Oye Hari... Hari Oye

This story is again from the chawl of Junagadh. I have tried to recreate it by various discussions that I had with my sister remembering the chawl which has made us what we are today... !!!

Part 1 : PROLOGUE : Bhavna remembers Harikant Masa
 "You know Kalpesh?, the best thing that happened to us was the chawl. Even after 18 years, the place that still controls my dreams is the chawl."
"Yes, I know. In a way, it was good that we didn't have money and ended up being there, in the chawl"
"and you know... I still dream of the chawl... All of them... our landlord lakhifai, Naynaji, Usha Masi and Harikant Masa"
"Ohhh.. Harikant Masa?  How is he? Must be very old now... "
"Yes... He has crossed 70... and can barely see now... can not even get up from the bed... ...   You know this person was our neighbor. Since the partition between the two houses(rooms) was just a thin wooden ply. Both the families could hear what was happening in the other family. I remember, theirs was the first house in the chawl to get a TV set. You might not remember... but they used to pamper us a lot. Every now and then, they would treat us with Dosa parties, Paun Bhajis, Samosa, Pani Puri and what not... he was like a father... You know since we could not afford a lot of items during Sushila's marriage... they gifted us a lot which helped in Sushila's dowry."
"But... as far as I can remember... Harikant Masa was a pauper... and didn't even have a steady job"
"Well... that's just another story"

Part 2 : Mr. Mehta speaks
I have known Hari since he was a boy. I still remember the day he got his job in the Electricity Board. I think, he was the first engineer from this city. I am not sure you know... I am getting too old. 
Every day, people would queue to see him home. So that they could meet him and ask for a favor.
What kind of favor? The usual ones. The members from his community would want him to place some of their people in petty jobs in the department. His neighbors would ask him ways to avoid their electricity bills. His friends would take him out and have parties on his money. They would make him do a lot of bad things. He didn't refuse anyone. Possibly... he didn't see anything wrong in it. For him, honesty was not as big a thing as making his dear ones happy. .. and you know... everybody wants to be a dear one to a successful person.. rite? You know during his prime time, he would use his jeep to even go to a Paanwala.
I always had a feeling, Hari would find himself in a lot of trouble. His friends were not good. They would always make plans to earn money thru Hari's position. I met him one morning. He was not his jovial self. So I asked him if everything was alright. He laughed it off as usual and said... nothing Mr. Mehta, just planning for a small vacation with friends... that's all what he said. Just after a day, I saw police inquiring about him. He was wanted in a scam of 35 lacs. Can you imagine, 35 lacs in those days? It was never heard of.
No... he didn't run away with the money. He never did after any of his crime. He was always there. How could he? The last thing he would do was to harm his family and friends. He surrendered himself immediately. But that's not what surprised me. You know... he took the entire blame on himself. 
Yes, you got it right. His friends had planned it. He was just a pawn. But when it came to accepting the blame. Nobody came forward. Everybody had families to look after. So what if he too had a wife and two daughters. Well.. his friends promised him to look after his family. He was sentenced for 7 years. Due to his good behavior he was let off just after 4 years

He always had troubles after that. Could not afford the earlier luxuries and ended up with his family in the chawl. Luckily, he got a job in the Hospital as a clerk. But there also he could not mend his ways... again forged the signatures and siphoned off around 2 lacs. So I believe... you have the answer now... The Dosas, Samosas and Ice Creams didn't come by his own money.  You know Kalpesh... after everything that has happened. I still think he was an honest person.

Part 3 : The End : Bhavna's visit to Masa.

Dedicated to Harikant Masa who was part of our little chawl and Bhavna who still keeps the old memories alive and visits all the people who formed the chawl... though I know both of them will never read this post.
PS : Blog Name is taken from the film Oye Lucky...Lucky Oye

"So , did you meet Harikant Masa? "

"Yes... I did and I cried like a child. You know he could barely recognize me. Usha Masi had to yell my name twice. But he was so overwhelmed to see me."

"How is he? What did he say?"

