Tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee

August 27th marks Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s death anniversary.

They say comedy is a difficult genre and it is very difficult to make people laugh. Hrishikesh Mukherjee probably would not agree. With movies like Chupke Chupke, Golmaal, Kisi se na kehna under his crown, one can say comedy came easily to Hrishida.

I remember my first glimpse of Chupke Chupke - those stomach-wrenching guffaws, tears-filled eyes but still wanting more of it. Think of watching a movie on any Sunday lazy afternoon and the first movie that comes to mind is a Hrishida movie. The main reason Hrishida’s comedy movies became such a rage was because of their clean humor. In these days, where comedy has become synonymous with adultery, clean humor is almost non-existent.

While he was the unquestionable expert in the comedy genre, Hrishida gave us serious and thought-provoking movies like Anand, Abhimaan, Alaap and Sadma. If Hrishida’s comedy movies gave us much laughter, they were compensated with ample tears in his serious movies. Who can forget the ending scene in Anand? Or the one in Sadma?

Hrishida’s movies have given us numerous memorable characters. Cinema goers remember Pyaremohan and his obsession with Hindi even today. Raghu, the all-rounder cook, who had a solution to any problem, inspired Govinda’s role in Hero No.1 and continues to linger in our minds. The dying Anand with his undying spirit inspires us and teaches us how to make the most of our lives. Not to forget, Bhavani Shankar, with his philosophies on mustache, continues to entertain us even now, 32 years after the movie came out.

Music played a very important role in Hrishida’s movies. One of his earlier movies, Anuradha, had a singer as the main protagonist. Pandit Ravi Shankar composed music for this movie and gave us some memorable numbers. Hemant Kumar created magic in Anupama with songs like Dheere dheera machal and Ya dil ki suno duniyawalo. Aanewala pal jaanewala hai continues to be the philosophical song that the younger generation listens to even today. Songs like Ae ri pawan dhoonde kise tera man, Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye, Saawan ke jhoole pade, Mein shayar badnaam, Badi sooni sooni hai, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, Bole re papeehara, Tere mere milan ki yeh raina tell us the appreciation and importance Hrishida had for music.

Hrishida, with his highly entertaining movies, with no violence and simple plots ruled the Hindi film industry from 1957 (Musafir) to 1998 (Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate). Any Hindi film director trying to make a comedy movie uses Hrishida as reference. They dream of making a comedy movie which comes anywhere close to Chupke Chupke. With the king of Hindi cinema’s comedy genre gone, the industry has incurred a big loss. The magician who made us laugh and cry with the same passion has left a big gap in the Hindi film industry which no one can fill.

Do visit Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s official website. They have a very interesting collection of Hrishida’s photographs.

Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikala: Zakhm

Song: Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikala
Music Director:
MM Kreem
Alka Yagnik
Anand Bakshi

I have been hooked on to this song since morning. I have already listened to it some fifteen times, but still can’t have enough.

Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikala from Zakhm. This beautiful song had slipped away from my music radar until I was recently reminded of it when I heard someone sing on Voice of India.

The song celebrates life - the lady is happy that her lover is arriving and she finds the whole world celebrating with her. The mukhda summarizes her feelings very well.

Tum aaye to aaya mujhe yaad, gali mein aaj chand nikala
Jaane kitne dinon ke baad, gali mein aaj chand nikala

The moon has arrived to brighten her house on this joyous occasion. Anand Bakshi’s took me by surprise. I haven’t found his words that interesting until now. The whole song is full of lines which you want to stop and think about. See this:

Maine tum ko aate dekha,
Apni jaan ko jaate dekha

Such beautiful lines. Not a single extraneous word - just perfect. When Alka sings these lines, the background music grinds to a halt. The magic and aura that these lines create is just awesome.

Though Alka Yagnik is not one of my favorite singers, I adore her in this song. She adds the right emotions to this song. The way her voice dances, sways and curves - I imagine her dancing in the studio while singing in the voice.

MM Kreem’s music makes you want to get up and dance. The song is so full of energy - you suddenly start feeling happy about everything around you. It begins with a soft and mellow note, and picks up speed and energy as it progresses and it ends with a shehanai piece. What other instrument can have a celebratory mood like shehnai? The song ends on a perfect note!

I was surprised to note that none of the people associated with this song are my favorites. Neither the composer, nor the singer, nor the lyricist, but still this is one of my favorite songs. This is one of those situations where three random people come together and make history. For me, this is one of the perfect songs, where everything is just right.

PS: Apologies if this post doesn’t make sense. You see, I am still swaying to the song. As they say ‘Mein nashe mein hoon’.

