Tag Archives: Amol Palekar

Listening to: Gharonda (1977)

Gharonda2Gharonda1

The title ‘Nest’ is an excellent one for the film, one of the few I have seen on the subject of lack of housing in Mumbai. An interesting and well made film with a good cast and excellent music, it has been largely ignored by Bollywood bloggers. The only review I read was scathing which surprised me as I found the film to be a good watch. 

A young woman Chaaya (Zarina Wahab) joins a small business as a typist. She had been interviewed and selected by the well-to-do, middle-aged owner Mr. Modi (Shreeram Lagoo). A widower, he is introduced to us as recovering from a heart problem.

At work, a rather chaloo young man, Sudeep (Amol Palekar), stars a flirtation and soon the two start spending a lot of free time together. One would think that they are in love. Puzzlingly the song Tumhe ho na ho, which shows the mental status of the young woman, tells us that much as she enjoys his company, she is certain that she is not in love with him. It is puzzling because we see that they seem to be much engrossed in each other and soon decide to marry. The one big hurdle is the lack of housing in Mumbai and when they put a deposit for a flat in a new construction site, they are both very happy.

In the meanwhile, Chaaya is uncomfortably aware of the interest shown towards her by Mr.Modi. She learns early on that she was hired for her resemblance to the late Mrs.Modi. Even though there is no overtly inappropriate advances by Mr.Modi, he shows her favouritism and her guard is up. There is soon a confrontation with her saying ‘आपके मन में पाप है ‘ (you have sin in your mind) while he responds gravely saying ‘तुम मुझे अच्छी लगती हो’ (I like you) and that he would like to marry her.

The construction the young couple have invested in turns out to be fraudulent and it leaves them both in shock. ‘I cannot fight this battle where one is lost before one starts’ says Sudeep. ‘It looks as if one can climb here (in this city) only by putting one’s feet on someone else’s head’. In this important scene of the film, we come to know the mind-sets of the two protagonists, which is critical in understanding their actions to come. Sudeep wants Chaaya to accept Mr.Modi’s proposal as he is unwell and would not live long. After he dies, his wealth would be theirs. Her first response is ‘छी! किसी की कब्र पे मेरा घर बनाऊँगी ?’ ‘Shall I make my house on someone’s tombstone?”. I enjoyed Gulzar’s unmistakable hand in the dialogues, like for example इस शहर के लोग रोने के लिए नहीं कंदा देते, मरने तक इंतज़ार करते हैं कंदा देने के लिए .

But the seed planted takes root. Chaaya is disillusioned with Sudeep. She also wants to help her brother with his higher education and agrees to marry Mr.Modi with a mercenary intention. She tries to fit into her new life but is conflicted in many ways. But she finally manages to reconcile her conflicts and accepts her husband whole heartedly. He also thrives in this marriage and his health improves.

But Sudeep doesn’t fare well. He can’t accept the loss of his girl. Perhaps he never meant her to follow the suggestion he thought of in despair? He is also hunted by the loan-sharks from whom he had borrowed for the disaster of a flat purchase.

How will it all resolve itself? Will it resolve itself? The ending seemed a bit hurriedly put together and I didn’t find it well convincingly scripted but then I’ll let you see it and decide for yourself.

Shreeram Lagoo carries the film ably with Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab doing good jobs in their roles. Jalal Agha has given an excellent performance in a supporting role, as also Sudha Mehra whom I have always admired for her acting skills.

The music is excellent but I give first credit to Gulzar and Naqsh Lyallpuri’s beautiful poetry which Jaidev has moulded expertly into music.

