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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Usne kahaa thaa

Film : Usne Kaha Tha
Year of release : 1960
Spoken by : Nandu (Sunil Dutt)
Spoken to : Havaldar (Tarun Bose)
This Bimal Roy production based on Chandradhar Sharma Guleri's most famous short story 'Usne Kahaa Thaa' is not directed by Bimal Roy himself. He is merely the producer. It is directed by Moni Bhattacharjee. Although it is based on a very famous short story, I would prefer the other 1960 Bimal Roy film Parakh any day over this one. But I will write on that great film some other day. The story is about a simple village man Nandu who meets Kamli for the first time when both of them are kids. Nandu has a soft corner for the girl, but the girl Kamli leaves the village. She comes back years later as a beautiful young girl. It takes very little time for the love to be rekindled. However Nandu is a lotus eater, who depends on his mother Paro's (Durga Khote) sewing machine heroices to make his ends meet. Kamli's uncle refuses to accept Nandu's marriage proposal on this pretext. A disappointed Nandu goes and joins the Army. When he later comes back he is shocked to find that Kamli is now engaged to be married. What he does not know is that she is engaged to his boss the Havaldar. This is revealed to him at the railway station when the entire company is leaving Ambala Cantt to go to the Rangoon front to fight the Japanese. A tearful Kamli says to Nandu
"Nandu, jang pe jaa rahe ho...apnaa Khayaal rakhnaa aur ..."
Nandu asks her
"Aur kyaa?"
She says,
"unkaa Khayaal rakhnaa"
Nandu is mortally wounded in the battlefield while he is transporting a wounded Havaldar to safety. In the hospital, the Havaldar asks Nandu
"MaiN tumse ek baat poochhnaa chaahtaa hooN Nandu...tumne merii jaan bachaaii lekin mujhe bachaane ke liye tumne jaan boojh ke apnee zindagii Khatre meN kyoN Daalee"
"मैं तुमसे एक बात पूछना चाहता हूं नन्दू...तुमने मेरी जान बचाई लेकिन मुझे बचाने के लिये तुमने जान बूझके अपनी ज़िन्दगी ख़तरे में क्यों डाली?"
I think you would have guessed the response. Nandu says
"usne kahaa thaa"
"उसने कहा था"
and dies. So how far would you go on someone's say so. Far enough to endanger your life.

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