Sep 30 2016

Revisiting Hrishikesh Mukherjee's simple characters — Birth anniversary special

by   Keyur Seta

Hrishikesh Mukherjee enjoys a special place in mainstream Hindi cinema. His films and characters trigger a profound effect in the hearts and minds of the audience. But what makes his achievement more special is that he uses everyday situations and characters to put forth his point. On his 94th birth anniversary today (30 September), let’s revisit his common characters with uncommon characteristics. 

1 Professor Parimal Tripathi from Chupke Chupke

He is a Botany professor who goes about his job of teaching at a girl’s college. He is always dressed in simple attire. So, who would believe Professor Parimal Tripathi to be a big-time prankster who can go to great lengths to keep up his act of fooling someone? But despite doing so, he still remains a kind-hearted person. This remains one of Dharmendra’s most loved acts.

2 Ramprasad Dashrathprasad Sharma from Gol Maal

Like a large majority of middle-class youth, Ramprasad is eager to land a job. This is not to lead a luxurious lifestyle, but to just sustain a living. But what sets him apart from fellow common men is that just to earn a decent living, he can even go to the extent of impersonating a fictitious person, all in good humour. This remains one of most admired, simple characters from Hindi cinema, perfectly portrayed by Amol Palekar.

3 Manju from Khubsoorat 

Manju showed that a sweet-natured and kind-hearted girl-next-door can also be a rebel at heart. But what sets her apart is her ability of bringing a change by winning people’s hearts, a quality so evident in Hrishi da’s characters. The character traits and the act by Rekha made sure that the film is remembered even today.

4 Anand from Anand

Anand has only one mission in life — to make people around him, including strangers, happy and joyful. He keeps devising newer ways of spreading happiness. Looking at this, it is difficult to believe that he is suffering from a fatal disease and has only a few months left to live. And this is exactly the reason why this simple looking common man has ventured on this special mission. Rajesh Khanna’s act coupled by Hrishi da’s presentation would melt even a stone. 

5 Raghu from Bawarchi

A chef is someone who aims at delighting the taste buds of the family that has hired him. Raghu successfully manages this. But what makes this simple bawarchi special is his ability to remove conflict from a family and re-unite them after winning their hearts. Rajesh Khanna brings in the right energy and charm to move the hearts of the audience. 

6 Guddi from Guddi 

It is normal to have a crush on a fimstar during your young days. Almost everyone goes through it and Guddi is no exception. But she isn’t like any other fan as she even wants to marry superstar Dharmendra, whom she admires. Eventually it takes a lot of effort to make her realise the difference between reel and real world. Jaya Bachchan (then Bhaduri) brings in the right skill to play this simple yet difficult character.