Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Scenes and then again that scene

In my last post , I had mentioned some of the scenes which I thought everyone should see. However in my eagerness to put pen to paper , I think I have missed out possibly one of the greatest scenes ever. While flicking through channels , I had caught an old classic favourite of mine on TV the other day. After watching the movie, both me and my wife had agreed that if there was ever a scene which needed to be added to the list it was this one. The name of the movie was CLERK and it had an ensemble cast - Rekha , Shashi Kapoor , Prem Chopra and of course the writer and director of the greatest scene ever - Manoj Kumar.
Clerk will probably go down in the annals of Indian film history as the greatest comedy ever. That it was intended as a satirical discourse on the state of government clerks is a fact that has not dawned onto anyone till now. Moreover having witnessed the first hand reaction of several people watching this movie , I would have to say that it will continue to remain one of the worlds best kept secrets.
Manoj Kumar plays an honest clerk called Bharat in the movie who lives in dire straits. His father ably played by Ashok Kumar an ex member of the Indian National Army is suffering from a heart attack and this morbid unsettling environment leads possibly the greatest miracle ever. It also ends up putting in jeopardy the profession of cardiologists the world over into extinction. As expected ,the greedy doctor refuses to visit the house of the poor clerk whereupon Manoj Kumar says "Inka ilaaj mere paas hai " While you wonder that perhaps the clerk doubles up as a heart surgeon at night , the young and energetic Bhartat pulls out two batteries from his pocket. He also says that main battery ke cell (pronounced shell) le ke aaya hoon. If that is not enough while his father is writhing painfull on the bed , MK proceeds to insert the cell into a cassette player and it starts playing kadam kadam badha ke chal. Slowly but surely Ashok Kumar starts moving his hands and legs to the beat of the song. He then proceeds to sit straight up on his bed while stomping his feet on the floor as if he is practicing for the parade in front of the prime minister . If that was not enough he punctuates the marching steps with beating his heart (yes the very one that was gasping about 30 seconds ago) with his fist. While you sit watching the resurrection open mouthed , our now recovered INA soldier proceeds to walk without support to the cassette player and stops it proudly proclaiming "Ab maing Gaoonga". If that was not enough we are treated to 5 Ashok Kumars ( why why why ?) all breaking into an open throated rendition of the same song.
Now I was not very good in biology ever but even I think this is just taking things a bit too far. I mean music being a soother is one thing but music becoming the one thing that converts people lying half dead into chest thumping ,happy go lucky singers is just another.
For those of you who have missed this scene, fear not. I am attaching the link to the video below.
Clerk - Modern Cinema's Second greatest Movie
PS - If you have not seen this movie , it is my sincere advice to catch it.
PPS - Gunda is still the greatest movie ever.

1 comment:

Ritu said...

Really funny Mr. Mehra.... your description of Ashok Kumar's transformation was so vivid that I could actually visualise it.... clerk was really good but GUNDA still rules!!!!