My Dad, unlike most normal Dads was hell bent on showing his kids the movies of the 70’s and 80’s when he was a young man dreaming of Hema Malini and Sharmila Tagore ( shh don’t tell my ma). Now back in the 90’s, the good old VCD’s ruled the roost. Hindi movies of those days were replete with scenes that my Mom pointed out was not exactly wholesome for her children to view. So my Dad became a sort of an amateur movie editor. And his ham handed editing scarred us forever.
Villain has trapped a girl in a room. He is slowly inching towards the girl, lust in his eyes. The girl has nowhere to run.
Villain: heh heh
Girl’s mother to shopkeeper: Yeh Bhindi kitne ke diye? (How much do these ladiesfinger cost!)
Now imagine a first night scene!
Hero: I love you!
Heroine to her mother: Mein maa banne waali hoon!
Mother to Dad: Sunte ho heroine ke bapu. Aaap nana banne waale ho!! I am so happy!
Dad: err orange squash anyone?
Sometimes my Dad was a little quicker with the scissors or whatever it was he used to edit the movie. And we had scenes like this.
Villain: heh heh
Hero: (shooting the villain): Kuththe Kameene!
Us: Poor guy!
Dad: No! No! He is not the good guy!!!
Dad: Chips anyone?
Normal kids grew up applauding the hero as he thrashed the daylights out of the villain. We grew up pitying the poor villain who seemed to do nothing but go “heh heh.” He had a funkier hairdo than the hero and a lot of stamina to withstand the thrashing he would get from time to time. If I were asked to make a five minute Hindi movie, it would go like this.
Hero: I love you!
Heroine: I love you too!
Any ways after watching the Hindi movies of that era, I have more or less become an expert in the salient points and characters that make up the movie.
1. The elderly woman with the saree pallu draped around her head and a big red bindi denotes a chaste pati vrata naari , indulgent mother and wonderful cook who whips up 75 courses meals with her smile and pallu intact. She has witnessed first hand the battle of Mahabharatha and the unfolding of the Ramayan. She is on first name basis with the presiding deity at the temple nearby! Preferred background score when she is around: The sweet sound of Bansuri or Flute!
2. A frail old man in a kurta pyjama is almost always the father who works hard at the villains factory for a pittance. He is a sincere and dedicated worker who sticks to his job even though he has not been paid for the past 72 years! He suffers from a chronic cough that may be used to kill him off if the script demands. Preferred background scores for Pitaji: A mournful violin recital.
3. If their daughter is shown plain and with a cherubic character, then she is sure to get raped by the villain so that her brother, the hero has enough ammo to go after the villain. She will commit suicide after she vomits.
4. If the sister is shown wearing short mini skirts and revealing clothes then she is a bad bad girl and will surely fall under the charm of the villain’s lackey and get pregnant. Hearing this father will suffer a heart attack and die leaving the family destitute. The sister will turn a new leaf overnight and wear simple cotton sarees and begins going to the temple morning, evening and night. She will eventually marry the father of her child after the last scene when the Hero beats him up black and blue and is about to crush his head with a rock the size of Mt Abu. She will intervene just before the Hero crushes his head by imploring the Hero to spare the father of her unborn son or crush her too with the ten tonner of a rock. The father of the unborn child is immediately due to a chemical reaction, transformed into a good man who will promptly agree to marry her without a DNA test of the baby.
5. A woman in a saree with her eyebrows shaped in a sharp arc is the vixen of the piece. Her make up is harsh so that you don’t mistake her to be the loving mother. And to drive home the point that she is the villainous of the piece, the preferred background scores for her will wear out the cymbals and drums of the orchestra.
6. The gal who arrives into the camera frame in slow motion, tossing her hair to some electric music is the Heroine. The Hero instantly falls in love with her. She instantly dislikes him. Then they sing a song picturised around ten International Gardens spanning seven countries. She falls in love with him after the song is over. Then they introduce themselves.
7. The man with the really bad wig, sun glasses and cheap Cigar is the villain! He will sit on a papier-mâché throne in front of a bar with foreign scotch whiskey bottles filled with what looks like weak tea surrounded by a bevy of beauties called Mona, Monica, Ruby and Julie, not necessarily in that order.
8. The Villain will almost always kidnap the Heroine and keep her captive in a dilapidated Architectural Society of India (ASI) fort. The fort has huge walls with "Raja loves Rani" and "Jesus saves!" kinda scribbling all over.
9. The Hero will home in on the ASI Fort ignoring the other 4567 forts under its aegis with the precisions of a GPRS device within minutes of the kidnap.
10. The mother of all battles happen in the last scene when the dilapidated fort is made further berefit of huge rocks that the Hero takes to throw at the Villain and his hired men.
11. The Police arrive at the fag end of the movie without an FIR being filed. This is a miracle of sorts in India and happens only in Hindi movies. They will immediately spot and arrest the baddies from the milling crowd of people beating each other to pulp.
12. Hero and heroine are immediately beamed up to a marriage pandal where they smile bedecked at the camera and the legend “THE END”
And they look genuinely happy it is over!