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Salaam Bollywood : Father moments in Hindi films

Salaam Bollywood : Father moments in Hindi films
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A few days ago was Father's Day and fathers in Hindi cinema are in an interesting phase, which is very different from how it used to be in the 60s and...

A few days ago was Father's Day and fathers in Hindi cinema are in an interesting phase, which is very different from how it used to be in the 60s and the 70s era

bhawana somayyaToday, a number of father- son 'jodis' work together as a team, some on the big screen and some in commercials for instance there is Rishi- Ranbir Kapoor who shared space in a commercial, Dharmendra � Sunny, Bobby Deol who did three films together for their home productions, Rakesh- Hrithik Roshan who have done wonders as a team for advts, films and even stage, Amitabh- Abhishek Bachchan launched a banner and a company together, have done films, stage shows or Javed � Farhan Akhtar who have together as a producer and a lyricist team.

The list of 'baap-beti jodis' is just as long and impressive starring Randhir- Kareena Kapoor who have to still be seen together, Anil � Sonam Kapoor who have done a commercial, Kamal - Shruti Haasan were seen together years ago in 'Hey Ram' and Shatrughan � Sonakshi Sinha who are so much together in spirit that it is difficult to disconnect one from the other and finally, Mahesh �Aliya Bhatt who are as much of 'guru shishya' as father and daughter.

Everybody has their favourite father moments on screen, so do I. On top of my favorites is Anil Ganguly's 'Kora Kagaz'. The older daughter of the house, Jaya Bhaduri has not returned home till late evening and the family is concerned. As a guilty Jaya runs up the home staircase, she notices her father pacing the floor. Father AK Hangal notices her at the door and heaves a sigh of relief. He hesitantly walks to where she waits and after a long quizzical look, leaves the room. No dialogues yet the scene effectively convey Hangal's disappointment and Jaya's feeling of remorse.

In Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Mili', it is late night and Ashok Kumar is waiting for the family doctor's verdict on his ailing daughter's test reports. As the doctor confirms his fears, Mili picks up the extension line in her bedroom and listens to the conversation. In a follow-up scene when the house is plunged into darkness, a weary Jaya Bhaduri, wrapped in a shawl tiptoes into her father's room, snuggles into his bed (today it would be interpreted as incest). Ashok Kumar sensing her crying wakes up worried. What follows is an immortal scene with a million dollar dialogue. "Main sochne lagi ke mere babuji jaise kisi ke bhi babuji nahin, bas rona aa gaya...." Over the years no father-daughter scene has evoked such purity of emotion. I have wept every time I've watched the scene and I'm absolutely certain that late Rahi Masoom Reza wept writing it too.

In all of Hrishikesh Mukherjee films, there was an endeavor to resolve moral dilemmas. In 'Anupama', the father holds his daughter responsible for the demise of his wife during childbirth. The daughter, Sharmila Tagore, grows up into a withdrawn woman, petrified of her father. At long last, she discovers true love and decides to leave home and while everyone dissuades her, her father Tarun Bose sets her free. The closing scene in the film where he bids a tearful goodbye to the passing train is him making peace with his daughter.

In 'Abhimaan', Jaya Bhaduri has returned to her father's home after a domestic argument with her husband. She hopes that he will follow her and take her back, he doesn't. Unable to contain her sorrow, Uma retreats into a shell. Her musician father, again played by AK Hangal, tries distracting her by engaging her in music, but the strains of 'tanpura' and echoes of 'stotras' is too painful and Uma is not ready for healing as yet.

In 'Jurmana', Shriram Lagoo never fails to wish his daughter Raakhee at the stroke of midnight on her birthday. The special relationship is destroyed by a cruel joke that becomes a turning point in the father-daughter relationship and Raakhee is forced to leave home. Her ailing father turns blind in misery. To help him heal Raakhee visits him as a stranger and to lift his spirits sings sings 'Nanhi si ek kali khili thi baag mein...' Raakhee sits far away from Shriram Lagoo to not arouse his suspicion but the simple picturisation in a bungalow lawn without any camera gimmicks is heartrending.

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The reason Hrishikesh Mukherjee films were special was because everytime his characters suffered, the filmmaker suffered with them. That was true to a great extent about Mahesh Bhatt as well and this was evident in 'Daddy' when Pooja Bhatt will not allow Anupam Kher to get near alcohol. It's a touching moment in 'Sooryavansham' when older Amitabh Bachchan arrives in disguise to watch his neglected son felicitated in a public gathering and returns home proud. Anil Kapoor never thought he could adjust to the regressive village life till his father Amrish Puri dies Anil carries forward the tradition in 'Viraasat'.

It was a complex father �son relationship in Vipul Shah's 'Waqt-the race against time' where in father Amitabh has to be cruel to his son Akshay Kumar to be kind and the son understands this very late in his life. In recent times also we have watched some sparkling father- child moments from different genres of directors. I like the way Aamir's father senses he is low in New Zealand and wants him to return home in 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Salman Khan standing up for his adopted parents Amitabh and Hema Malini in 'Baghban' when their biological children let them down is a moment to cherish and how can we forget the climax in Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham' when younger son Hrithik with the help of Kareena brings warring Amitabh and Shah Rukh together in a mall.

The father is his child's hero and Sharman Joshi proved this when he threw caution to the winds to fulfill his only son's dream in 'Ferrari ki Sawwari'. In AB Corp's 'Paa' it is Aurro who brings his estranged parents Abhishek and Vidya together and even gets them married by taking the rounds around his hospital bed in the climax. Films change, technology alters but no one can ever take away the magic of a father � child relationship

Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya

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