A couple of days back, I was browsing through the Times Crest edition, and came across an article (unfortunately, not available online) that made the point that lately, Hollywood has hardly given us memorable one-liners. Of course, I do not watch much of Hollywood so cannot comment on that. But to substantiate its claim, it referred to the list of top 100 movie quotes, compiled by the American Film Institute in 2005, that hardly had any entries of recent vintage. The top one, for the record, is the memorable 'Frankly, my dear, I dont give a damn' from 'Gone With the Wind' (ironically, the line ran into trouble with the censors for the usage of the word 'damn'.. what times they were !!) . Anyways, reading that article set me thinking: if such a list was made for Bollywood, then how would it look like ?
Bollywood has always provided with superb one-liners through the ages, but the period of the 70s and 80s can be regarded as the golden-age of dialogue writing. In fact, I am hard-pressed to remember any memorable line from the 60s and before that, as also, from the last 10 odd years (and would gladly stand corrected on the same, readers can please fill me in). In my opinion, it might be because in the 70s, Bollywood movies started become more larger-than-life (thanks in no small measure to a lanky 6 footer from Allahabad). And to supplement the larger than life characters, Salim-Javed and his co-writers needed to come up with larger than life dialogues. And not the just the hero, in fact, the most memorable one-liners came from the villians. To name a few, Ajit ('Saara shehar mujhe lion ke naam se jaanta hai') or Amrish Puri ('Mogambo khush hua') delivered famous one-liners. And given the influence of Bollywood on the masses, more so then, the public lapped it up, incorporating them into everyday conversations. So much so, that even after nearly 40 years, one still hears them at every street corner. Of recent movies, maybe only Paresh Rawal and Hera Pheri comes close.
So which is the greatest of 'em all ?? The contenders are many. Sholay, is of course, a gold mine for dialogue lovers. Almost every character, including Jagdeep, Asrani and Viju Khote, had his/her place under the sun. But it was Gabbar who walked away with most of the taalis and ceetis in the theater. And while 'Kitne Aadmi The' is undisputedly the most famous, and most used and abused, one-liner in Bollywood, my vote goes to four words from a movie released in the same year. Those four words directly touched the heart of movie-goers. It elevated the first woman in everyone's life to a heavenly pedestal, above all material needs of the world. One need not even have a roof over his head, but her presence in one's life meant that the world was his. When Inspector Ravi Verma uttered 'Mere paas maa hai', an entire nation was hooked for generations to come. Nothing more needed to be said to silence the pompous older brother. It went to the core of all things Indian. Kudos to Salim Jaaved !!
So whats your favourite one-liner of Bollywood (except the generic and hackneyed ones like 'Kutte kamine...' and 'bhagwaan ke liye chhod do....'). Do post your comments !!!
PS: Wishing all readers, their family and friends a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year !!!... With a new visual look, I hope you will see more of me here in 2011....