Generation Next catches up with Gabbar

Amitabh and Jaya celebrate Sholay twenty five years later.

Amitabh and Jaya celebrate Sholay twenty five years later.  


IT WAS 28 years ago. Mothers used to put their children to bed saying: So ja beta, so ja. Varna Gabbar Singh aa jayega ("Go to sleep little one, or Gabbar Singh will come").

But today, the kids have grown up. And far from going to sleep, they just wish they could see more of him.

AND Veeru trying to "su-side" (suicide). AND Jai (Amitabh Bachchan credited fourth in the star cast after Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar and Hemamalini) tossing his both-sides-`heads' coin. AND the aging Thakur who couldn't shake hands. AND the garrulous Basanti. Not to forget good old Dhanno, the horse. Or the Poor Kalia who had one last laugh before biting Gabbar's `goli' (bullet).

Arrey O Saamba, Kitney Aadmi They Re? (How many of them were there?).

Teen So, Sardar (300, chief).

Yes, there were over 300 people at Ega on Thursday night (supposed to be the last show before the movie shifted to noon show slot to accommodate Amitabh Bachchan's latest release `Boom'). "More people than what you would find at most Tamil, Hindi or English movies that release today," a friend noted. After all there's nothing like revisiting Ramgarh. The world of `Sholay' came alive on the big screen yet again in the city, when Ega ran to semi-full houses with three shows a day. Just word of mouth, minimal publicity. And people lined up to catch their all time favourite Hindi movie. Here was a movie that has today become a part of every movie watching Indian's psyche. The spirit of `Sholay' lies in almost every other Bollywood film today. (Though there is a section of people which believes that `Sholay' itself was inspired by several foreign films including Kurosawa's `Seven Samurai'). Be it mass based David Dhawan films (`Jodi No.1', `Ek Aur Ek Gyarah' or `Bade Miyaan Chottey Miyaan' for example). Or the critically acclaimed `Lagaan' which carries with it the ghost of `Sholay' (A.K. Hangal repeating his role as the old man of the village is a fine tribute to the 1975 classic. Incidentally, Satyajit Bhatkal's book `Spirit of Lagaan' does mention briefly about how Ashutosh Gowarikar studied the classic among others very closely while writing the script). And even alternative cinema — `Jhankaar Beats' which celebrates `Sholay'.

Even television. MTV has turned to `Sholay' time and again to keep its spoof series `Fully Faltu' alive. In fact, the show became so popular that every time the audience saw Sanjeev Kumar, they couldn't help laughing at the jokes that appeared in the latest episode of the spoof series (Someone asks Thakur in the spoof: Bhaisaab, Time Kya Hua?).

And not just television, telephones... mobile phones as well. The most popular ring tones that you can download from Reliance phones are from Sholay: Mausiji, ring ghanti bajing (with Veeru's voice), Arrey Bhai, Tumhara Phone Bol Diyai (with the Soorma Bhopali), Ghanti Bajing and Bajing and Bajing (Veeru again) and some Gabbar voice rings as well.

Then there are the song ringtones. Talking about songs, one cannot fail to note the similarity between `Yeh Dosti' (the anthem of friendship of yesteryear) picturised on the road and the contemporary friendship song `Dil Chahta Hai' (DCH) directed by the generation next director, Farhan Akhtar, was probably just paying a tribute to his father's classic script. (Interestingly, Javed Saab did write the lyrics for the DCH number). `Mehbooba Mehbooba' was the `baap' of all item numbers (RD and Helen at their best).

By Sudhish Kamath

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