Friday, February 19, 2010

Of Gunda, Papi Gudia, Behne and the rest

So yesterday, I was sitting and watching Paapi Gudiya at 1 in the night on Star Gold with a bunch of friends in the TV hall. A completely kvlt movie starring Karishma Kapoor in the 1996. You know the kind of Karishma Kapoor I am talking about. Red lipstick, fake eyelashes, jhataak clothes and a childish voice which makes you contemplate if strangling is a better idea to kill yourself or slashing your wrists. In fact, I have it from very reliable sources that ideas in the Inglees movie, Child’s play have been shamelessly lifted from the very original Paapi Gudiya. The beginning of the movie has Karishma Kapoor dressed like Amitabh Bacchan when he sang “Saara zamaana haseenon ka deewana” complete with the black dress with bulbs on it and gyrating on stage, in the middle of overweight middle aged men singing “I love the beat in Muuuuusic, I love the heat in Muuuusic”.

Lately I have been watching a lot of these kinds of movies mainly because I seem to have ample company in hostel to watch movies like Papi gudia, khoon bhari maang, Gundaa etc. Star Gold very thoughtfully telecasts these movies at 1 in the night when all of us are wide awake and have nothing much to do except giggle and laugh.

Anyway, I realize that dialogue writers these days just don’t have the kind of creativity which the dialogue writers in the 90s possessed. For eg: Sample the following

1. In paapi gudia there is a scene where the child (Karishma Kapoor’s brother - a kid who I think must have been ragged mercilessly in school for speaking such dialogues and must have faced severe emotional trauma later in life) wants to buy a doll, actually THE doll – the doll which is possessed with the “aatma” of the killer and he goes “mujhe yehi gudiya chahiye, mujhe yehi gudiya chahiye” and Karisma Kapoor goes “Bilkul ladki hai tu. Gudiya ke saath to sirf ladkiyan khelti hai” and the boy says

“Arey didi. Aisi gudiya ke saath to ladkiyan hi nahi balki ladke bhi khel sakte hai”

:D :D

Woww!! What innuendos, what excellent double entendres even in that day and age.

Just think. When was the last time you heard such excellent stuff in Hindi cinema?

2. Which brings us to some EPIC dialogues from the movie Gunda

Each villain in Gunda has a kvlt tagline.

The main guy is called Bhulla and his tagline is “Mera naam hai Bhulla, mai rakhta hoon Khulla”

His sidekick is this guy called Ibu Hatela whose tagline is “Mera naam hai Ibu hatela, maa meri chudail aur baap mera shaitaan ka chela”

And so on and so forth. You get the drift don’t you? So the entire movie is peppered with such dialogues.

Picture this. The sister of the Bhulla is raped by another villain called “Lambu” who unfortunately doesn’t have a tagline (if I were to give Lambu a tagline I would say “Mera naam hai Lambu, yen kitta vechukadhe Vambu” or “Mera naam hai Lambu, maa meri savitha bhabhi aur baap mera shikari shambu” :P)

Anyway so this girl, Munni, is raped and she is lying dead in the middle of the road. Along comes Bhulla and this is what he says when he sees the body of his sister.

“Munni meri behen Munni, Lambu ne tujhe Lamba kar diya? Maachis ki teeli ko khambha kar diya?”

:D :D

So effectively a scene which is supposed to be a very poignant and heart rendering one turns out to be laugh riot. The unintended (or maybe intended who knows) comedy of the movies in the 90s has been unmatched till date.

I digress. The main reason for this post was actually a very serious thought that while Hindi cinema has matured over the decade (and you thankfully don’t have many movies like Gundaa coming up), how Hindi soaps continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate.

Now while watching Papi Gudiya, the thrilling plot, edge of the seat drama and intense dialogue was interrupted in between by commercials of the various Hindi soaps and one of them was this serial called “Behne” where the only aim of the four sisters in life is to get married, be subservient to the husband, have children and take care of their in laws and if they manage to do all the above they would have roshan karofied the naam of their parents.

So there is this one particular episode where one of the sisters is pregnant and the father (I *think*) kicks the bucket. So the other “behens” decide not to tell the pregnant behen of the death of their father thinking it would devastate her and she would lose the baby. The vamp of the serial over hears this and sends the pregnant girl green bangles wrapped in the newspaper cutting of her fathers death (suggesting that the only way the girl would read newspapers is when they come wrapped in bangles or pakoda or jalebi or something) and the commercial stops with the pregnant woman opening the “gift”

I gathered all this from a 50 second commercial of the soap.

Having grown up watching serials like Tara, Shanthi, Buniyaad, Zamaana Badal Gaya, Zaban Sambhalke, Waghle ki Hasin Duniya, Hasratein and Banegi Apni Baat which portrayed women as progressive, independent, self sufficient individuals, I am shocked by the current trend where girls in the age group of 12-20 are subjected to such colossal crap and probably grow up thinking this is the way to be.

That it is perfectly ok to be ill treated by your husband and in laws, perfectly normal to bitch about your sister in law, perfectly sane behavior to sleep at night wearing full make up and georgette and chiffon sarees. None of the women in the ‘K’ serials work, they are never shown as reading the newspaper, they are always shown cooking for men in the kitchen while the men have “intelligent” discussions in the drawing room. One of the serials I remember even had the protagonist’s mother telling her before marriage, “Beta, ek ladki ki jagah uske pati ke charnon ke paas hoti hai. Pati se zyaada tarakki karne ki koshish mat karma. Tum hi pachtaoge”

Pleeeease!! This is the 21st century for christs sake!!

Soaps in my time had women, who stood for what they believed in, did not need men to define their identities, portrayed normal housewives (who weren’t caked in make up with half baked brains) fighting for social causes and not fighting for saasu ma ka pyaar. I find it VASTLY surprising that writers 15 years back had so much of foresight and were so broad minded while the Ekta Kapoors of today trivialize important issues and magnify useless things.


I think its high time Indian soaps got better writers or someone, 15 years down the line will write similar posts about Indian soaps the way I now write about movies like Gunda and Papi Gudia. At least Gunda and Papi Gudia were a phase of Hindi movies that we have outgrown. Thank God we don’t think that Govinda is the best dancer or that Mithun da is the best actor. Its part of a normal growth curve but this continuous deterioration in the quality of Hindi soaps is depressing.

I think I need to watch Sabse Bada Khiladi or Coolie No.1 to cheer myself up now.

So long.