Some unforgettable dialogues from Hindustani films

This is another post I’ve been thinking of for long but was unable to find time/ Yeh ek aur post hai jise kafi arse se mein likhne ka soch raha tha lekin waqt saath nahi de raha tha. Finally today I resolved to do it/Aakhir kar maine soch hi liya ke ise anjaam de doon.

This is basically on some immortal dialogues from Hindustani films/Yeh kuch Hindustani filmon ke yadgaar “dialogues” se vabasta hai.

You might have come across several such lists on the internet/Aapko ghaliban “internet” mein aisi kuch aur fehrist zaroor mili hongi. Mine is a little different/Meri apni kuch is sab se hat kar hai.

First, I will just give you five dialogues/Pehle to main aapke nazar sirf paanch dialogues pesh karunga. And that too from three films/Aur woh bhi sirf teen filmon se. And of these, the first two and the last came into mind quite readily but the third and the fourth suddenly struck me/Aur in mein se, pehli do aur aakhri ek dam mere dimagh mein aa gaye lekin teesre aur chauthe ittefaqan zehn mein uttre.

One more thing I must mention/Haan, ek aur cheez bolni zaroori hai. Each of these dialogues must be understood and appreciated in context of the scenes they are taken from/Har ek dialogue ko samjhne aur sarahne ke liye aapko is film ke us manzar ke havaale se dekhna hoga. Therefore I shall provide a small synopsis/Is vaaste, main kuch muqqadma dene zaroori samjhta hoon.

I will now end the bilingual format, as I come to the first film “Shatranj ke Khiladi”. Made in 1977 by Satyajit Ray, whose sole Hindi film it was, the film gives a good account of the decadence and sybaritic life the nobility of Awada had sunk into by the time of the last king, the hapless and misunderstood Wajid Ali Shah, and thus why and how the British – by then the paramount power in the country – found easy to annex it.

The film follows the fortunes of two aristocratic fops – Mirza Sajjad Ali (Sanjeev Kumar) and Mir Roshan Ali (Saeed Jaffrey), who spend all their time playing chess, usually at the house of Mirza Sahab. As generations of wives, who lose their husbands to sport, would well understand, this habit is not very well received by their wives – Khurshid (Shabana Azmi) and Nafisa (Farida Jalal) respectively.

Both the wives evolve their own ways to deal with the situation and their distracted husbands – while Nafisa takes a lover with whom she spends all her time while the Mir is at Mirza‘s house,  while Khurshid (who appears to be quite newly-married) frets and finally hits on the stratagem of hiding the chessmen……

Denied their daily fix, the two distraught noblemen walk around the streets of Lucknow, trying to find a place where they can carry on their game. As part of their venture, they visit the house of an ailing elderly lawyer – in whose sitting room they recall seeing a chess set – on the pretext of inquiring about his health. They are shown in, and immediately take seats across the board. Unfortunately, the servant comes in with sherbet and removes the chess set to an adjoining table to put down the tray.

As soon as the humble servitor goes back in, our two adroitly slip over to the set but as their hands hover to make the first moves, a loud spell of wailing announces that the good lawyer has gone to the Great Courtroom in the Sky, and the two hurry to make their escape…..

Finally, they return to the Mirza‘s house, where he has the idea of replacing the missing chessmen with vegetables…. After dispelling some confusion of the Mir who keeps on forgetting what each vegetable was to replace, they are well on their way with the game…. (some people are incorrigible!!)

Meanwhile, Khurshid, who is in the zenana exulting over the success of her plan, learns that her husband has returned and is back to his old tricks. Furious, she retrieves the chessmen from their hiding place, storms to the veil separating the zenana from the male quarters, and flings the bag at the two…. her aim is bad and most of the pieces hit the Mir Sahab.

Both men are naturally taken aback, but as Mirza Sahab sits in embarrassed silence, Mir Sahab, sporting a look of extreme surprise, exclaims, in the characteristic Lakhnavi andaaz:

“Ama lagta hai, kisi ne ham par do-naala dag diya” (Ohhh, it seems someone has fired at me with both barrels).

To be continued……

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