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Jogis, Salman Khan and the Hindi cinema

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If one were to travel down memory lane, during the times when love was an expression that had to be ushered in hush-hush manner, Jogis or the ascetics had a prominent role to play. In sync with the Varnashram system of the ancient times, where a graduate before entering into the grihashtha Ashram was in a Brahmcharya Ashram, and his initiation into the world of grihasthashrama was through these enticements and allurements by the beautiful maids. Capturing this spirit, Hindi cinema had scored scores of songs which underlined this process of initiation into the grihastha ashram by invitation from the lovely ladies to enter into relationships with them and settle into a married life. 

The analogy from this that is being drawn in case of Salman Khan's films in the modern times is through the fact that the characters that he plays these days have a sense of detachment about them and it is this that endears him to the audience. This phenomenon has emerged as an underlining motif in his films, be it WANTED, DABANNG or READY. READY indeed provides a perfect opportunity to revisit the moments of the Hindi cinema where the Jogi was eulogized and he was invited to enter into a married life.

SHAHEED: Its famous song 'Jogi Hum to lut gaye tere pyaar mein jaane tujhko khabar kab hogi', indeed was a subtle reminder and hint to the character of Bhagat Singh that apart from fulfilling his national duties, he also had a duty to stand up to as his filial obligation. While it may appear as a gendered argument, fact of the matter is that this is how the situation pans out owing to the indoctrination of boy where he is asked to first seek sustenance for himself then find a partner, and that could be why the term 'Jogi' fits as a perfect nomenclature.

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AMRAPALI: Vyjantimala enticing Ashok Kumar to leave his saffron robe and join the worldly pleasures was another gem from the golden era of Hindi song, where the jogi was sarcastically being underlined the importance of a love life, with the song 'Jao re jogi tum jao re', set to exquisite music by Roshan.

BANDINI: Here was another gem from black and white era, where again it was Ashok Kumar being eulogized as the Jogi by Nutan through the song 'Jogi jab se tu aaya mere dware' as he was being done in AMRAPALI by Vyjayantimala. One thing that needs to be underlined is that the lyrics in these songs invoking the 'jogi' were simply out of the world.

NADIYA KE PAAR: The film which formed the basis for Salman Khan's super hit HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN, had this famous song 'Jogi je dheere dheere nadi ke teere', where for a change both the lover and the beloved had become so much immersed in each other that they had become ascetic to the outside world, but as it would have been unworldly to openly express the feeling, a Jogi was involved as the conduit to explain the predicament that the lovers were into.

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TAAL: 'Tu Ramta Jogi', from Subhash Ghai's super hit film again underlined in the modern times the role the Jogi plays in our social construct and the song picturised on Anil Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is one of the most energetic songs that have been filmed. 

As a matter of fact if one were to glean through the history of epic romances in our country and even outside the invocation to the bard has been rather profuse across generation. In particular Bengal and Punjab literature has been profuse with such invocations and no wonder the films that have been made where a jogi has been eulogized, it has had a Punjabi or a Bengali connection. 

The jogi indeed is powerful, manifest from how a Jogi has created the conscience of the country (Baba Ramdev), and one often wonders whether Salman Khan's life story also does not follow the same path as he has that element of ascetics ingrained in him. 

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