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When love flew like a red ribbon in the blue skies
Nov 10, 2008 12:53 PM 2452 Views
(Updated Nov 10, 2008 01:03 PM)





And once upon a time,  love meant much more than just toned, perfect bodies ; more than a perfectly plucked, arched eyebrow ; more than the perfect walk down the ramp ; more than the perfect pickup line ; more than carefully applied pastel, natural makeup ; more than six-pack abs ; more than smses ; more than emails. Because back then, life was simpler and so, love was simpler.*

When I look back at the kind of love stories I grew up on, I remember the loud, unevolved ‘Hero’, ‘Love story’, ‘Dil hai ki manta nahin’. The stories that shaped and moulded my ideas on love. I know that we have come a long distance from those times. Yet, somewhere, I keep turning back and peering in the indistinct fog of the past times whenever someone mentions ‘love’.

‘Love means a tall, lanky Jai Kishen aka Jackie (Jackie Shroff) with a week-old stubble and lazy eyes, smiling, with a flute in his thin fingers, with the salty, damp wind on the sea-shore teasing his silky hair.

And yes, laugh if you must, but ‘love’ means Radha (Meenakshi Seshadri), wearing a bright red dress, all laces and flounces, red sandals (which I suspect would be considered highly ‘behenji’ in today’s times), red ribbon in hair, huge hoop earrings, bright red lipstick, running towards Kishen, with her  long, black hair (no highlights, mind you) flying behind her, shouting ‘Jaanu !!!!’

Jaanu’ is a word that I had never heard before this movie. But the moment I heard it, I fell in love with it. I also fell in love with my imaginary ‘Jaanu’, my hero, my saajan, and all the other endearments that are so Bollywoodisque and so sweet !

‘Hero’ is a story of a young outlaw called Jackie who kidnaps Radha, daughter ofShrikant Mathur (Shammi Kapoor) on orders of his gang leader, Pasha (Amrish Puri). The kidnapping flies off the tangent when Radha and Kishen fall in love with each other, sending all the equations in a disarray. The lovers face many a hurdles in form of Radha’s disapproving but supporting brother, Damoder (Sanjeev Kumar), a lusty suitor of Radha, Johny (Shakti Kapoor), a thundering, angry father of Radha and a fire-breathing Pasha. What follows is an intense, passionate love story about love transforming Jackie into an honest, law-abiding person. The end is happy of course, with the lovers uniting, after many a tears, sighs, outbursts and fisticuffs.

‘Hero’ was a typical Subhash Ghai movie, high on melodrama and not very rich in subtlety. Everything was exaggerated, the love had to be very, very passionate ; hatred had to equated to poison ; sacrifice had to be laced in heart-breaking tears ; songs were sung, with intense feeling. Everything was like an explosion on the senses, and oddly very uplifting.

Neither Jackie Shroff (who was introduced in the movie), nor Meenakshi Seshadri were very good actors. However, they were supported by terrific actors like Shammi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Amrish Puri and Bindu. The story was fresh and interesting, and very rich in all departments, like comedy, action and emotions.

I come back to where I started ; the songs. Every song of ‘Hero’ was a stupendous, popular hit. ‘Tu mera hero hai’, ‘Nindiya se jaagi bahaar’, ‘Pyar karne waale’, ‘Ding dong’, ‘Lambi Judai’… the list goes on.

Yes, I know it’s 2008. And the world has changed. Bollywood has changed too.

Love has taken upon a more sophisticated, pastel shade and the waves no longer crash on the rocks in a symbol of path-breaking emotions.

Girls no longer put red roses in their hair and go running, shouting out ‘Jaanu !’ and break into a spirited dance with the crashing waves which throw surf on the beach. Boys no longer stand lazily, play the flute, smile apologetically and yet open their arms wide for their sweethearts. But what about that little girl in me who refuses to move on with the changing time ? That little girl still lives on in me and so love has always been in the shades of crimson red, ready to burst into ripples of happy laughter and break down into floods of tears, just in a moment. And that moment stands still, like time, changing all the time and yet remaining the same forever.

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Hero - Bollywood