Julie Julie Julie, tu ladki nahin maamooli
All those who cringed at the image that song brought into their heads, please accept my heartfelt sympathies. And all those who are blissfully unaware, and thus have the smiles on their faces intact, consider yourself blessed. This is a song from Aaja Meri Jaan (1993) starring the inimitable Cushion Kumar. Imagine a pincushion, for starters. Or better yet, a whoopee cushion. I considered starting this post singing O Kreeeshnaaa yewww aaa da greataste mewzeeshan aaaf theees worrulldd from Meera Ka Mohan (1992) but no amount of mistyping can do justice to Kumar Sanu’s fine accent. Damn, I should be audioblogging.
So why am I hell bent on ruining your happiness with songs like this? You see, I had a most disturbing realization thanks to my last post. Apparently more people have watched Geeta Mera Naam (2000) than Johny Mera Naam (1970). At least the levels of excitement in the audience, about the respective genres seem to suggest that. Three paragraphs I dedicated to Jewel Thief (1967) and mentioned Avinash Wadhawan in passing. And yet. Tsk tsk. The commentspace of the previous post stands a firm testimonial to the fact that it is people like us who are responsible for that fine specimen of manhood — the PSW — the Paploo Stud-Wannabe.
We may cringe at the mention of their names, vehemently deny knowledge of their existence, but mention Bahaar Aane Tak (1990) and we turn into a classroom of seven-year-olds, jumping up and down, excitedly recollecting Rupa Ganguly’s parandha. Why? What makes us remember these PSWs with their cuts on eyebrows, funny sideburns, 80mph hairstyles and their moments of fame? Why do we recollect Prithvi crooning dil jigar nazar kya hai, main to tere liye jaan bhi de doon to a bunch of shrieking girls on screen, when someone mentions Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), although a sum total of 5.5 people went to the theatre to see this movie? (0.5 = fell asleep half-way) Why do we remember people that we’d ordinarily be glad to forget about? Why do we get nostalgic about a lot of things that we weren’t so tickled about the first time around?
The answer lies in the memories. A final evening spent with high-school friends before you all moved to separate towns. A movie you watched with someone special. A heroine that reminds you of that gal in college you had a crush on. A hot summer evening spent sipping Rasna and watching Chitrahaar with mom and dad, while the cooler with the khus perfume ran in the background. The time Jagjeevan Ram died and a week’s mourning was declared resulting in all shops being closed, and you watching the same movie twice daily, on six consecutive days. The oily samosas of Sangam movie hall. The magical escalators at Abhinav theatre. It’s the personal associations, the feeling of nostalgia .. that lets us view the Rajan Sippys and Sahil Chaddhas of the world with a soft-focus lens.
But whatever our excuses, we have all done it. For the sake of old crushes and new loves, for the sake of friends and special moments, or simply for the lack of choice, we’ve been there. Gone to the theatre, paid good money for tickets, and watched with rapt attention while shape-shifting snakes morphed into humans in tight salwar kameezes and transparent kurtas and sang songs in the voices of Anuradha Paudwal and Mohammed Aziz. The all-problem-causing rain song, no less. Innocent heroine singing. Villian sees the heroine, lusts after her, pulls a Shakti Kapoor on her and kills her, compelling her to come back in another janam to reunite with her hero. Hero in the meantime, turns back into reptile-of-choice to wreak havoc on mankind. The only way to stop his rampage is for the lovers to unite. And unite they do. But alas, it is too late. Three hours, seven Gulshan Kumar T-Series songs, forty seven violins in the background and one hundred eighty-four extras in colorful dupattas later, you have walked out of the theatre with a death wish. Unless of course the audience is me. Who eagerly scanned the local newspaper pages looking for the sequel to Laal Dupatta Malmal Ka (1988).