The charm of Hindi films for me began the time I began watching them avidly. The charm lay in those unique features of the Hindi film; multi-starrer, great fight scenes, action-packed, zingy songs and scintillating dialogues. If this was coupled with a lost-and-found brother/friend plot, with messages on religious harmony, and with good triumphing over evil, what more could a teenager want!
Yes, it was better if the movie had Amitabh Bachchan! And if AB was paired with Rekha, it was sheer bliss! If you were born in the 60’s can you think of a more exciting plot than mentioned above?
“Khoon Pasina” was one such movie.
It had AB and Rekha. And Vinod Khanna. And in supporting cast it had the motherly Nirupa Roy, and the villainous Ranjeet and Kadar Khan. A true multi-starrer, if you ask me! Fight scenes; one every eight minutes on an average. Songs galore, not the really class ones for a music connoisseur, but great nevertheless. And the plot had all the elements of what I have mentioned above. Let me give you a snapshot of it:
Ram and Rahim are the thickest of friends, circa 1947. They, as their names connote, are Hindu and Muslim. And appropriately enough, Yunus Parvez- a Muslim- plays Ram, and a Hindu- whose real name I forget- plays Rahim. They are really close, close enough for one to remind the other of his festivals. Like the Hindu forgets his Diwali and the Muslim forgets his Eid till the other reminds him, they are so thick! They have an offspring each, Shiva and Aslam. And they have adorable wives too.
The tyrannies of Zaalim Singh (please note the tyrant is a Hindu played by a Muslim, Kaadar Khan) eventually destroy this dream world. So much so that the fathers are killed in the mayhem of the 1947 partition and Shiva goes on to stay with Aslam’s mother. Aslam’s mother has lost her husband in the madness and also, she thinks, of her young child, Aslam.
Shiva, now popularly known as Tiger, grows up to be the local Robin Hood and Aslam Sher Khan, now known as Shera, when grown up, surfaces as yet another Robin Hood of sorts.
Note the close resemblance between “Tiger” and “Shera”, both from the same feline family! Uncanny?
The “Tiger” nickname is justified when Shiva, in a fit of madness accepts the challenge from a nubile lass (played by Rekha) in a mela, and grapples with- and bests- a tiger.
I shall not narrate the entire story to you, suffice it to say that the good guys win in the end and the bad guys lose. Which was a concept altogether appealing to me those heady days when I was a teenager in the 70’s. (It still does!).
What added to the charm of this film from “Prakash Mehra Productions” were its captivating dialogues.
Dialogue, as you would rightly imagine is an exchange of thoughts between two people- two people- hence “di”-a-logue. In Hindi movies the descriptor “dialogue” is given to any utterance which is essentially a monologue but carries enormous punch- or import.
Khoon Pasina’s dialogues are supreme, coming as they are from the maestro Kadar Khan, could they have been anything else?
Here are some vignettes:
Zaalim Singh (a gunda, played by Kadar Khan himself) tells his henchmen:
“Loge hamein gunda kehtey hain. Gundon ka mazhab gundagardi hota hai, aur gundagardi mein paap aur punya ki koi jagah nahin hoti.”
(People call me a toughie. The religion of a toughie is being a toughie. And “toughness” has no space for right or wrong!”
AB (Tiger) to his surrogate mom:
“Jaanta hoon, maa, jaanta hoon! Wohi toh chingari hai job arson se apney seeney mein liye ghoom raha hoon. Wohi zakhm hai jo bachpan mein laga aur aaj tak bhar na saka. Din-ba-din nasoor banta jaa raha hai.”
(I know, I know. This is this fire alit in my heart for ages. That’s the bruise I suffered in my childhood and it has not healed as yet!)
VK (Shera) in an introspective mood:
“Sari zindagi mein maut ko dhoondhata raha, aur maut daaman chhudakar bhagti rahi. Aisa lagata hai mujehy zindagi sey bair hai aur maut ko mujhsey.”
(I have hunted for death all my life while death has been evading me. I think, somehow, I dislike life and death dislikes me.)
Shera- now menacignly:
“Pistolein, bandookein aur tamanche aajkal bachchey bhi chalaate hain…..”
(Even kids are comfortable with pistols, guns and shotguns….)
AB to a bunch of goons:
“Aisi dhulayi karoonga ki saat pushton tak aapki aulad ganji paida hogi.”
(After I thoroughly bash you up, please do remember that for seven generations henceforth your lineage would be born bald!)
And here is the killer:
AB proposing to a hitherto stranger Rekha in the village mela:
“Meri baat maan ley. Mera haath thaam ley. Tera husn, meri taaqat. Teri teji, meri himmat. Is sangam sey jo aulad paida hogi, who aulad nahin faulad hogi.”
(Listen to me! Hold my hands. Your beauty, my strength. Your passion, my courage. The union of ours would give birth to men of steel, not wimpy kids.)
The gutsy –and busty- Rekha then sets off into motion a clash between the biped Tiger with his quadruped namesake. The hapless tiger, which had been brought into the mela to fetch some money for the mobile “zoo” owner ends up doing something even more noble. Losing to AB in a fair-and-square fight. AB defeats him in their “wrestling” game resulting in the nubile lass singing the song, “Tu mera ho gaya, mein teri ho gayi”.
Resulting in the marriage of these two dashing young persons. Rather early in the movie.
Which is rather different from what happened/ happens in the ordinary Hindi films, “he” and “she” meet in the end. After all the song-and-dance and maar-peet (bashings).
Remember this is no ordinary movie, this is Khoon Pasina, the epic tale of two friends lost to each other since childhood. Yes! To be sure, “he” and “he” meet in the end, in rather dramatic circumstances.
I shall leave you to enjoy the movie, for now, just enjoy this lovely song!
(I wrote this a few months ago for an excellent blog of a friend of mine on Hindi film songs I have reproduced this piece here with his permission. Do visit Atul’s site: http://atulsongaday.wordpress.com/