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Grandparents in Indian Cinema

By: Enkayaar, Glamsham
Monday, February 26, 2007
During the last two three years there have been more than one thousand films which have reached the silver screen, but from the list can two-three films be counted which would come out as having etched a character of grand parents, which can be remembered. A Sexy Sam of Kabhie Alvda Na Kehna seems to only come to the mind, but can it be portrayed as a character that can enchant a grand child and can it be a character, which can be held in reverence by the children of the present times?

Why is it that we have forgotten our grand parents, at least on the silver screen, or is it owing to the fact that the nuclear families have their fall out on the films as well, as the creative forces of the yore not having had an experience of this part in their life seem to have etched them out of the characterization on the silver screen as well. The power and aura that Ashok Kumar or a Dilip Kumar used to bring to the screen in their portrayal of grand parents seems to have vanished into the oblivion. The characters of grand parents that were portrayed on the screen in the era that is becoming historic also gave memorable lullabies to the children, which still continue to be hummed by successive generations, as there replacements still seem to be in a drawing board stage.

Karan Jauhar seems to be an exception in this case as he has been consciously having characters in his films, which belong to this category right from the Kucch Kucch Hota Hai days, but his characters have had a sexy underpinning in their portrayal which is more of surreal than a reality, like a Farida Jalal in Kucch Kucch Hota Hai, or a Dara Singh and a Sushma Seth in Kal Ho Na Ho.

But the grace of an Ashok Kumar who was the real patriarch and the grand old father of the Hindi films are missing like anything. Is it that as the country is projected as being one, which has the maximum population of youth, it seems to be pushing the grand parents on the periphery. For the children of the present generation who do not have a luxury of having a grand parent at most of the times, can at least have an experience of the love a grand parent can give to a grand child through the films. A Lage Raho Munnabhai also had grand a grand parent but the grand child (Vidya Balan) was quite adult, so she could possibly have appealed to the youth but a child could not draw enjoyment of it as the issues involved were all adult issues with which a child cannot relate.

May be, this year, for the sake of grand parent and for the sake of the grand children as well, somebody would turn the spotlight on this forgotten segment of the Indian social fabric which had played a significant role in the metamorphosis of the industry.

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