When what you see is NOT what you get

Saw a reference to a Kishore Kumar song today – “Phoolon ka taaron ka” from the movie “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” – the Dev Anand movie of 1971 with Zeenat Aman as his lost (in more ways than one) sister.  Seems that the posting was related to Raksha Bandhan – celebrated yesterday, but it jogged up a different memory for me.

When the movie was released, my maternal grand mother was  visiting us in Delhi. Not sure that Indian Express, the old undivided one, our staple diet for daily news, used to have movie reviews in those days.  Or if there was one, whether it used to be read to decide which movies to see. I remember though that the paper used to have a half page full of mini movie posters in the Sunday edition.  Well, tickets were booked, and my mom & brother decided to take my grand mother along too. Seeing the title they expected to see a mythological film, or one with a strong connection to Rama and Krishna.

The pious lady that my grand mother was, one can only imagine her trauma of having to endure the 2 plus hours of Dev Anand’s iconic movie of the time on the hippy culture, drugs and it’s negative impact on youngsters. Just imagining her having to watch a skimpily clad Zeenat inDum Maaro Dum along with her grandson – my brother – brought a smile to my face. She must have most definitely closed her eyes! While my brother must have kept his – wide wide open!!! 🙂

Dear reader, any other movie titles that you have been mislead by?


6 responses to “When what you see is NOT what you get

  1. A.K.Rajeshkumar

    Hello Ravi,
    I had a very similar experience. Not sure how many tamil movies you had watched. But there was a movie called “Ram Lakshman” released during my school days. It was a summer vacation and all of our cousins visited arupukottai in my grand parent’s house. We always did this once a year during the summer vacation. My grandfather who never used to go to cinema (he considered that to be as bad as smoking and drinking !!), decided to take all his grand children to this movie thinking that this was a narration of Ramayana. But it ended up to be a Kamalahasan and Sripriya movie. Not withstanding Sripriya there was also an item number in that movie by Jeyamalini (Look at this link http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu8txv_oona-vandhu-kamal-haasan-tamil-song-ram-laxman_shortfilms) .
    He underwent the same experience that your grandma had !!



  2. Hilarious! My cousin had a slightly different but equally amusing experience.

    Back in those days, my uncle was posted at the Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam (near Madras, as it was then known), and they all lived in the colony. In that cocooned atmosphere, there was an exciting monthly event to look forward to — an open-air movie screening!

    My cousin, around 14 years old, told his parents that the movie to be screened that month was “The Day of the Jackal”. My uncle, aware that the movie contained a “bedroom scene”, promptly declared that he had heard the movie was lousy — he initially refused to accompany them. But he was contradicted by the others — his wife, daughter and son the cousin I’m referring to), and all four of them ultimately went to the movie.

    During the movie, when the said scene appeared on the screen, my uncle (seated next to my cousin) said, “Tale baggisu” [lower your head]. My cousin, rather confused, bent his head slightly but kept looking at the screen. My uncle then ordered him “Kannu mucchiko” [close your eyes]. Again, my cousin, squinting, kept looking at the screen. Then, my uncle, who could take it no more, cupped his palm loosely over my cousin’s eyes — but not too effectively — my cousin did see it all!

    When the next movie (a benign Hindi flick) screening was announced, my cousin declared, “I have checked — this movie is safe for Daddy to watch!”


    • Hilarious Nandita! My son may say the same to me soon 🙂

      As an aside, I don’t know whether your cousin would agree, but to me, there is something fascinating about growing up in these public sector “colonies”.
      1. The kids would all have parents working for the same company
      2. All the houses would more or less be equally shabbily constructed – a great leveler I suppose compared to the equivalent “gated communities” of today, where it goes to the other extreme! Yes, there were grades of housing, the bigger ones with bigger yards, and with a garage for the senior officers…
      3. All kids studying in the same “Central” or Kendriya Vidyalaya schools – again a great leveler; surely to be able to get better grades than the son/daughter of your dad’s boss’s boss’s child must have happened frequently.
      4. You did not own the house you lived in; yet you made it your home. You planted trees; you may not have been there to reap the fruits – retired, or transferred to another location.

      I myself did not grow up in one, but have respected the various public sector companies, and some of the private ones too, particularly the Tatas for having created that basic infrastructure. Of course, one can say that they had no choice, and that I am being nostalgic.

      Our own industry did nothing but take cheap, subsidised land from the Govt., but only to put up office space. An Infy or a Wipro is hailed for providing various services/restaurants in the office, but none of them tried to emulate the older giants in making a real positive difference to the “quality of life” of their employees. Buses with 2 hour rides each way is not a great achievement in my eyes.

      Well…maybe that is not fair. Maybe they did pay well. Well enough for making people “house/flat owners” much earlier than their parents. Made it possible for an entire housing industry with it’s positives (employment for millions, revenue for Govt.) and negatives (unplanned development, land sharks) to come up. So what if you end up spending lesser time there with your family? That is the new reality… learn to deal with it!

      Wonder …what if in the 80’s/early 90’s, Infosys/WIPRO had decided to acquire more land at each of their prestigious “campuses”, and constructed decent quality housing that employees would be “allocated” …for a cost, would it have worked better for the industry as a whole? Less attrition, happier employees…Hmmm…SimCity anyone? 🙂


  3. Yes, I’m inclined to think that “colony life” offered innocent fun in an old-fashioned, nostalgic way. Also, with all these kids imbibing their Kendriya Vidyalaya academics and playing in uncrowded ‘maidans’, I’m not surprised that many of them went to IIT, JIPMER or CMC Vellore, and that many were into sports as well. I mean, how many of us city folk could even get access to a badminton/ tennis court or a swimming pool?

    And yes, about your Infosys and Wipro suggestion — I think it would definitely make for happier employees. So here’s my suggestion to you, Ravi: How about you acquire some land in Lakshadweep while the land is still cheap, and set up a firm there — I can ‘volunteer’ to be employee #2 🙂


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