I could not resist the temptation of articulating the melancholy I felt after reading Greatbong’s May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss. Greatbong is not a great author of the like and might of Chetan Bhagat and others who feed the general population what they want (college+sex) but rather he is an ordinary blogger who just keeps the mirror before you. Greatbong rocks because he can write things which we always wanted to.
I am extremely outraged when I see Bipasha clad in handkerchief proclaiming shamelessly that “yeh jism pyar nahi janata, janata hai to sirf bhook”. My outrage is not really because this is against the great Indian culture which claims that “sharm aur haya aurat ka gehana hota hai” but more because we never really meet such girls in real life.
By we I mean the ordinary citizens mostly having Batchelor of Engineering degree who have spent most of their life memorizing complex chemical reactions, practicing drawing reproductive system of frog, trying to understand how a 4-stroke engine works and what is polymorphism in object orient programming.
The “we” I am referring to dont drive sports cars nor can sing “yeh, dil diwanaa, hai yeh dil”. They often work in their 4×4 cubicle listening to the news of how the guy in next cubicle got on his plane to work onsite.
Knowing that we are mere mortals and knowing fully well that “software-engineer” is just the modern day term for “bonded-labor” we continue to achieve excellences in what this bonded laborers are supposed to do. That is doing what is ordered to do without having a mind of your own.
While roting for all those entrance exams and later writing code for some US based company we have lost some real pleasures that life had to offer us. And then to amuse ourself we spend Rs250 bucks to watch the “reality we desired” on a large screen. A fake world created exclusively for our hidden desires.
Thats why I hate the hero who arrives in in house with helicopter. Thats why I hate the heroin who sings bhajans in sweet voice. Because I know that I have to catch a packed local to reach back home and the the bhajans that I have heard in my life were all sung by overweight ladies. Imagine Anuradha Poudwaal without make-up.
We might work for company that makes a few thousand crores a year, but then we are just among the few lakhs who work for it we will never earn a crore in life. Forget money, we wont even develop 6-packs even for a moment in out life. If at all we do that it will be by starving ourself at workplace.
Thats why movies like Gunda resonate with me. Just like in Bhagvad Gita Krishna says that he comes on earth for betterment of the common populace I feel that Prabhuji (Aka Mithunda) has incarnated himself for the common man.
Shankar, is the name of the hero in his movies who always has an overweight girlfriend, a sister that is even more fat and mother who prepares just the ordinary food. Not even Gajar Ka halawa. He has a father who keeps preaching irrelevant stuff like ours.
Shankar does not have 6 packs nor has a sports car. His father is not a rich NRI who is known as “Sexy Sam” or something like that. Shankar is just like us. His language is the kind of language that we speak and write. Haward graduate Sanjay SInghaniya writes in hindi after losing his memory, that hindi will put even Atal Bihari Vajpeyi to shame but Shankar is more pragmatic in his choice of words “Main hoon jurm se nafrat karne waala, shareefon ke liye jyoti, goondon ke liye jwaala”. Now thats the language that resonates with mortals like me.
Dont you remember you arguing with Rick driver saying “Dekho bhayya hum sharfat se bat kar rahe hai toh accha hai warana bure ke liye toh hum burebhi ban sakate hai”?
The dialogs of such movies are in deep contrast with the dialogs of n obedient son in My name is Khan “Meri Ammi ne muze yahi sikhaya hai ki duniya mein don kisam ke log hotey hai, ek bure aur acche”. I think the world has short supply of such Ammies otherwise we would not have had any person blowing up public places.
The down to earth B grade cinema is targeted towards poor people who form a very large part of our country. But, then the fact is that the mentality of these poor people is hardly any different from the most of the rich and newly rich people.
In olden times people watched Mujara now we watch Item songs. Today we hold contempt for the traditions of devdasis but if we look around you will see modern day devdasis everywhere. In the name of worship people satisfied their carnal desires. Today in the name of Reality shows people do the same things. Nevertheless the girls in Splits Villa or Swayanvars have better figures.
What people used to read and fantasize once upon a time is brought to you doorstep in the form of Times of India. No need to be a peeping tom anymore you have Emotional Atyachar running on Bindaas. And most importantly now you dont have to feel guilty about anything as long as you take your regular dosages of family drama and Ammi ki naseehat
Software engineers are not different from bonded labors and the cosmetics in markets are no different from the magic potions that people sold once upon a time. Todays versions are well polished, glossy and we believe them to be good.
Mithunda’s Shankar is not vulgar in fact he represents what the people really like and what we people really are. The poor people can afford to buy only the cheaper version of the Art whereas we can afford to watch similar or even worse crap in multiplexes.
The obedient sons, the so called family values, rags to riches stories, love for our sanskriti etc. is all nonsense and comparable to the hypocrisy that the higher castes once upon a time believed in.
The crowd at multiplexes and in KFCs and McDonalds but things whose value is much less than their cost. We laugh at old-time theaters and their food courts selling Samosa for Rs 2. We laugh at the black ticket selling boy, but we have no hesitation in buying ticket of multiplex for Rs 200 and then buying a Samosa for Rs 50.
How the black market of movie tickets is different from selling overpriced pop-corns ? Arent both cases of artificial demand generation and then ripping off the people?
The B grade cinema despite its poor production qualities stand aside because of its originality. Like greatbong says where else will you see 50 extras clothed as vampires dancing behind Dharamendra or avalanche of lemons coming down the slope where the lead actress is shaking her jumbo hips?
I love B grade cinema because I think it is at least honest in its depiction. We call the full clothes rape scenes in these movies as vulgar but when Hashmi’s finger roll inside underwear of Mallika we watch it with our kids in Inox. We laugh when Prabhuji puts the nail in wall with fingers as if the wall was made up of butter but when Shahrukh manages to fly a cycle rickshaw in Main Hoon Naa it becomes special effects.
What role do artist play in a society? As we develop more and more the role of these people becomes more and more important. Artists are supposed to hold mirror to the society even if it disturbs them.
Instead our film industry has created and world of illusions around us in which we continue to amuse ourself. A world with complete misrepresented view of reality, wrong values, age-old stereotypes and idiocy.
In all these difficult times Mithunda’s movies continue to show the path of salvation. : )