Last weekend, I introduced Sanil to the wonderful world of 70s Indian cinema. We watched 'Amar Akhbar Anthony' together. At first he was rather disturbed, with the 3 brothers being separated and all. And he was extremely concerned what would happen to the little kids. I assured that it would all work out in the end. And it's only the first 15 minutes that's the sad bit. He did not seem convinced.
However once the movie was over, he had a big smile on his face. And he was thrilled about the fact that everyone was together and happy in the end. And all the bad guys went to jail. And everything was basically hunky-dory. Not only did he enjoy the movie, he was happy that it all worked out for everyone concerned.
But that is what 70s Indian cinema was about- happy endings (and not the Bangkok kind). And simple positive life lessons- good triumphs over evil. And good always has the same faces- Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Dharamendra, etc. And evil also has a stable cast of Ranjit, Pran, Ajit, etc.
You recognised who was good and who was evil from the onset. No surprises. You knew no matter how many bizarre twists and turns, it would all come together in the end. There was a perpetual sense of hope. And you never lost faith.
Even now in life I follow the lessons I learnt then. I can't let go of the firm belief that bad karma will always catch up with you. Because in the end of the 3 hour movie, even the supposedly inefficient police catches up with the bad guys. You simply can't escape!
The 70s value system also left me slightly idealistic. I say 'slightly' as I think we all have been corrupted to some extent by, for lack of a better term, 'modern society'.
I still teach Sanil the value of every dollar ( with the rupee depreciation, 'a rupee' just would not cut it). The importance of sportsmanship over winning. The emphasis on hard work. The essence of friendship. And the most critical of them all 'mere paas ma hain' is always a trump card ;)
70s movies also boasted of simple story lines, in line with the simpler times. Eight out of ten movies protagonist separate, to be united. Sanil was rather fascinated with this. When I told him next we would watch 'Satte pe Satta' a story about seven brothers, he very innocently asked "So all seven separate in the beginning, and meet in the end?".
Even the love stories were simple and straight forward. When you love someone, you tell them- always through a song. And irrespective of what family, society, religion, think of it, you don't leave that person, ever. It was simple.
I ache for those simpler times. But I am happy I can still give Sanil a flavour of them through the fabulous world of 70s Indian cinema.
Now he wants to watch 'Sholay' but I have told that he needs to graduate to it. First he needs to pass 'Satte pe satta' and 'Do aur do paanch'. And if he get through, we can talk about the great 'Sholay'.