"He was so happy and said 

"Arre... Bhavna Beta... It's so good to see you...You know me and your Masi miss you so much. As we don't have anything to do now. We keep remembering the good old days of the chawl. You remember, how did we enjoy our little parties. The chawl is not as it used to be... everybody is new now. Our days were different. Mr. Mehta died some months back. I have not visited the chawl after that. But let me not tell you the sad news. You know... I have been so happy in my life. But sometimes, it makes me sad that I can't see you as well as my daughters. You know... they are also happy but they hardly visit us. Me and your Masi, are just waiting for our last moments. The only way to pass the time is to remember the good old days. You know, I am so glad that you came... nobody visits us these days"
... and then he started crying... I couldn't stay there... I ran away with tears in my eyes"


Hindi Films : The Top 10... who brought the change

Change is inevitable... and it has taken place in Hindi Film Industry... at a slow rate... still the last decade has been amazing... with new directors coming in... struggling to make films.... and struggling to get them released...
... so here is my Top 10... people who did bring the change.... 
(PS : This is not a list of Top 10 ... but the top 10 who changed the way the films were made)

10 : Ram Gopal Varma : The man who started it all
Well... take it or not... he was the one who started making "different" films... starting with Satya in the late 90s... he continued making anti-love-thy-family films thru out the 00s. The only sad thing : he could have been much higher in the rankings... 10th rank justifies his factory that has given us at least 10 directors which in fact changed the way films are made these days... His life though seems as if we are seeing a fast-forward a la- Dev Anand


9 : Imtiaz Ali / Raj Kumar Hirani : Makers of Clean & Lovely Cinema
Well... there is a reason for having them both in the 9th place... because they make adorable films... films that are fun to watch... films that are clean... they don't make different films... and to an extent they haven't changed the industry greatly..
However they have proved comedy need not be vulgar... and love stories can also feature people who may normal people like us...
Raj Kumar is rightly compared with Hrishida.... Every time I see somebody watching Munnabhai (1 or 2)... I see a smile which goes on and on.... 3 idiots was a bit of a "clean" disappointment though... !!!
I remember watching Socha Na Tha on a CD... by the time the movie ended.... I knew I liked it... I didn't know why... 
... I talked to a friend of mine... and he said... "I didn't like it... what's the point in making a love story where the hero/heroine just act as if they are commoners".... well... I had got my answer....

8 : Rajat Kapoor : Independent film maker
This one's my favorite... and all he wants to do is to make films... A film-maker since 16 years but came to prominence after the affable Raghu Romeo which did rounds to a lot of film festivals... it won some awards too...  I was stunned to see the movie... after Mixed Doubles... he came again with Mithya.... which in my opinion is among the top 5 films of the last decade.... Another reason for having him in this list is his ability to bring talent to films.... Ranvir Shourey... Vinay Pathak... Saagar Bellary .... all of them made their mark because of Rajat.
PS : I have a dream to meet this person... Rajat... are you listening?

7 : Farhan Akhtar : Filmy... very filmy...
I know a lot of my friends would want to kill me for this one... well... I am not a great fan of his... but I have to say... he did to the Indian Cinema what Tarantino did with Hollywood... Dil Chahta Hai was not only a good film but a film which spawned an entirely new genre of movies... It's been 9 years since DCH... the amazing part is you still see movies in which the storyline is a deviation of DCH.... He doesn't make great films.... but all is films are fun.... Don too was a mediocre film.... but when did he brag it being a "Do Bigha Zameen"... make no mistake... he is here for the commercial movies... and has been good at it...
... I surely would have put Zoya Akhtar in this... however she is just one film old...

6 : Jaideep Sahni : The script-writer....
Jaideep reintroduced a lot of directors with the most basic part of the film... the Script. When most of out film-jokers kept relying on on-the-set-scene-writers... he came up with a water-tight script. Jaideep has been a blessing to the Industry. I can't understand how RGV lost him... I am waiting for him to direct a movie in the coming years... and I hope he does... unless Yashraj are keen on using him for more "Aaja Nachley"s

5 : Ranvir Shourey / Vinay Pathak / Kay Kay Menon / Boman Irani / Abhay Deol / Konkona Sen Sharma : Actors par excellence
This place goes to the new breed of actors.... and I know I am missing a lot of them... what they have done is outstanding.... These people look like us.... they feel the way we do... and whenever you see them... it feels as if you are watching a part of yourself on the celluloid... 

