1 November 2004 | chintamani
Hrishikesh Mukherjee Special
"Babu Moshai, Zindagi Aur Maut ke Khel Mein Hum Sab Katputhli Hain" An immortal piece of dialog from an immortal movie Anand. Many a Hindi movie starts of well,but falters pretty badly in the climax. Anand was one of the few movies which grips you from start to end. Its one of the few movies which has an unforgettable climax.
Consider this the eponymous character Anand(Rajesh Khanna) lies on the bed dying. Babu Moshai(Amitabh Bachan) enters the room. He cannot bear to see his friend lying still on death bed. He holds him and shakes him up weeping uncomfortably
"Tum Mujhe Aisa Chod Ke Nahin Ja Saakte"
"20 mahine se mein tera bak bak sun raha hoon"
"Baate Karo Mujhshe" And then as if on cue, the tape recorder plays "Babu Moshai, Babu Moshai, Zindagi aur Maut Ki Khel Mein Hum Sab Katputhli Hain, Yahan kya hote hai, na tum jaane na main Sab Upar Wale ki Haath Meiin" The ghostly way in which the voice appears and the equally eerie laughter, creates such a haunting impact, that a shiver runs down my spine every time i watch this scene. It's as if Anand is speaking through his spirit, and even after death he still continues to live.
Anand is a masterpiece of the first order by Hrishida and one of my all time fav movies. Now an interesting thing regarding the dedication of Anand. It wad dedicated to Raj Kapoor and the city of Mumbai.
The Raj Kapoor connection was easy to make out, as he was Hrishida's best buddy in real life. Hrishida got his first commercial success with Raj Kapoor's Anari and Raj Kapoor got the best actor award for the movie. They were as different as chalk and cheese. While Raj Kapoor was the typical loud Punjabi extrovert,,Hrishida was the very epitome of the Bengali Babu with his sober intellectual demeanour. Also Hrishida's movies were aimed at the common man, and pretty sober and minimalist in nature, while RK was a showman par excellence with his penchant for larger than life canvas and huge settings. Hrishida himself admitted that Anand's character was based on RK's and he didn't cast RK as he couldn't bear to see his friend die on screen also. For his part Anand was a movie always close to RK's heart.
Regarding the Mumbai connection, i feel the story of Anand is somewhat linked to that of Mumbai. One could be that Hrishida made his career in Mumbai and i guess this was his way of saying thank you to the city which made him. Most of Hrishida's best movies have been Mumbai centric "Anand", "Mili","Abhimaan","Gol Maal" to name a few. Also like Anand, Mumbai is a city which though beset with innumerable problems like slums, crime, pollution, overcrowding still manages to survive and live every day. Life is not easy for an average Mumbaikar, what with all those overcrowded trains, high prices, crime rate but he/she still has a zeal for life, which is rarely found anywhere else. Its a city which gets back to normal life even after a couple of bomb blasts have destroyed large chunks. Its a city where dreams are made and realized. Its a city where people face a daily struggle and yet have an inexhaustible zest for life,much like Anand, who knows he will die but takes death head on as he says "Babu Moshai, zindag Badi Hone chahiye, Lambi nahin". Mumbai is a city that dies a thousand deaths daily, but never loses its love for life. Anand is a man who knows he is to die, but makes the best of his limited life.