Is it not ironic that when BEST's 61st anniversary was being celebrated and its most famous brand icon was not remembered at all? Two of the icons of the Hindi films began their quest for stardom in Mumbai by joining BEST. The icons are known by the names of Johny Walker and Sunil Dutt. While Johny Walker was a bus conductor in the BEST Sunil Dutt worked as a depot Manager. When BEST is being sold as a brand icon for Mumbai, the icing on the cake in the form of being given importance in score of Hindi films through the present stars is agreeable, but its brand icons should not be forgotten.
Right from the black and white era BEST has had a place of importance in the Hindi films. Who can forget one of the first songs written about Mumbai, expressing the angst for a common man to survive in Mumbai, and fortuitously the song being picturised on Johny Walker from the film TAXI DRIVER; ''Ai dil hai Mushkil jeena yehan, jara bach ke jara bach ke ye hai Bombay meri Jaan''. As London is identified with Red Bus all over the world, so is Mumbai identified with Red Bus and this branding on an international platform has been made possible majorly through its picturisations in Hindi films.
It was Rahul Rawail who had used BEST to great effect in his film ARJUN and as a matter of fact the red bus was a constant companion and a backdrop for most of the sequences into which the film unfolded. It was probably for the first time that Baba Azmi shot fighting sequences in the rainy nights of Mumbai where BEST was used as the prop.
In the recent memory BEST has been used in prominence in AAMIR. BEST has been used in picturisation of various songs, and one of the most famous songs that have been picturised in the Hindi films, which has covered one complete route along the Marine Drive is from SHAAN, and the song ''Jaanu Meri Jaan... literally flows through all the famous landscapes around Mumbai, and BEST could think about using this song as a remix to market the reach and the expanse that it covers for the city.
When the history of Red Bus would be written role of Hindi films in making it evolve, as a brand icon for city of Mumbai should be underlined in bold motif.