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Bullet, songs of life and Hindi films

Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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With Harley Davidson deciding to start manufacturing their boutique motorbikes in India, the day is not far-off when the hunks of the Indian cinema would like to display their association with this mean machine at the drop of the hat. But once this is done, the pride of India, as far as the motorbikes are concerned, Bullet would have to make a solemn exit from the world of Hindi cinema.

It indeed is an amazing fact that while Hollywood has built one of the most enduring films associated with motorcycle driving 'MOTORCYCLE DIARIES- JOURNEY OF CHE GUVERA', an iconic film on life and its various nuances no such attempt has been made by the Indian film makers in this regard. May be, now that Bullet is on its last leg in the film industry, it indeed is an opportune time to run a check list of the films where Bullet has formed an integral part of the landscape of Hindi cinema.

One of the most enduring images that Bullet brings to mind whenever it is talked in context of Hindi cinema is through the song 'Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana' from ANDAAZ, where Kishore Kumar returned to yodeling after a pretty long time. This song in fact was one of the most popular recalls that one can associate with romance, and after ANDAAZ, many a romantic eyed Bullet as the prized possession to be in love. It also is one of the most enduring mysteries why one of the true romantics of Indian cinema, Dev Anand never tried to sing a song on a Bullet.

The same kind of romanticism was invoked in association with Bullet when Shashi Kapoor rode it in KALA PATHAR, the song 'Ek Rasta Hai ZIndagi', again one of the gems rendered by Kishore Kumar evoking the philosophy of life that life is road and road is life'. Shashi Kapoor never looked as handsome and as romantic as he did in this song. Released in 1982-83 this song had become one of the most enduring songs for the aficionados of Bongo, as after a long time a song had come that had magically used the effects of Bongo to convey the mystery of life.

The bon-homier between friends was used set against the backdrop of Bullet ride when Ramesh Sippy made SHOLAY and the song 'Yeh Dosti Hum nahin chodenge', again emerged as one of the inspirational songs that paid an ode to the value of friendship, it deriving from the association with the vehicle of passion Bullet. Abhishek Bachchan and Bobby Deol did an encore in JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM paying a tribute to the landmark that their fathers had created in SHOLAY.

While Bullet was used sparingly to convey the romance of life, it was used as a tool of rebellion and streak of Independence to striking effect in Shashi Lal Nair produced ANGAAR where Jackie Shroff riding an old version of Bullet to telling effect leading his pack of boys, was probably the only film where the symbolism of Bullet's association with rebel was capitalized in a big way.

How could it happen that Amitabh Bachchan would not ride a Bullet in the Hindi cinema when his predecessor had used it to killing effect in ANDAAZ. He got an opportunity twice over once as Zanisar Khan in ANDHA KANOON where he played the role of a Police Inspector before he became a rebel against the law and then in AAKHIRI RAASTA serenading Sri Devi with 'Gori ka Saajan', both of the films again representing the struggle against the deficiencies of the system, so in a oblique manner having a symbolic association with rebel against unjust.

When Gulzar made MAACHIS he brought out in stark details how Bullet had emerged as the veritable tool for the misguided youth of Punjab who used it as a vehicle to wreak havoc and destruction. For the uninitiated Bullet is called as Bullt in Punjab and is one of the major vehicles that is used to supply milk, as two big cans of milk are hung on either side of the back seat. Gulzar was the first person who brought out this in stark reality in MACHIS underlining the fact that he had deep understanding of the subject.

It also is one of the most intriguing aspects of the Indian cinema that the present icons of the Hindi cinema never thought to use Bullet as a vehicle or a toy denoting machismo, as they use the foreign motorbikes. It would indeed be one of the most fitting tributes to this iconic vehicle called Bullet if a film is made on it in the same manner as MOTORCYCLE DIARIES- JOURNEY OF CHE GUVERA has been made. The exploration needs to be brought to the silver screen, as it has real success on the television screen. May be, before Harley Davidson takes over Indian two-wheeler markets some genuine person needs to bring out the happiness associated with Bullet on the silver screen is anybody listening?


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