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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Shalimar to Dayavan: The joy of watching old Bollywood movies

Though I am not a movie-buff, there are a few times in the year when I occasionally get this urge to catch up on movies and see the films from the golden era of Indian movies.

I've also compiled a list of the most famous Bollywood films of all time, that I want to watch.

Recently, I had taken a few days off and watched half-a-dozen movies, ranging from Dilip Kumar's black-and-white Udan Khatola to Feroz Khan's Dayavan.

One of the movies which I yearned to watch for years was Dharmendra starrer Shalimar [first released in 1978].

In the pre-satellite TV era and even before the advent of VCR [video cassettes], I watched this movie when during Ganeshotsava [or perhaps Durgotsava] celebration, (I saw it perhaps in 1982-83), when screens were put in open in a nearby locality and amid great excitement, the movies were shown with projector. 

From the roof of our third floor apartment, I had seen this movie. As a child, I was totally hooked. It was a great experience. The world renowned thieves were called by 'Sir John' at an island and given a chance to show their 'talent' by stealing the Shalimaar diamond.

All sort of modern security measures apart from alarm system and guards were put up. Further, the diamond was under 24/7 surveillance through cameras. As the floor resembled chessboard, the hero--Dharmendra, devises a novel strategy. He gets a dress with similar black-white squares, and crawls towards the diamond.

'Sir John' senses that there is a movement or something fishy but it is not noticed exactly until Dharam gets close to the diamond.

Dharmendra finally enters the bulletproof glass vestibule that covers the 'heera'. Now what he will do? Surrounded by gunmen, how can he escape?

Here comes another trick. So that was a thrilling movie by Indian standards in that era.

Watched it again nearly three decades later, and just loved it. Zeenat Aman was the lead actress in this movie and added glamour to it.

So whenever I get chhuttis at a stretch, I decide on the half-a-dozen odd movies which I have to watch.

Among the recent movies that I saw included, some old ones, some of 70s-80s, and a few latest ones. They included Garam Hawa. It is again a gripping movie. As far as Dayavan is concerned, the story initially seemed too much of typical Bollywood masala. But after the first 30-45 minutes, I enjoyed it.

Dayavan has Vinod Khanna playing the lead role with Feroz Khan as his friend. The story line is similar to some of Amitabh Bachchan movies of the era. A poor boy, who takes on the system, rising as a criminal and later dispensing justice. But it is certainly enjoyable.

As far as the classical Udan Khatola [officially spelt as Uran Khatola] is concerned, it was an old wish. Had heard so much about it. The name also fascinated me. Either its the story, the dialogues or the songs like 'Ulfat ka jaam le jaa, mohabbat ka paighaam ka le jaa...', I loved the movie.

Have made a fresh list of the movies which I have to watch during my next such vacation. Which movies do you like, friends? Your wish list! Share it here so that I can also get an insight about the movies which others wish to watch.