I have grown up on a regular diet of Bollywood, Kollywood and popular Hollywood movies and am an unabashed fan of Big B and Super Star Rajnikanth.
In Baasha, the Mumbai don turned auto driver reneged on his promise to Dad Rangaswamy. Maanik Baasha went back to his violent ways and crushed the evil Mark Anthony’s wicked revenge plans. Amitabh Bachhan’s shake of the mane in a crowded bus stand in HUM transforms him from good Bada Bhaiyya back to Tiger. Accompanied by awesome background music that scene was a treat to watch! I am sure Chiranjeevi and Captain Vijaykanth and Mass Nagarjuna have all had similar scenes that drive up adrenaline levels! Whistle whistle!!
We like punch dialogues, so much so that even T Rajendran’s king kong dance and accompanying song cum dialogue – “Vaa daa en machhi, vazhakka bajji, un udamba pichi, poduven da bajji” was first row whistle stuff but did carry an appeal for the simple reason that Words were followed by Action.
Rough translation is: Come on my brother in law, Green plantain fried snack, I will pluck your body parts and make fried snacks!
See, all effect was lost in translation 😦 – this dialogue probably inspired Prabhudeva to show Vadivelu getting thrashed in Pokkiri by just showing the cutting of vegetables and their conversion to fried snacks followed by Vadivelu in a pitiable state with torn clothes and a displaced weird hairdo 😉
Imagine, Pokkiri Vijay saying, “if I decide once, I don’t change my decision” and then going off to sleep along with Papa Nasir. Or Annamalai Rajni going to a homeless shelter and becoming a small time milkman after bellowing a punch dialogue that ‘you have patted and woken up the lion that was sleeping inside me all these years.” Imagine, if Baasha’s sister fell on his arms with blood on her face and Thalai trying to negotiate with the baddies or keeping quiet instead of commanding his police officer kid bro to “Go inside!”
We can think of infinite examples from scores of movies that small time to great actors like Dharmendra, Vijay, Akki, Ajay Devgan, MGR, Die Hard Bruce Willis, Ethan Hunt Cruise, Rambo, Arnold, Mithun da etc etc have graced on the silver screen.
In short, all these movies appealed to the basic logic that action has to follow punch dialogues. We cannot tolerate Dharmendra yelling, “Kutte, main tumhara khoon pi jaaoonga” and dance he may, with Hema running from one tree to another but pardoning the kutta. The bad dog always got beaten to pulp. Poor Amrish Puri or Raghuvaran or Nambiar or Ashokan but good always won over evil. Ramayan, Mahabharat – weren’t these the foundation stones of our belief systems, mental architecture?
Now, let me also take you to a particularly funny yet irritating habit we developed at my second year in college. It was called the ‘But Not’ game. Karthik, a wingmate, I think, started it all. To give you an idea about this habit or game, let me give you an example.
Saandman (another wingmate) is frantically looking for his notes about 2 am in the night for an exam at 8 am in the morning.
Saandman: Hey Fido (we used to call Karthik, Fido due to his resemblance to Fido Dido), Mera notes dekha kya?
Fido would say “Yes” …. Followed by a long pause … Saandman’e eyes would light up with excitement …. Then Fido would add “But Not” – that meant no!!
The “But Not” virus spread like wildfire and we stopped using the term “No” for a while.
Did you go to class? Yes, but not.
Lunch khaaya? Yes, but not.
A, B and C discussing in hostel wing at 515 am: Hey send that first year akdoo bachaa to Reema (hot daughter of the prof who dared to give their wing topper bad grades). Make him say to Reema,” I love you …. but not” Abbey, paagal ho gaya, she is my new girlfriend …. But Not!
I encountered another variant of “But Not” when I was at Trivandrum. Jeeva, a dude from Nagercoil, another Thalai fan and a colleague cum room mate years ago, would have told Saandman:
“Yes” ….. followed by a long pause … Sandman would have got excited ….. then, jeeva would have said, “Appidi solluvennu nenacheengla? Adhu thaan illai!” – meaning, “Did you think I would say that – that’s not the case, ha ha”
Saandman and Fido encounters always had the same ending. Saandman was strong: hence the name, but Fido was equally cool. He was just a shade slower than Milkha Singh and before Saand could react, Fido would fly away. Saand would laugh it off.
I am reminded of the above backgrounds because of the current situation in India after the Mumbai attacks. Pranab, Manmohan, PC are all in desperate need of a generous dose of Bollywood / Kollywood action movies. After delivering punch dialogue after punch dialogue,
“Main tumhaara aisaa bajaa daloonga, ki roney ke liye tumharey paas aankhey nahin rahegi” (I will beat you so badly that you wont have eyes to shed tears!”), (thats my masala dialogue! never mind 😉 )
“The attackers will be given a ‘fitting reply’” – Maybe the movie crazy Indian population assumed Soniaji’s remarks as a war cry (like ‘dayeeeeee’ etc that our heroes bark before pouncing on the villains). Who imagined that a fitting reply only meant an email to Zardari debauchee with a cc to Condoleezza Rice from Rahul Gandhi’s laptop? That piece of IT work can get outsourced to a Tier N Indian IT company using Gandhi kanakku (read free)
Politicians from both India and Pakistan have always loved the ‘But Not’ game. Abdul Rehman Antulay used Karkare as a political snack thrown to woo Muslim voters. It pains for a simple movie fan like me to see a brave dead officer like Karkare turn into Hemant Kurkure by the political class! Will Karkare or Salaskar be reborn like Alex Pandian or but not? While Zardari has been harping on state and non-state actors, Sharif showed bewilderment as to why Zardari was trying to deny Kasab’s Pakistani citizenship. After all, nobody expects Kasab to carry a stamped passport or a ration card while he was going trigger happy at CST! Sharif’s statements made our media celebrate prematurely and it seemed like we could leverage Sharif and win international sympathy to prove our point. What we didn’t realize was Sharif was playing the But Not game. He said, “Now show us a proof and I shall personally send a mail without outsourcing the work to anybody and request Zardari to take action”
LeT boss is arrested and thrown into a prison. But not – he is under house arrest. He has access to Internet, uses google talk (that may be another news item in the media soon, just like ‘terrorists used google maps’ made headlines earlier) but wait, Pakistan has now said, But Not.
He has not been arrested at all. Dawood is in Karachi. But Not! He is not in Pakistan at all.
Manmohan had said that we want economy to thrive, hence no war. We wanted war – but not. War hysteria is not good for anybody, but not! We had thundered and given a month’s deadline to Pakistan to show ‘action’ against terrorists, no … not terrorists, just “terrorism supporting elements”, state or no state and it is 26th December, almost!
Meanwhile, South Africa and Australia are going to play the second test match, Lee and Haydos are woefully out of form. India has won the series, Tendulkar has given a gift to Mumbaikars, Yuvraj has made strong statements with his bat, Rajni is shooting for Endhiran and dancing in Peru with Aishwarya ….. It is ironic is that the common Pakistani and Indian man both love Bollywood.
– And Life goes on?? No, but not!
I can imagine the terrorists laugh and say, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, ‘But Not’!!