Light, Sound, Action by Jyoti Kerkar

Cinema the name conjures up nostalgic times for me. My initial romance with it started when I was eight years old and used to accompany my parents to the cinema hall.

The atmosphere there used to be combination of veering overhead fans, mild air-conditionings, the waft of the famous samosas, the screen used to be full of Film Division of India documentary. With the ticket checker guiding by his piercing torch and I used to sleep on my seat the minute the lights used to be dimmed and the main cinema started, I got hooked when I was twelve years old and then there was no return. The stars, the lights, the glamour, the songs and everything about it entranced me.

Today how many of us with this fast paced technology go to the Cinema Hall? Or stand in line for the tickets.

There used to be seating arrangement as Stall-  that is watching the movie from ground level and Balcony- was on top were people with a bit status used to go.

The tickets used to be colourful orange, white, blue, green.

The most important thing used to be praying that the window a small hole in the wall does not close down when you approached the window. What a disappointment!!

And then we had a group of men and women who used to sell “Tickets in Black” (Tickets sold for a higher price) men used to flock, murmuring “Panch ka Dus”. We needed to avoid the policeman to buy these tickets. Going to cinema hall used to be a sort of festival, and so not getting the regular tickets, was a big let-down, these enthusiasts used to buy those tickets, including my parents and later me too. Thousands of families lived on this Black Tickets, what has happened to them?

Anyway that will be a separate write up.

Today am going to in brief speak about some few 50’s to 70’s cinema, movies from my grandparents and parents’ era the Golden Era.


Director: Kidarnath Sharma

Release Year: 1950

Starring: Dilip Kumar and Nargis and Rajendra Kumar’s Debut film he has a small role in it.

The story revolves around a Jogan ( one who has renounced the world) played by Nargis and an Atheist Dilip Kumar, I think this is one of the most beautiful movie played by both Nargis taking into account Raat aur Din and Mother India. Same goes about Dilip Kumar who has never looked so handsome, with his restrained actions, speaking volumes with his eyes, facial expression and also with his hands. How Nargis goes through the pangs of attraction is portrayed so well and of course Nargis is a fine actor too. The scenes when there is no dialogue but silence, speaks volumes. Watch the movie to see what happens to the Jogan and the Atheist.

A must see movie  The Songs are lovely too,


Director: Asit Sen

Release Year – 1966

Starring: Suchitra Sen, Ashok Kumar and Dharmendra.

Music: Roshan

This is a story of rich and poor, the affluent Ashok Kumar falls in love with Suchitra Sen who is very poor, for education Ashok Kumar goes abroad with a promise and here Suchitra is left alone to pay off debts, and her father marries her off to an older man who is an alcoholic and Suchitra with her small baby becomes a Devdasi or a temple performing dancer. Suchitra plays a double role a mother -daughter duo. What happens to the daughter, how does Ashok Kumar help, what happens to the Devdasi? The movie story is woven and directed well. And the mellow and full of life songs takes the movie to another level. Suchitra is always so expressive , her restrained role of the Devdasi and later of the young daughter is so well played you thin k they are two different woman. Ashok Kumar as always just breezes through his role. In all a well written and directed movie.

Catch it on Google Play  movies.

Chhoti Si Baat

Director: Basu Chatterjee

Music Director: Salil Chowdhury

Release Year: 1976

Starring: Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha, Asrani and Ashok Kumar.

Those were the years for all Amol Palekar movies with light comedy and mellow romance. This movie is about  a painfully shy young man. Who has zero self-confidence, and fails to stand up for himself, which allows everyone to walk all over him. He loves Vidya Sinha who he meets at the bus-stop but does not have the courage to approach her and express his love. As Amol Palekar is stuck,  in comes the brash Asrani who seeks all opportunity to woe the heroine Vidya Sinha.

In desperation he turns to Ashok Kumar whose mission is to assist those who have no identity to find true love. And here Amol Palekar is moulded by the Colonel (Ashok Kumar) who meticulously teaches him to use planned lessons with hands on training. And then Amol Palekar returns with super confidence and a swag. Watch the movie to see the change which is wonderfully played by Amol Palekar. And the bubbly but restrained role of Vidya Sinha and the brash Asrani and of course the stalwart Ashok Kumar. These actors used to just breeze through the roles effortlessly.

In the hall a cinema hall

The light was dimmed and the sound

Of voices reverberated, the eyes saw

And the ears heard, the Dialogues

the emotions, the songs and

the unknown places

A few hours of retreating in the world of

Make believe. Cinema

Light Sound Action.

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