When I saw that Zee Classic was showing Gandhi, the iconic movie of 1982, I was thrilled because who doesn’t love the classics from years past.
But it also brought to mind an interesting interaction I had with my son, about music.
A few days ago, I was engrossed in editing a particularly difficult scene of my novel (WIP) when a few familiar lyrics from long-ago fell into my ears. After the song ended, I told my son, who was watching TV, that I was reminded of Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. He replied that it was the same song. But it isn’t Tracy Chapman’s voice, I insisted. That was a classic.
With a laugh, he said it was a cover of Fast Car by Jonas Blue. I made a face and commented that it was certainly no patch on the original. He begged to differ – he preferred the modern, faster version.
I was faithful to the original and keeping aside the WIP, I searched for all Tracy Chapman songs on YouTube and spent a few nostalgic, soul-warming hours with her.
Which brings us to Bollywood songs!
The number of contemporary songs that pierce the utter mundanity of life and uplift it with their memorable lyrics, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And so it has become an acceptable trend to morph the unforgettable songs of yesteryears into today’s feet-tappers. These are successful just because of the exceptional quality of those songs of yore.
And then my mind drifted to the classic films of Bollywood. And this being the season of Independence Day, I realised TV viewers were in for a goody treat of iconic movies from an era that made us movie-crazyfans.
‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ by Zee Classic
Zee Classic has, in fact, rightly named its ‘Woh Zamaana Kare Deewana’ section which showcases classics as well as new age movies along with their creators. In this endeavour the very first movie it premieres in celebration of India’s 70th Independence Day is the iconic ‘Gandhi’, this Saturday, on 13th August at 8 PM in ‘India’s Finest Films’ and on Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM.
This is the story of a barrister from India who responded to racial discrimination in South Africa with Satyagraha and used the same method of Peaceful Agitation in India to drive out the British and bring the British Empire to its knees. He also proved that simplicity and the power of collectivism can bring about a massive change.
Yes, this is the story of Mahatma Gandhi, whose life inspires us even today in our fight against injustices. And in that vein every time I watch the movie I am in tears and feel enriched with motivation to be a better person. As Gandhiji said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
My mind again speeds ahead (or rather, to the past) and wonders how different it would be if the movie was made today:
Come, let’s see how it would be if Gandhi was made in 2016:
1982 : Sir Richard Attenborough had the ability and talent to accommodate a person’s entire lifespan in a couple of hours. He did a phenomenal job right from the research to bringing alive the legacy of the father of our nation on big screen.
2016: AshutoshGowarikar known for his love for historical films and bringing lost eras to life with Lagaan, Jodha Akbar and Swadesh, is undoubtedly our choice to direct this film today.
1982: Ben Kingsley played the role of Mahatma Gandhi in the movie.
2016: Mr. Perfectionist Aamir Khan is the man for the job. Known for his chameleon skills to adapt to various roles and characters combined with his attention to detail, Aamir Khan should play the role of our beloved Bapu.
1982: Rohini Hattangadi, beautifully portrayed Kasturba Gandhi, wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
2016: Kajol, one of India’s most acclaimed actresses can easily pull off the role of Baa.
1982: Edward Fox is etched in our minds as the dreadful and shrewd General Dyer who was hated by all for his infamous JallianwalaBagh massacre.
2016: Tom Alter with his international looks and versatile talent can be General Dyer in ‘Gandhi’.
Jawahar Lal Nehru
1982: Roshan Seth played the role of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to perfection.
2016: The Nawab of Bollywood, Saif Ali Khan wins hands down with his charming royal looks.
1982:Saeed Jaffery pulled off the role of The Iron Man of India, Sardar Patel flawlessly.
2016: PareshRawal’s known for his diverse character roles makes him our choice to play the part.
Mohammad Ali Jinnah
1982:AlyquePadamsee brought to life an important historic figure, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, popularly known as the father of Pakistan in history
2016: Irrfan Khan, a global Indian will surely cut ice in this role.
1982: Peter Harlowe played the part with the sternness of a bureaucrat and an attitude on his face.
2016:The suave, Rajat Kapoor has our vote to play the last viceroy of the British Indian Empire.
This is a story that needs to be told again and again, down the ages, because this is an important story of India’s Independence and we and the generations to come will be inspired by this to understand freedom and what it really means and thus value it.
Tune-in to Zee Classic to watch Richard Attenborough directed ‘Gandhi’ on this Saturday, 13th August at 8 PM and Monday, 15th August at 9:30 AM