4 : Dibakar Banerjee : The magician
If you want to watch a movie... and then forget about it... make sure it's not from Dibakar. The guy has made 3 movies... 3 totally different movies.... and all of them masterpieces.... His journey started with Khosla Ka Ghosla... and every time I saw Anupam Kher... he reminded me of my dad... and every time I saw Boman Irani... he reminded me of a relative of mine I can't write about in the blog... All his movies talk about people... who are like us... I have a suggestion for him though....
"Man... don't put.... "All the characters in the films are fictious" in your movies... they never look that way"

3 : Vishal Bhardwaj : The Shakespeare of the films
Like his mentor Gulzar, Vishal is a man with extreme talent.... a fantastic composer, a terrific writer, and in my opinion, the best director in the Hindi Film Industry today (and if he has his ways... he sings too). All of his movies have been absolute gems... 
Again... the best thing about him is that he doesn't limit himself to any genres in film-making... he made his directorial debut with Makdee.... a children's film.... Maqbool and Omkara were based on shakespearean plays with the mafioso background.... Blue Umbrella was again a fantastic film (although for me it was never a children film)... He proved in Kaminey that he too could make a commercial one... and that too better than the rest.

2 : Anurag Kashyap : Arrogant, Indulgent, Narcissist
What RGV started with.... Anurag has reached that height... I am one of those who people who have always believed that India lost out on an Oscar by not letting his Black Friday release... This man has fought a lone battle for years... and it has been our loss all the time... 
This man is the Stanley Kubrick of our industry.... if he makes a movie... it surely will have a lot of shit in that... If there is one person who knows about cinema more than anybody... it has to be Anurag. Probably one of the best script-writer in India. Has an amazing sense of music.... finally he is catching up on whatever he has lost out on. Will always be remembered as a man who changed Hindi Film Industry forever.... still the first place doesn't go to him....

1 : Ronnie Screwvala : The Sky where all of them can fly
All the 9 entries above are film-makers or actors... However, the top slot goes to this man... who doesn't direct, act or do anything within the film... but he makes sure... that anybody and everybody who knows films should be in films... He is the one who has introduced our audience to films that nobody wanted to produce... he not only produced them but also made sure they were commercially viable. He gave a platform where people like you and me can make films. and no He is not here to loose money... he is here to change the way Hindi Films were produced... it has taken time for UTV Motion Pictures and UTV Spotboy to be where they are... but the revolution has begun.... and now other major names have joined in... but he is the one who is at the top... and should remain so....

I could have gone on length mentioning much more about these great people... however... let me stop here....  and as I said... this list is about the people who did make a change... not about the greatest... hence names like Shekhar Kapoor, A R Rehman, Sudhir Mishra are missing.... since change mostly starts with filmmakers... most of the people mentioned here are directors....


The Betrayal

The brother :
You know, I have never forgotten it. I still have dreams of what happened initially in Keshod and then in Junagadh. Whatever money I had, I invested in the shop thinking it would be safe with her and her husband. How could they betray me. But I was wrong and stupid too... they kept giving me two hundred rupees and one day I was no longer a partner. I was a servant in my own shop. On some days, they would not give me my salary of 3 rupees a day. For them, they could club two days salary and give me on the next day... but for me... I could not buy the oil, rice and roti that could feed my family. I did not know how to deal in business... and I did not know to question people who were my own

The sister :
I couldn't stop anything. People kept telling my husband to kick his wife's brother out and he did it. My daughters tell me the destiny has taken a revenge on them because of whatever we did. There are days when he wakes up and asks.... Is it Keshod ?.... I think this is Keshod.

They talk of a man betraying his country, his friends, his sweetheart. 
There must be a moral bond first. 
All a man can betray is his conscience. - Joseph Conrad