Friday, March 12, 2010

Waah! Kya Dialogue Hai…

As we were returning from our dinner outing to Bombay Blue on Friday, the song ‘Aal izz well’ played on the Radio. My younger brother in the 9th grade started talking about the play he had performed at his annual day function in school and and recollected how each actor backstage, put their hand to their hearts and said ‘Aal izz well’ to themselves before going onstage. “Did that have any effect at all, whatsoever?” I asked him, with a hint of sarcasm in my voice.

“Yes, of course,” replied my brother. “I grew confident and did not forget even a single line of mine!”

This got me thinking the immense power certain dialogues can have on us. It is interesting how a certain line from a certain movie becomes timeless as it sticks in our mind, becoming embedded in our daily lingo very often. A line from the famous Shahrukh Khan movie of the same title “Kuch Kuch hota hai..tum nahi samjhogi!” is such a common line for lovers to quote to each other that it works magic even today, after 12 years of its realease !

Another day, when a friend of mine made a mistake while painting a poster, another friend genially said, “Koi baat nahi Senorita, Bade Bade deshon mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain!” quoting the eternal Raj of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ).

A dialogue that has been timeless providing a base for numerous advertisements and humour shows, is the one between Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor in Deewar. When Amitabh’s Vijay says, “Mere paas gaadi hai, bangla hai, bank balance hai, tumhare paas kya hai?” Shashi Kapoor’s Ravi Verma proudly replies, “Mere paas Maa hai!” This dialogue has raised the ‘Maa’ to a higher pedestal than before, if possible, by depicting that the worth of ‘Maa’ surpasses every valuable material possession one may have. It is probably even more popular because it draws from the pre-dominant values of the Indian culture of viewing ‘Maa’ as a Godly and an indispensable figure.

The power of dialogues is only re-enforced by the enormous popularity of those from the classic movie ‘Sholay’ penned down by the award-winning duo of Salim-Javed in their prime. Whether it is Amjad Khan’s “Kitne aadmi the…Tum teen aur woh do bahut na-insaafi hai!” or whether a friend wants to fool around with another, or there’s a feud between two, and it is Dharmendra’s line - “Kutte, Kaminey, main tera khoon pee jaunga” that immediately comes to mind, each and every dialogue of Sholay has impacted all and sundry.

Sunny Deol, though now fading into oblivion, is still widely popular for his line in Daamini, “taarikh pe taarikh, taarikh pe taarikh”, such is the power of dialogue.

It is most fascinating to observe how some lines affect our daily, banal activities by adding that filmy spice to our regular chatter. Some lines are also very effective in saying something in a catchy way, that may otherwise sound terribly lame and unattractive when uttered ordinarily.

So, lets continue observing and applying the filmy twist to our daily banter. “Jeeyo, haso, muskurayo, kya pata.. Kal Ho na Ho!”

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cartoon strip

cartoon strip khan

India is a Democracy… Really?

I am sure all us Indians have heard that our nation is a democratic nation, and freedom of speech is one of our fundamental rights. But in the wake of the recent controversy wherein Shahrukh Khan voicing his opinion on the non-selection of Pakistan players for the forthcoming season of IPL, did not go down well with the Shiv Sena, the essential question arises: Are we really a democratic nation in a true sense?

Shahrukh Khan criticised the recent exclusion of Pakistani cricket players from the IPL tournament, and said he wished Pakistani players were playing in the forthcoming edition of the cash-rich tournament. He probably made the statement merely keeping in mind the game and its requirements, and not in an attempt to malice his nation in any way.

Threatening his with consequences, Shiv Sena spokesperson, Sanjay Raut, said, “If he has courage, let him take the players… Shahrukh Khan talks about Pakistani players, if he has courage let him take them, let them play, we will see what is to be done then.”

[More at : Shiv Sena threatens Shahrukh Khan for “supporting” Pakistan players]

But obviously, freedom of speech and opinion is something that the Shiv Sena has probably never heard about. That would explain their ruffian like behaviour in a supposedly democratic country like India which apparently has a government in place which is too much of a wimp to stand up to such blatant violation of basic fundamental rights that our constitution entitles each and very citizen of this nation to.

Why cannot SRK have an opinion and voice it? Why is he asked to apologize for merely exercising his right to freedom of speech? Why is he told that he is in Mumbai and not Pakistan and thus every word uttered by him should be pro India (or rather Maharashtra) and anti-Pakistan. I do not intend to defend Pakistan here in any way. By all means that nation is probably going to the dogs. However, SRK’s statement was with regard to a universal game of cricket and not apolitical.

Banning his upcoming movie ‘My Name is Khan’, burning posters, organizing rallies against him, can only be classified as ridiculous and juvenile behaviour, in my opinion. As far as I am concerned, this is not only about SRK. SRK, in this case, happens to represent every citizen of this country out there, who is now scared to speak his mind for fear of irregular behaviour he/she might face as a consequence from the Sena. SRK should not apologize merely for speaking his mind, voicing his opinion. As long as there is nothing anti-India in his words, I believe he has no reason to apologize.

According to me, his opinion does not reflect his apathy for the victims of 26/11 as is being said but merely sympathy for the good players in the Pakistani cricket team who have been excluded from the tournament.

However, what needs to be seriously pondered over are the questions: How democratic are we? Does the sacred document of this nation, our Constitution, hold no more value? How free can our speech be?

Do we need to seek permission for freedom of speech now? Is our country regressing instead of progressing?

Think, reflect and worry. We need to!