Film : Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam
Year of release : 1962
Spoken by : Master Babu (Krishan Dhawan)
Spoken to : Bhootnaath (Guru Dutt)
Dialogue writer : Abrar Alvi
Another round of increase in milk prices today, reminds me of this line and hence this unplanned post. There is nothing fantastic about this line in terms of language or delivery. But the content is certainly fantastic, when seen from the prism of 2012. Probably 50 years hence, another blog reader would die reading this post. Probably someone might die even now.
Bhootnath or Atulya Chatterjee has come from Fatehpur village in Nadia district to the big bad city of Kolkata. He comes to stay in the house of his 'mu.nhbola' jija or so-called brother in law i.e. Master Babu. Bhootnath expresses surprise over how everything is so big in the big city.
"dada re dada, itte baDe baDe makaan hai.n yahaa.n - itte baDe baDe makaan. ki hamree to gardan hee ainTh gaee"
"दादा रे दादा, इत्ते बडे बडे मकान हैं यहां - इत्ते बडे बडे मकान. कि हमरी तो गर्दन ही ऐंठ गई"
Master Babu responds with
"yahaa.n kii har baat baDee hai bhaiyya, makaan baDe, log baDe, naam baDe, daam bhee baDe. tumhaare fatehpur me.n jo doodh rupaye kaa bees ser miltaa hai, jaante ho yahaa.n kitnaa milegaa? gyaarah ser"
"यहां की हर बात बडी है भैय्या, मकान बडे, लोग बडे, नाम बडे, दाम भी बडे. तुम्हारे फ़तेहपुर में जो दूध रुपए का बीस सेर मिलता है, जानते हो यहां कितना मिलेगा? ग्यारह सेर"
All Bhootnath can manage is a bewildered monosyllable
I could not manage even that.
A 'ser' is roughly equivalent to 1 kilogram. 1 kilogram is slightly less than 1 litre. So the equation here is close to 20 litres of milk for one rupee! That was the price in the village. The big bad city turned the equation into 11 litres of milk for one rupee. The current rate in Delhi is Rs 33. And today it goes up to Rs 35 per litre. That is a sustained rate of 12.65% compounded per annum over half a century. Forget property, forget stocks, forget gold. The thing you should invest is in milk. :)
Also reminds me of the other line by GhaDii Babu - ghaDii bhramnaashinii hai. Time can get rid of the worst presumptions and confusion.