The Unglamorous Babu Moshai of the Glitzy World – Hrishikesh Mukherjee

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Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Hrishikesh Mukherjee

A master story teller, a master editor and one that worked within minimum cost and time… but the characters he gave us were special. He had a few unit members that were his constant on the set players for a game of chess. They played chess and he directed in between moves on the board. Never missing out on any little detail for the film. Anand, Anupama, Satyakam, Anuradha, Anari, Guddi, Namak Haram, Mili, Chupke Chupke, Abhimaan, Golmaal, Bawarchi, Khubsoorat,Bemisaal and Aashirwad. These are films we don’t merely love, they’re what we routinely reach for. The perfect example of invisible craftsmanship. The movies give you the feeling of gentle breeze. Leaving the audiences with a pleasant lingering memory. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s legacy to Hindi cinema are his no-fuss entertaining films. The movies are generally differentiated in commercial cinema & art cinema. But in case of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, he worked in a commercial way to give the audiences the art called cinema.

Popularly known as Hrishi-da, he directed 42 films during his career spanning over four decades, and is named the pioneer of the ‘middle cinema’ of India, renowned for his social films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos.
Born on 30th September 1922, in Calcutta, he began his career as a teacher. He taught mathematics and science for some time. He wanted to become a bio chemist, but while teaching math and science in a school, he developed an interest in photography. While he was learning the craft he started sitting with a friend who was a film editor. He chose to begin working, initially as a cameraman, and then film editor. He worked with Bimal Roy as the film editor & assistant director, with landmark films like Madhumati, Do Bigha Zameen, Devdas.

Whether it is a laugh riot like Chupke Chupke or a heartbreaking Anand, which makes the audiences cry no matter how many times they see it. His movies are ageless, his stories are the stories of every man and transcend generations. His movies are ones you could see and enjoy as a whole family without worrying about sleaze and bad language that seems to be the norm rather than the exception in Bollywood films today. Each movie was a beautifully polished gem, and presented in the simplest manner. He was a Godfather to many big actors, giving them the roles of their lives to cherish for. He gave Rajesh Khanna, Dharmendra, Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha and Amol Palekar some of the best roles of their lives.

His films are permanent. The dramas are infinitely compelling, peopled by characters. From Rajesh Khanna’s babumoshaai to Utpal Dutt’s eeesh & not to forget the lyrical dialogues from Khoobsurat. His characters are quirky. They are real. They are honest. A film with Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s name would ensure a new and original storyline in an industry plagued by unoriginal plots. He was the unglamorous director in the world of glamour!!!

We bring some of the songs & scenes from the films of this master story teller.

1. Golmaal (1978)

2. Chupke Chupke (1975)

3. Anupama (1966)

4. Guddi (1971)

5. Anari (1959)

6. Anand (1971)

7. Satykaam (1970)

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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