The Moon and Sixpence: Somerset Maugham

Accepting my friend’s recommendation, I read Somerset Maugham’s The Moon and Sixpence. I hadn’t read Maugham before, didn’t know what he writes about, I didn’t read the backcover of the book, so I didn’t know what to expect from the book. This was probably good for me, because I was pleasantly surprised by the book.

The first thing that took me was the writing style. The Shakespearean English, the choice of words, long, flowery sentences - the book takes you back to where the action was. My friend calls it a ‘true piece of literature’! What the book is about is immaterial. I don’t think one thinks about the story in Maugham’s books. That does not mean that the story is not worth talking about. In fact, the story had me completely engrossed from the very beginning. The story is unique in itself, simple, yet powerful. What gets you is the characterization.

The main character, Strickland, is so strongly etched that one can start guessing what his reaction will be in certain situations. His wife’s character is so realistic - I guess women haven’t changed much since those days - she is just like any one of us. Maugham is known as the master of characterization and after reading this book, I realized what that meant.

More than the story, more than the characterization, what I personally found engaging was the narration. The story is peppered with generous amount of soliloquy of the narrator, in which he puts forth philosophy of life in his own terms. These paragraphs are interesting and thought-provoking. I often found myself putting the book down and pondering over what I had just read. The story of the doctor in Alexandria and his friend is so strikingly relevant even today. We, city dwellers especially, should stop and think about the narration that follows this story.

This is not intended to be a book review; one cannot review a classic. Reviewing Maugham’s work does not serve any purpose. No one is going to pick up a Maugham book depending on some review. This is penning down my thoughts about what I felt about The Moon and Sixpence. If you are one of the rare species like me who hasn’t tried Maugham’s books, I urge you to pick up one now.

The Blue Umbrella

It is seldom that a Hindi film meant for children makes news. The Blue Umbrella grabs your attention and rightly so. The film is based on a novella written by Ruskin Bond. Set in a small village in Himachal Pradesh, the story is about a girl possessing a bright blue umbrella which no one in the village has seen before. The girl, played by Shreya Sharma, is exultant because of her prized possession and does not waste any chance to flaunt it. Nandakishore, owner of a small shop in the village, has his eyes set on the umbrella and wants to get it at any cost. Does he get it or not? Watch the movie and moreover, that's secondary.

Vishal Bharadwaj showcases Himachal Pradesh in all its glory. The picturesque mountains, the snow fall, the snow capped houses - the story couldn't have asked for a better place. The simplicity of life, the innocence of the people, the clean and pure way the villagers lead their lives - these are the best parts of the movie. Music, by Vishal Bharadwaj, adds spice to the movie. Gulzar's lyrics is as original as ever. The first half is fast and tight, while the second half drags a bit.

Shreya Sharma does justice to her role, but it is Pankaj Kapur who walks away with the cake. His acting is effortless and brilliant.

The movie is entertaining and refreshing. Go watch the movie and awaken the child within you. If this is not a reason good enough for you, then the movie won this year's National Award for Best Children's Film. Now at least, go watch it.

Moaning Meme

This post is a result of Anuradha's tagging me.

5 people who will be annoyed you tagged them

Since the rule is to be honest, the answer is I don't know. I hardly have any committed audience, so I don't know my audience enough to know who will be annoyed. Moreover, somebody has to end this chain!

4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth

1. Cigarettes. On a broader sense, tobacco in any form.
2. Eve teasing.
3. Dishonesty. Lying, stealing, killing - everything included.
4. All those idiotic mother's day, father's day, friend's day business.
5. Mobile phones. Yeah, I do carry one, but not by choice.

3 Things people do that make you want to shake them violently

1. People who keep their reverse horns on even though there is not a soul around who could be harmed because of their reversing.
2. People who don't have a backbone. Not literally, of course. Those who cannot stand up for themselves and their actions.
3. People who send me spams every hour and think they are actually doing a favor on me by doing so.

2 things you find yourself moaning about

1. I am wasting time watching TV instead of reading a book.
2. I don't drive enough.

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself

That half the people on Bangalore roads are morons? On a serious note, these answers say that I can't stand people who don't think before acting. Be it about dishonesty or smoking or honking. I can't stand people who don't give a moment's thought to what they are doing and how it affects others.

It doesn't make sense adding the rules here, because I haven't tagged anyone. Here it is anyway, just to follow the rules.

- Link to the original meme at so people know what it’s all about!
- Be as honest as possible. This is about letting people get to know the real you!
- Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!
- Post these rules at the end of every meme!

A tribute to Rafi

An article on Rafi's death anniversary.