Mind Your Language
Bollywood Dialogues 2010 Style
The movie Phool aur Phatar (PAP), starring Dharmendra and the late Meena Kumari, was released some 40 years back. Both of them were then in their heydays.
In most of his films, Dharmendra is portrayed as an embittered man, fighting corruption, exploitation and injustice. But in PAP, he is initially depicted as the henchman of a powerful don, in the person of Madan Puri, if my memory does not fail me. His job is to kidnap, kill and loot. He is so agile in all his endeavours that he ends up being the boss’s trustee and “homme de confiance” to boot!
Dharmendra’s dhanda1 goes on till his accidental encounter with a widow, role played by Meena Kumari. Thence, on the latter’s earnest solicitation, he contemplates putting an end to his nasty business. Eventually, he dares to disclose his intention of turning over a new leaf to his boss. The latter, of course, tries all sorts of methods and means of retaining him, but to no avail. His love for the widow MK weighs down on him.
The don, scenting the danger of being exposed to the police, plans to get rid of Dharmendra. So, Shakka the body builder is entrusted with the dirty job of killing him. Having learnt about Dharmendra’s whereabouts, Shakka waits in ambush near a lake to make his move.
Seeing Dharmendra coming from across a field, Shakka comes out of hiding, meets him and pleads with him to resume his previous position. On Dharmendra’s refusal, a fight takes place. Shakka takes his long knife from his pocket to finish off Dharmendra, but he is himself killed by the knife when he accidentally falls down. Poor Dharmendra is accused of murder and finds himself behind bars.
Of course, as in most Bollywood films, cinegoers would expect the plot reaching its climax with Dharmendra standing trial for murder. At court, the counsel for the prosecution, arguing on the past reprehensible doings of Dharmendra, demands no less than the death penalty.
Judge Ragoonath, after listening carefully to several witnesses, summons, through the usher, MK to the witness box. And she, only a poor housewife, happens to save Dharmendra from the gallows.
She recounts, in detail, how he had saved a young girl from a house on fire, while all the neighbours including the poor girl’s parents, were watching as onlookers. She even adds how she was given shelter by him while the neighbours were spitting their venom on her just because, as a widow, she had become his companion.
So much for the original version. But, in a remake of PAP, this is how Meena Kumari would probably address Judge Ragoonath:
– Your Honour, if such a kind and compassionate man like the accused is taxed of having committed a crime, of being the devil personified, then I pray to the Almighty that He sends more devils like him.
– More importantly, Your Honour, maybe the learned counsel for the prosecution has not gone through the movie’s script thoroughly. For, had he done so, he would have known that the accused is the HERO of the film. And, as in most Bollywood movies, heroes and heroines are, as a rule, not sent to the gallows. Therefore, I humbly beseech Your Honour to release this Godly man. That’s all Your Honour.
Judge Ragoonath, taking into account the jury’s verdict, has this to say:
– It’s a pity that the learned counsel for the prosecution made the court lose much of its precious time. So as to impress on the cinegoers in making the suspense last too long, he dwelled lengthily on futile diatribes against the defenceless accused. And all this, in complete ignorance of the movie’s script.
– Since the new trend in Bollywood is to make films less boring and tedious, I formally draw the attention of all stakeholders to the time factor. Gone are the days when cinegoers used to sit cosily in the picture houses for 3.50 to 4.00 hours.
– And most importantly, since Bollywood films should have happy endings, taking into consideration that the accused Dharmendra is the hero of the film, bearing in mind the testimony given by Miss Meena who is, besides the heroine of the film, this court resolves that, under no circumstances, can it take the liberty of sending the accused of the calibre of Dharmendra to the gallows. So this case is dismissed.
Dr B Foogooa
1 Illicit business