My friend Salim Javed has always been a movie buff. Coming from a rich family of 'civil' contractors he has had no worries about earning a livelihood like most of us. Instead his only occupation as well as pre-occupation has been to squander the ill-gotten wealth of his forefathers mostly on movies, on cinema tickets, CDs and DVDs and now lately on attempts to make his own movies.
The latter phase started after his meeting with an Assistant to an Assistant Director of some film studio whom he met while the film crew of that studio was shooting some film sequence in Kashmir. Actually he was angling for a role in some film but the Assistant to Assistant Director, after getting my friend to sponsor tours for himself and his family to Gulmarg, Pahalgam and the rest of the tourist spots convinced him that he would be better off making his own movies.
Now if there is any movie that has really impressed Salim Javed it is that blockbuster of yesteryears, Sholay. You can find framed posters of the movie in every room of his house.
He keeps saying that it is a divine sign and not mere coincidence that his parents named him Salim Javed. What is more he has made it an article of faith to watch Sholay every Saturday and you will always find him quoting dialogue from the movie in the manner that some people quote religious scriptures.
So much so that one day when he went to the house of his girlfriend to ask for her hand he just grabbed her hand in her father's presence and said, 'Yeh haath mujhe de de thakur'! The strategy failed miserably though as the girl's father instead grabbed his neck in a vice like grip and said, "Yeh haath nahi phansi ka phandha hai"! Poor Salim Javed begged for mercy mewling like Soorma Bhopali, 'Meeein tou aeiesayhi mazak kar riya tha!'
Anyway a month back Salim Javed dropped in at my place andtold me that he was making a movie.
"What is it about?" I asked him.
"It is inspired by Sholay. I will be using some dialoguesfrom the movie and a song or two but it will not be a remake. You see dacoitsbelong to the past as most of those thus inclined instead choose politics thesedays. So my movie will focus on politics or to be more exact on elections," heexplained.
"I don't get it.Sholay and elections! And how will you fit in the dialogue," I said, "Will therebe a revenge-seeking Thakur in this movie minus his arms courtesy GabbarSingh?"
"No there will be norevenge-seeking Thakur in my movie. One has to be creative yaar so instead ofthe Thakur there will be a revenge-seeking Thakurayan. No cut arms or emptyhanging sleeves either, the Thakurayan will just spout emptily hanging threatsand though she looks deadbeat I will have her singing the song 'Jab tak hainjaan jaanejahaan mein nachoonghee…'
"Okay! So will Jai and Veeru be there and will they help out the Thakur?"
"No! Forget the old movie! I told you there will be noThakur but a Thakurayan in this movie and Jai is her arch rival who will infact counter her by telling her, "Ramgarh waalon ne paagal kutton ke saamneroti daalna bandh kar diya hai!"
"What about Gabbar? Do you have him in your movie?"
"Of course! What's Sholay without Gabbar! We will have thiswhite-bearded older Gabbar Singh appearing every now and then in the backgroundand saying 'Gabbar ke taap se tumhe ek hi aadmi bacha sakta hai, ek hi aadmi …khud Gabbar!' and if somebody tries to act over-smart he will tell hismarksman, 'Arey o Sambha Utha Bandook aur Laga Nisana Kutte Par!'
"Will there be actors playing 'separatists'?" I said.
"Of course! They willbe going from village to village on horseback uttering this single 'dialogue'…"
"Basanti in kutoon kesamney mat nachna!"
"And what will Basanti do?"
"Basanti poor thingwill be in two minds because you see in every speech she will be promised asadak for her mare Dhanno along with bijli and pani and probably even ghaasthrown in for free."
"Anymore dialogues from Sholay that you intend to use?"
"Yes there is thisscene on the Election Day when the actor playing the role of the Grand Old Manof resistance leans out of the window and finding no one around asks thepoliceman standing guard outside his home 'Itna sanata kyon hai bhai?' Thepoliceman replies, 'Kyonki janaab sab log polling booth gaye hain, vote dalnay.'"
"How does the movie end?"
"Yeah I was coming tothat. There is this fellow in the end called Jhamhoora (short form of his realname that is Jhamhooriyat) who tosses a coin in the air and says, 'Heads we wintails we lose!'"
"So what is it going to be? Heads or Tails?"
"Why haven't you seenSholay! It will be Heads of course because I will be using the same coin whichAmitabhji used in the movie. You see it will be a coin that has 'Heads' on bothsides so either way it falls it will always be Heads!"
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored!Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce(iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, email@example.com)