Asha Bhosale Bappi Lahiri Bhupinder Singh Film Ghazal

Memorable Melody in a Murder Mystery

Bollywood has sought what is euphemistically called “creative inspiration” from diverse sources. Usually the original plot is distorted/Indianised with the predictable twists and turns , love triangles, and of course songs and the inevitable fisticuffs between the hero and the baddies that is settled in favour of the good guys with lots of ketchup splashed around before the cops’ jeeps arrive, blazing sirens, and all. And of course the Police officer is the only one in trousers with the peaked cap worn at a rakish angle and armed with nothing more than a sidearm and a baton.

Sometimes the transformation is complete and one can’t easily recognize the original. At other times the veneer peels off easily and one is easily able to see what lies beneath.

This song (played a tad too frequently on Mastiii music channel), is from one such.

Of course Hitchcock’s original was based on a play (first shown on BBC TV, before going to the stage in West End and a few months later to Broadway). The original movie was a wonderfully made Classic Hitchcock thriller with Grace Kelly, whose beauty reined in Prince Rainier of Monaco and she is now well known as Princess Grace of Monaco. The movie in its Bollywood avatar is called Aitbaar and had Suresh Oberoi and Dimple in the lead roles. I daresay the lady’s second innings was far better qualitatively than the first, with much meatier roles than the voyeuristically made debut film, Bobby. Raj Babbar is the villain who smokes a pipe almost as long as the Umbrella he carries in the song. (Why not a cane??) The movie has Dimple wanting to get out of an abusive marriage with the brutish Raj, turns to Suresh for succour but becomes a sucker for Raj Babbar’s ploy of turning repentant and Dimple being gullible doesn’t see through Raj’s raaj and now creates a nice little dilemma for herself: Main idhar jaoon ya udhar jaoon?

Danny turns up as well. I believe this song, sung soulfully by Bhupinder Singh and Asha Bhosle, is the best that our man with tons of Gold around his (non existent) neck, Bappi Lahiri who could compose awesome melodies as well as make cacophony by way of disco music. He made his niche unfortunately for the latter, and even partnered with Mithun Chakraborty, the poor man’s Travolta. Mithun was replaced by the poor man’s Mithun, viz. Govinda, who also had streaks of Dada Kondke, having grown up in Virar. This so nauseated Mithun, the poor man legged it to a hill station, starting his Monarch group with interests in Hospitality and Education, and changed political parties (Commie in school and college days, TMC in the political sense, not the slang acronym, and is now a Rajya Sabha MP with the BJP…. Talk of actors basically being chameleons…)

Aitbaar which was a copy of Dial M for Murder, itself acted as a source of inspiration for Saavi in Tamizh and New Year in Malayalam. Humraaz made in the early part of this millennium, had the Dhai-kilo-ka-haath wala’s brother Bobby Deol, Akshaye don’t forget the last E) Khanna, and Amisha Patel who has been having a much longer reveal-all career on Instagram than in Bollywood. Amazingly Humraaz was very intelligently copied from A Perfect Murder, which itself was made from Dial M For Murder.

Stay safe and healthy, folks, and take care during the blazing summer.


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

2 replies on “Memorable Melody in a Murder Mystery”

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