Baghban , a movie with Ghosts of superstars and host of TV stars, was released in 2003. Few know that it was a sequel of DDLJ where Raj Malhotra, after getting divorce from Simran and loosing everything in it, comes back to India, joins ICICI and marries Pooja. Simran goes on to marry the son of a noted stuntman. This part of the movie has never been told and that is why very few, those who have read this post and yours truly, know this. Raj and Pooja are disappointed that could only have four children hence they adopt another one and raise all of them. Now if I go by what my batch-mates tell me, in ICICI’s salary one may find it difficult to raise himself/herself. So if Raj has raised 7 of them (5 children, Raj and Pooja) he must have got some other sources of cash flows. This is where suspense of the movie is. Simran, as token of thanksgiving to Raj for freeing her from Parmeet Sethi, sends Raj money so that he could live the life he wishes to. This is again not shown in the movie and only you and I are privileged to know this piece of vital information. Anyways, the movie goes on with real sons kicking Raj and Pooja here & there and adopted son saving them. In the end, all gets sorted out and they live happily ever after.
I don’t know about the box office was a super hit in my clan. It all started by my mother’s youngest uncle watching the movie. He liked the movie let know everyone know about it. So, all his brothers went and watched the movie. It is then when the hell broke loose. The movie became talk of the town. I, in Kolkata those days, very well remember the conversation I used to have over the phone with my parents. The movie was only thing we talked about those days. Our phone calls were like -
“How X went to see the movie and cried after seeing the plight of Raj Malhotra and Pooja? When he came back home and asked for tea, his daughter in law served him tea without sugar.”
“Well he is diabetic, isn’t he?” I asked.
“Yeah but his children are not taking good care of him” ‘Promise you will not do the same’ was the underlying tone.
“What? If you are diabetic, I will definitely do the same. Sugar is prohibited in diabetes, right?”
Every phone call was full for stories like how Y was forced to walk to the temple everyday because his son wouldn’t drop him on his scooter. Well if someone goes visiting a temple, that too hardly 50 meters from home, at 5:00 AM in the morning he will have to go alone walking.
Then there were talks about sudden splurge in channels preaching spirituality and people watching these channels all the time. Well, you shouldn’t complain if people in old age watch these channels. At least it keeps them busy. It was much better than watching something like Bhagban which showed immediate catastrophic results.
If someone made his mother and father sleep in different floors because of space constraints, it happened only in case of guests arriving in millions other wise houses were no less than a mansion as compared to where we live now, people saw it as a primary step of separating parents. Exactly like Raj Malhotra and Pooja were done in the movie. And I wondered – how can they be separated like in the movie because unlike the movie, everyone (parents, children, their wives, their children) stayed in the same house. It was a joint family culture.
Slowly the younger generation, i.e. my uncles, started getting more and more irritated. Obviously you won’t like your father, even though you do your best to take care of him, telling a guest when asked about his well being – “Humara kya hai? Budhape mein insaan naukar hota hai aur hum wohi hain”(What about us? You are a slave in old age and that is what we are.)
The movie made everyone believe – their children are going to be their biggest foes in old age. Soon, a generation started losing belief in another generation which was younger to it whereas younger generation started feeling vindicated.
I used to get regular updates - if from parents, the tone was more worried about the future and if from my sister, the tone was in total awe about the stupidity of entire episode.
To make the matter worse, as soon as people in my clan saw the movie it was off theatres. Soon, a TV channel bought the broadcasting rights and put it in the league of Sooryavansham and the ilk i.e. the movie they show twice in a day. TRP of that channel went up faster than potato inflation during this year. Everyone had already memorized every scene of the movie. Seeing on TV gave them chances to revise it twice a day.
Impact of the movie was so gross that even the younger generation, i.e. my uncles, started appreciating it and seeing their future in the movie. Now, turn to bear the brunt started falling on my generation and with time, its severity kept increasing.
Even today if I see my mother watching this movie, I get jitters. Because I know, if I ask her to switch to Star Cricket she will look at me as if I am not her son but Aman Verma.
In India, movies have been banned because they have hurt religious beliefs, have insulted regional sentiments or have been disparaging some person/group/community/caste/race.
This movie has been posing serious threats to the most basic and important element of our society – family. This movie has potential to bring two generation at loggerheads and do it generations after generations.
Whenever I talk to my sister about the movie – we reach the same conclusion. This movie should be banned and all its prints must be burnt to ashes. I hope my son doesn't go through this ordeal. Please support us in our cause or show it to your parents. I am sure you will support us after that.