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Friday, August 26, 2011

Aa Gale Lag Jaa, You Roller-Skating Demon!

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What Every Woman Needs: stalkers in fancy dress!

As regular visitors will have no doubt realized by now, this is a podcast that falls directly under the jurisdiction of the international territory of Shashi Pradesh, a magical land of wicked grins, illegal amounts of charm, great hair, seductive eyes, and surprising amounts of body hair.
Our national dance is called The Aggravated Puppet and it is awesome. It won't surprise you, therefore, to learn that Masala Zindabad has more than one measly "favorite Shashi Kapoor movie." We have one for every season and every mood! But one we love to discuss again and again and just once more for luck is 1973's Aa Gale Lag Jaa.

In which Shashi is still figuring out the difference between newborns and footballs. SOB!!!

This under-rated Manmohan Desai movie co-starring Sharmila Tagore, Om Prakash, and Shatrughan Sinha is beloved for reasons that took us many years and several blog posts to fully examine. Meet us in ten years, and we might just surprise you with a few more to add to the list.

Aa Gale Lag Jaa, therefore, is a movie eminently worthy of our full and solo attention. So today, join us for an excursion to the mystical land of Shashi Pradesh. We follow a free immigration policy and our oaths of allegiance are very accommodating.

And now! Accordions on roller skates! With a side of yodeling and heartbreak! What more do you neeeeeed?!

Perhaps you like rumpled yet elegant beachfront single dads with roly-poly sqooshy-wooshy babies?

So wholesome!

PS - All Germans please note: we in no way, shape or form hold you responsible for Shatrughan Sinha.
PPS - Never, ever use this medical technique. Unless your patient is Shashi.


  1. THANK GOD. THANK GOD IN HEAVEN. "Aggravated puppet"! My faith in humanity and Hindi films is restored. I must return to mere desh, mere Shashi Pradesh.

  2. According to the subtitles (and they NEVER lead us astray do they?) there was a psychological component to Tiny Rahul's impairment and thus Amar decided to slap the bejesus out of him and effect The Cure. It was on par with the other medical decisions made in the film so I give points for consistency. You both commented that Sharmila's character didn't change much in the years after the baby - and I thought that was one of the significant things about her. She didn't become withdrawn or fade into a life of quiet shame, instead she got on with her career. So I thought that was interesting as in other films, a baby out of wedlock would have been a catalyst for all manner of changes and most of them to the heroine's detriment.

  3. That was a satisfyingly Shashilicious discussion! :) I am not sure if roller skates can improve any film, but Shashi certainly can. ;D

    The thing I really like about this film is how it neatly reverses the normal unwed-mother-romances conventions. Most romantic stories with unwed-mother heroines have the woman left behind with the kid while the man comes back years later, wondering who she had a kid with. Here, she is allowed to move on with her life and almost end up with another man, while he stays home raising the kid and being ever faithful to her memory. If only Shashi's character wasn't such a stalker-lover in the beginning, this would be the perfect film! And no matter what you say about "concern rape" - I am convinced she was instantly revived by the hotness that is Shashi and everything after that was completely consentual. After all, she is smiling the next morning and something about that night was special enough for her to come and hang out with Shashi in spite of Shotgun and his hat (or was it because of it?).

    Sharmila's role may not have been very special, but I doubt if I'd have understood Shashi's faithfulness in the face of her defection if the role was played by any other actress! ;D

  4. Such an excellent, excellent discussion. There was so much I didn't remember about this film and while I used to be a bit indifferent about it, I think if I watched it again after listening to this episode, I would end up with a deep affection for it (despite the 'concern rape').

    As for single dads, some other ones I thought of were Amitabh in Mahaan (he raised one son and Waheeda raised the other) and Rajesh Khanna in Agar Tum Na Hote and Masterji. Of those, Masterji is probably the most involved in being a father - he takes his baby to work with him, cooks, etc. etc. and only reluctantly hires help (or has it thrust upon him by Sridevi).

    And um, ROLLER SKATES? YES PLEASE. I mean, Xanadu is one of my favorite movies. It certainly made Tumse Jo Dekhte Hi Pyar Hua and Aaja Re Aa from Patthar Ke Phool better! :-)

    Keep up the great work ladies! Looking forward to the next episode.

  5. Amaluu - That is exactly how I felt too. This one has grown on me considerably over the years. I can't imagine it'll ever be my favorite Desai, but it has so much going on. The medical stuff alone makes it worth a rewatch! :D

    Great single dad finds! That'd be a great post.

    So with you on the roller skates!


  7. Laughed out loud in public at this episode. I looked like a made woman on my walk around the lake, so I reeled in my public laughing alone, because a lady walking around laughing out loud (LOL!)can look crazy, and listened while suppressing laughter. I have never seen this movie, but I must. If I owned a roller rink, I'd have this movie showing up on a huge screen at all times!
    All the best!

  8. Carol - :) Our Amrita has a way with words, does she not?

    Sita-ji - I know the feeling! I often listen to things that make me snort with giggles, even at work. Then again, being thought of as mad just makes you seem all the more impressive when you do something normal.

    I LOOOOVE your idea of playing this at a roller rink! Midwest Bolly Roller Meetup 2012?

  9. Just dropping by to beg you to update! This is by far the best podcast on the internet and I need more more more!

  10. Thanks Rachael! We have begun planning season 3 to start in the next few months. We also meant to put up an official notice that this episode was the end of season 2. Oops!

  11. PS I love the title of your Tumblr!