Article Hindi

The fire and steel of Kaala Patthar: 5 dialogues from the classic

On the film's 38th release anniversary (24 August), we take a look at 5 scenes that epitomize the firepower of the film's dialogues and actors.

Shriram Iyengar

In 1979, Yash Chopra released the third part of his 'Angry Young Man' trilogy, Kaala Patthar. The series began with the iconic Deewaar (1975), followed by Trishul (1978). It was Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar who wrote the dialogues for all three films, creating some memorable and iconic lines.

Kaala Patthar stands out in the series for its plethora of stars, the subject of mines (which would later repeat itself memorably in Gangs of Wasseypur), and the blockbuster dialogues that flowed from the pens of Salim-Javed. The film had the scriptwriting duo at the peak of their powers, and their skill evident through the powerful dialogues and scenes set against a dramatic template.

On the 38th anniversary of the film's release, we take a look at some scenes that are packed with the power of the dialogues that explain why Salim-Javed were considered the most powerful writers of their time.

1. Teesre baadshah hum hain

While the film had multiple stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, it was Shatrughan Sinha who walked away with the punch lines. One of them included this wonderful scene where he delivers the line 'Teesre Badshah Hum Hain' (I am the Third King), a quasi announcement of his own arrival on the box office.

Years later, Sinha revealed that the rifts between him and superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, began with Kaala Patthar, mostly credited to the weighty dialogues that fell into Sinha's lot. However, this didn't prevent them both from being nominated for the Filmfare awards in Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor categories, resptectively.

2. Chai yahan le aa

Few writers could create dramatic effect with the simplicity of Salim-Javed. This particular scene stands out for the tension building up between the powerhouses of Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha over a cup of tea. That something so small could make for such a blockbuster moment on cinema!

3. Zindagi me kabhi kabhi aisa waqt bhi aata hai jab khamoshi ek jurm, ek paap ban jaati hai, aur usi waqt main baat karta hoon

Playing the quiet, simmering loner, Bachchan has few moments where he explodes on screen in Kaala Patthar. One memorable moment is where he shows his support to the engineer, Ravi Malhotra (Shashi Kapoor, who else!) about his ability to speak. "Zindagi me kabhi kabhi aisa waqt bhi aata hai jab khamoshi ek jurm, ek paap ban jaati hai, aur usi waqt main baat karta hoon" (There comes a time in life when silence becomes a crime, a sin. Amd that's when I break the silence.) Boom!!

4. Abbe mere arthi ke phool, hum apni line khud banaate hain

While Amitabh Bachchan undoubtedly delivered the most iconic dialogue against the queuing mentality, Kaala Patthar had Shatrughan Sinha delivering it first. And in some style! As he says "Abbe mere arthi ke phool, hum apni line khud banate hain (My dear, I write my own lines)." Thus, the gauntlet was thrown.

5. Mangal ka khoon koi lemon soda nahi jisse Vijay jaise aunge paunge apni pyaas bujhaate phire

It is only Salim-Javed who can write dialogues that mention drinking of blood with humourous connotations. This scene is a wonderful example of their street lingo and sense of humour coming together to give a line that has been repeated ever since in street fights around the country.

6. Ye koyle ki khaan ek ajgar hai seth, jo roz anginat mazdoor nigalta hai

Not only was the film a blockbuster packed with action and dialogues, but it had a very moving human tragedy at its heart. Set at the epicentre of a collapsing coal mine, the film spoke about the risks, apathy, and perilous conditions in which the mine workers existed. As Amitabh's Vijay Singh says in the film, "Yeh koyle ki khaan ek ajgar hai ... joh roz anginat mazdooron ko nighalta hai aur unhe chabake, peeske, kuchalke ... unke jismon se zindagi ka ek ek katra chooskar ... ek laash ki soorat mein unhe vapas ughal deta hai."