Thursday, December 1, 2011

Funny Favourites

Some days back, I was wondering if I had enough money to buy full collections of books and films, what I would choose to buy. Mentally, I started preparing my wish lists in different categories. As a person fond of humour, my first mental list was that of genuinely funny Hindi films (rather rare specimens, amongst the multitude of trash like 'Ready' and 'Thank you') that I would like to possess. Here is the list I came up with, of the top ten Hindi comedies that I would love to watch over and over and over again…

1. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron – The very best dark satire ever made in India, if you ask me! Scene after scene, even as you roll in the aisles with laughter (as I actually did, when I saw the movie for the first time in the theatre in the 80’s), you can’t shake off the feeling of despair from the back of your mind. Even at the end - after that mad climax scene, you are in splits, but your heart is feeling despondent at the fate awaiting the crusader duo. Apart from the climax too there are scenes that are totally hilarious. I still remember the scene where Ravi Vaswani and Naseeruddin Shah (in quick succession, without being aware of the other one's attempts), try to flirt with Bhakti Barve in the studio thinking she is a wannabe model, and both end up with resounding slaps! And the look on the ‘dead’ Satish Shah’s face is so comical, you completely forget he is supposed to be a corpse and go hysterical with laughter. A film that is on the top of my ‘Not to be Missed’ list.

2. Golmaal(1979) – Much Ado about a Moustache! Even now, when I remember Utpal Dutt’s reaction when Amol Palekar’s glued-on moustache starts coming undone, while he sits oblivious of the fact, munching the goodies served to him - I break into fits of laughter. Apart from the main actors Utpal Dutt and Amol Palekar, Dina Pathak’s comic brilliance was a revelation. Playing the socialite actor forced to play the role of Palekar’s widowed mother, she essayed the role to perfection. Remember the scene where she tries to squeeze her ample behind through a small window to get inside Palekar’s house in order to prevent Dutt from discovering that she is an impostor…and you can’t help but chuckle…

3. Khosla ka Ghosla – This is one which will be appreciated more by people who have lived in Delhi  (or should I say people who have survived Delhi J). In particular, it strikes a chord with those who have withstood the sundry property dealers and brokers strewn about the city. The film was so ‘people like us’ that it still amazes me. I see Anupam Kher grumbling when forced to eat a pizza, and I remember my uncle who never eats noodles, claiming they remind him of wiggling worms. Think of the hero of the film being a full grown adult male called ‘Cherry’, and you will find 10 like him in your immediate neighbourhood (if you happen to live in Delhi, that is). Many scenes in the film are absolutely hilarious, but my favourite is the one where Navin Nishchol, impersonating a rich NRI, goes to a five-star hotel to meet Boman, the land shark. Everything from Nishchol’s self conscious walk to his dialogue ‘Aap chup rehne ka kya lenge?’ to the middleman are absolutely top class.

4. Munnabhai MBBS – What can I say about this film- I find some scenes insanely hilarious. My most favourite one is the garden scene where Sanjay Dutt informs Boman Irani he can’t marry Boman’s daughter Chinky because he is in love with Dr. Suman (wthout knowing she is actually the very same Chinky he is supposed to be thwarting). Boman is totally stupendous in this scene – no matter how many times you watch this, I guarantee, you will laugh!

5. Padosan (1968)– Not the most politically correct of films – with a large part of the comedy being provided by the ‘madrasi’ classical music teacher played by Mehmood, who seems to be perpetually fighting a battle with his veshti. But still, I love the film, and the sight of the paan chewing Kishore Kumar, shaking off a lock of hair from his forehead and saying “Arrey Bangdu!” to Sunil Dutt is pasted in my memory.

6. Lage Raho Munnabhai-  I’m not quite sure whether this film qualifies technically as a comedy, since it has a deep social message and also a full quota of heavy duty emotional scenes. But for me, it produces more laughs than most stuff that is passed off as comedy nowadays...

7. Chashme Buddoor – This film, about a couple of jealous guys  (Ravi Baswani and Rakesh Bedi) trying to scuttle their friend's romance with a girl they themselves fancy, is relatively unknown - but I consider it a must watch. I promise, you won’t regret it!

8. Chalti ka Naam Gaadi – Kishore Kumar at his barmiest best, with his real life brothers Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar for company. Many of the songs themselves are comic masterpieces. Who can help but laugh at the irony of the lyrics,

roop ka tum ho khazana
tum ho meri jaan ye maana
lekin pehle de do mera
paanch rupaiya baara aana

accompanied by Kishore’s antics!! Take a look at the story behind the 'paanch rupaiya baara aana' at

9. Chupke Chupke – One of the best situational comedies in Hindi films. Raises deep philosophical questions about the English language such as ‘If T-O is pronounced too and D-O as doo, then why is G-O not goo?' Profound!J

10.  Hera Pheri (2000)– Another hilarious sitcom I simply love to watch – rerun after rerun on TV. Every actor manages to do justice to his or her role, including Suneil Shetty – which is quite a feat…

So, this is my selection. If you think there are some which I have missed out, you are welcome to add to the list. Let me see how many of these I can acquire in the next 6 months!


  1. arey andaz apna apna kidhar gaya? :)

  2. Arrey yaar, Carrie! A number of my friends have recommended that movie to me, bu unfortunately I still haven't watched it properly(only bits and pieces). Thanks for reminding - I'll add it to my list!!

  3. Arre Gautami, tu toh rockstar hai - with a huge fan following and all!! :) But haan, I do go to your site once in a while (and I did check out the poem you wrote recently, jiska link FB mein diya tha...)

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