# Day 80 (The “Sholay” infatuation…)

The nation celebrates its 69th Independence Day today and there is much patriotic fervour being shared across platforms by netizens; but i shall be irreverent and talk about the 40th anniversary of a film release that has now become a part of Bollywood folklore…the cult classic Sholay which released on 15 Aug 1975!! It was my high school year and i particularly remember that a bunch of us classmates went to see it after some exams were over just because someone said ‘it’s like a Hollywood movie!’ Our generation had no IMDB or Zomato to check for reviews, the film-reviews in magazines and newspapers had trashed it…not that we really took much note of them for the general impression was that they only ‘criticised’ popular films! Word of mouth was what mattered and soon it became the norm not only to ask ‘Have you seen Sholay?’ but even more, to talk about your favourite scene, the best character, the songs and the dialogues. The know-it-all type would tell you which scene was copied from which Hollywood movie…apparently all its iconic scenes are ‘inspired’ from here and there…but no one really cared! A friend who swooned over the twilight scene where Jaya lights the lamps and Amitabh watches her while playing the mouth organ, would belligerently defend the Indianised version as being so much better if anyone brought up the subject. And there were many others like her for whom the movie became the ultimate entertainer. By December that year many among my friends could boast of having seen it over a dozen times, others could rattle off all the important dialogues and ‘Teraa Kyaa Hogaa Kaalia?’ became a catchphrase our generation could use to cover any number of things.
Being a big fan of Amitabh Bachchan, i too confess to having seen the movie any number of times during school and later college and university days (my personal joke is that i stopped counting after the eleventh time!)…it was always running in some cinema hall and for want of anything better you could go and see ‘Sholay!’ Then for many years it got relegated to the background as other movie hits took centre stage. Yet that youthful infatuation with that movie has never gone away. Last year when they released the 3D version it had to be seen and memories refreshed. The same scenes, the same story and yet the experience was so memorable because along with the entire audience you could mouth all those famous dialogues scene for scene with the characters on the screen!!
In this last week, a slew of TV programmes and newspaper articles again brought home the fact that the cult around the movie has only grown over the years. Stories about its shooting, about its casting and who wanted to play what role, the romance of its lead pairs, how the four-line-snippet given by the Salim-Javed duo became a three hour movie…all these and more have been dutifully chronicled. Scholars have published research papers on its underlying themes. Books have been written on its phenomenal status and there is even a consensus that Bollywood timeline has two eras: B.S.~Before Sholay and A.S.~ that is After Sholay!! In some ways it’s much like what happened with some of Shakespeare’s plays…sometimes what is perceived as low brow “popular-entertainment” fires our collective consciousness and with time acquires an iconic status. In India whether you have any idea of the game of cricket or not, you have to know who Tendulkar is; and so too whether you are a Hindi movie buff or not, you have to know the legend that is Sholay or else someone will shake their head at you and say “Teraa Kyaa Hogaa Kaalia…”

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About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, Indian Accents and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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