on, Rajesh Khanna buys himself and some other children a bunch of balloons. He releases his balloons in the air, watching them and wonders – “ek din sapno ka rahi chala jaye sapno se aage kahan…zindagi kisi y paheli hai.” Manna Dey’s booming and voice reflects the strength of soon-to-die Anand. “Paheli” is Yogesh, Salil Choudhry and Manna Dey at their simple, symbolic and philosophical best.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s “Golmaal” is a lighthearted movie. Its songs were planned to be nothing more than time-pass. But the Gulzar and R.D. Burman combination turned the fate of the song and the film.

They combined and came up with phenomenal, “Aanewala pal jannewala hai ho sake to isme zindagi bita de.” An evergreen take on life that says ‘each moment life is worthy.’ It went on to become a top number.

One wonders why people take the future so seriously? Tuning Gulzar’s lyrics easily reconcile to it.

The song further reads “ek baar waqt se lamha gira kahin wahan dastaan mili lamha kahin bhi nahi.” A class exhibition of poetry, it is also so simple to comprehend that even a layman who does not understand half the words can realize that they are listening to some class poetry. There is little doubt that the lyric of song have made it a frequently revisited song. R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar and Gulzar have collaborated to come up with timeless poetry, and not for the first time either.

Mumbai is not all showbiz. Many people from small cities have migrated to reach for their dreams. There is a tussle-puzzle for space. Those who do not find any, or cannot afford the available properties live in slums. Mumbai’s Dharavi is one of the largest slums. Azharuddin Ismail and Rabbinate of the “Slumdog Millionaire” fame are slum-dwellers. “Salaam Bombay” is another film based on the same theme.

The slum people do not have many things that city dwellers often take for granted. Those who live in slums donot have attached bathrooms. Couples find it hard to get any kind of privacy in such situations . If they feel the intimacy they realize that there are many other pairs of eyes in the same room, pretending to be asleep. The couples too, after a stage stop giving a damn about what the others sleeping in the same room would see.

Most bollywood films steer clear of showing such realities and concentrate on ‘churning out’ movies with make believe storylines.

Jaya Bahaduri’s “Piya Ka Ghar” is one of such rare instance. Film showed how many people are actually living in same room. The room includes Anil Dhawan and Jaya Bhaduri, a newly married couple too with many eyes prying on them. The Kishore kumar song running in background along with situations beautifully symbolises life is like that.

Today films are often made on a grand scale, but have you ever thought how they miss the relatability and innocence of the bygone era?

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  1. Syedstauheed

    There’ s small correction..Nadiya chale re dhara (Safar) was sung by Manna dey.

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