  • Tumhe ho na ho – Runa Laila. Excellent lyrics and charmingly sung by Runa Laila. After seeing it, I wanted to eat chaat in Chaupati too! Jaidev has made his music match Naqsh Lyallpuri’s poetry perfectly. I had mistakenly thought this to be Gulzar’s work but thanks to a reader, I stand corrected.  Open-mouthed smile Red heart

    मुझे प्यार तुमसे नहीं है नहीं है मगर मैं यह राज़ अब तक न जाना
    कि  क्यूँ प्यारे लगते हैं बातें तुम्हारे मैं  क्यूँ तुमसे मिलने का ढूँढूं बहाना
    कभी मैंने चाहा तुम्हे छू के  देखूँ कभी मैंने चाहा तुम्हे पास लाना
    मगर फिर भी इस बात का यकीन है मुझे प्यार तुमसे नहीं है नहीं

  • Do diwane sheher mein – Bhupinder and Runa Laila. Well written by Gulzar, beautifully sung and charmingly filmed, it shows how songs can be incorporated convincingly even in a non-masala film. When the hero and heroine caper, they give in now and then to giggles at themselves and are very aware of making a spectacle of themselves!Open-mouthed smile Red heart
  • Ek akela ik sheher mein – Bhupinder. The sad version of the above song. Very beautifully written and sung. Gulzar always shines in his sad poetry . How cleverly he writes! Take for example : जीने की वजह तो कोई नहीं मरने का बहाना ढूंढता है  Open-mouthed smileRed heart

To listen to the full album, click here.

As there are basically only two songs, and both very good, I am going to embed both for you. Enjoy!

 

12 Comments

Filed under Bhupinder, Bollywood 70's Music, Runa Laina

Listening to: Gol Maal (1979)

Gol MaalI always fear re-watching old favourites – what if they are not as good as I remembered? Would it not take away the residual pleasure which has lingered over the years? I had seen this film as a young woman, in a theatre in Green Park, New Delhi along with my giggling friends. We had lovely chaat and kulfi-falooda afterwards – oh how it makes me long for those days! It was with trepidation that I sat down to see a film for I did so want it to be good!

And it was more than good!

The most natural of actors, Amol Palekar, is a young man who, for the sake of finding a job, lies about himself. His weird and rather manic boss is the incomparable Utpal Dutt. His daughter, Bindiya Goswami, is Amol’s love interest. Soon one lie adds on to another and Amol not only has to be his own evil twin, he also has to acquire a mother, the wonderful Dina Pathak. Devan Varma, Shubha Khote and David are very good in their small supporting roles. How does it all end? Hrishikesh Mukherjee has made a film which provides a gamut of emotions, from smiles, giggles, guffaws to hysterical laughter. Bindiya is the only weak link in this film, otherwise its a great watch! Highly recommended.

Amol Palekar may be the ‘hero’ but it is Utpal Dutt who is the real lead of the film. When the film finished, I got up in my little living room to bow to this man who makes it all seem to easy. Utpal Dutt is  man of immense talents coming with an illustrious career as actor and playwright in Bengali theatre and film as well as forays into the Hindi film world. His contribution to Indian theatre and cinema is to be lauded. If you want to read more about his career, click here.

As the music is by R.D.Burman and lyrics by Gulzar, one can always expect a certain standard.

  • Gol Maal Hai – R.D. & Sapan Chakravarthy. This very popular title track has a very nice beat and good lyrics. RD has thrown in some harmonies, making it ‘modern’. I was in awe of Amol Palekar’s lip-synching, he does such a wonderful job! The song reminded me of ‘Haal Chaal Thik Thak Hai’ from Mere Apne which has the same mood.  Open-mouthed smile
  • Sapne Mein Dekha Sapna  – Kishore Kumar, Amit Kumar. What fun lyrics! Made me smile.  Kishore is great in this genre of song.  Hema, Zeenat and Rekha make brief appearances adding to the fun factor. Smile
  • Aanewala Pal – Kishore Kumar. Lovely song. Beautiful lyrics. Kishore’s voice strumming the strings of my heart. These words really speak to me-

    आनेवाला पल जानेवाला है, हो सके तो इसमें जिंदगी बिता दो
    पल जो ये जानेवाला है
    and also
    थोडा सा हँसा के, थोडा सा रुला के, पल ये भी जानेवाला है
    What’s not to like? Open-mouthed smileRed heart

  • Ek Baat Kahoon – Lata Mangeshkar. After listening to the Lata of the 50’s and 60’s, I did not quite enjoy her voice here. The melody is quite ok but the final effect did not appeal. Disappointed smile

To listen to the whole album, click here.

My selection for today is Kishore’s voice in Aanewala Pal.

6 Comments

Filed under Bollywood 70's Music, Kishore Kumar