As I sat with my PG mates yesterday, watching a local channel play an interesting plethora of songs both old and new, I realized what I have never explored. Old hindi movies and music. My knowledge in this respect is close to zero ( approaching zero from negative infinity perhaps 😛 )and it was only yesterday when I saw one yesteryear beautiful song “Pan kayo Saiyaan Hamar” starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman in black and white followed by a crass latest song with nothing but skin show, I realized how glorious and truly entertaining the old hindi movies were.
As I sat asking them repeatedly “Who is this”, “Which movie” and they most happily obliged telling me the cast, the story with delight, I thought that probably the best years of hindi cinema are behind it. An amalgamation of those storylines, performers with the technology of today would have probably made us the biggest and best in the field of cinema. Hollywood would probably have come a distant second.
To think of it, Hollywood has had few themes to experiment with. World Wars, Mafia, Vietnam struggle or racism make up most of thier plots. Compare it with the plethora of ideas we have. Our themes outnumber them fair and square. It is just plain sad that today our movies are flimsy with lots of unwanted glamour and no themes at all. All we do is ape the west or make more glamourized versions of our own old movies.
Who can forget Chupke Chupke, Barawchi, Abhimaan, Padosan, Golmaal, Bombay To Goa, Victoria No.203, Mughal-E-Azam, Naya Daur, Boot Polish and other phenomenal pieces of work? Who can miss the beautiful lyrics of old songs which made perfect sense and are sung and re-sung even today ? Which contemporary song has meaning I wonder ? Love mera hit-hit I ask?
Maybe the older movies were slow (pre-1965) and had tacky production in comparison to today’s technology, but still it makes amazing viewing. Each actor has his or her style, be it Manoj Kumar’s single-expression-for-every-emotion, or the AB’s forever angry young man or Shammi Kapoor energy which made them icons in India. Which hero/ heroine of today’s times has that charm?
I realize today how much I have missed out on. I will try my best and make up for it. Though I can never catch up,I’ll give it a shot. I also want to savour the charm of old hindi movies and those phenomenal actors of the older generation. I wish I could re-catch Chitrahaar or Tarang again. I dont think too many would complain either!