Joined: 21 June 2005
A quick quiz question: Which dialogue is probably Bollywood's most memorable line after Shashi Kapoor's 'Mere paas maa hai' from Deewar and Amjad Khan's 'Kitne aadmi thhe' from Sholay?
The answer is 'Tumhara khoon khoon aur hamara khoon paani' from Yahudi.
And the man who delivered that line was Sorab Modi, who is synonymous with Parsi actors in the Hindi film industry.
In the early 1950s, this Parsi legend ruled the Indian film industry with his signature dialogue delivery.
Though no other Parsi actor has even come close to reach Modi Saab's legendary status, Bollywood has not shied away from making films on Parsi subjects.
Here's a quick look at the connection between Parsis and Bollywood.
The film, which is adapted from a short story by Kersi Khambatta, has the tag line: 'Who you let in can change your life.' It is directed by Homi Adajania, another Parsi.
It's about this guy Cyrus, played by Saif Ali Khan, recounting a bizarre chapter in his life when he lands up at the doorstep of the Sethna family.
All the family members are completely weird and have their own agendas.
They all try to use Cyrus as a pawn to carry out their dreams without realising that Cyrus has his own agenda.
It's a challenging film for Saif, and not just because it's an English language film.
Obviously the film is aimed at multiplexes and an elite audience, it would be interesting to see if it can make it big at the box office.
The inimitable Naseeruddin Shah played the memorable role of Pirojshah Pithawala in this Vijaya Mehta film that was shot way back in 1988.
Others featured in the film were Anupam Kher and Shabana Azmi.
Naseer -– undoubtedly one of the finest actors India has ever produced -– played a Parsi man who is a slow mover in life.
He falls in love with his best friend's wife, and turns her protector.
The film portrayed the life of Parsis in Bombay and is really worth a watch for Nasser's performance.
Nana Patekar agrees that Naseer is the most talented actor in the Indian film industry and it is very unfortunate for him not to get brilliant roles.
"Naseer is 100 out of 100 and I am not even 35 out of 100 when you compare my acting with him," says Nana Patekar.
Parsi men as encounter cops might be unusual in Bollywood, but Naseeruddin Shah attempted such a role in Encounter-The Killing.
Naseer plays a role of a police inspector who accidentally kills an innocent youth in an encounter.
Guilt pangs compel him to look for the family members of the dead boy.
The film was a no show at the box office, despite another fine Naseer performance.
Encounter was one of the films at a time in Naseer's career when he almost felt like giving up Hindi films.
"The kind of commercial cinema that is being made these days, I will never work in it. I am fed up of Hindi masala films. The very thought of working and watching those films makes me puke," Naseer said in 2002.
This recent movie dealt with the Gujarat riots of 2002.
It is based on the true story of a Parsi family whose 10-year-old son called Parzan was lost in the communal frenzy.
The film stars Naseeruddin Shah, Sarika and American actor, Corin Nemec.
It was quite a bold film to be cleared by the censors. It minced no words against religious fanaticism.
Incidentally, this Deepa Mehta movie is the first film where Aamir Khan worked with a woman director.
The story is about a young Parsi girl caught in the rift between Hindus and Muslims during India's Partition.
The film is based on the true story of author Bapsi Sidhwa, a Pakistani Parsi settled in the United States.
In her novel, The Ice Candyman, Bapsi has tried to bring out beautifully how relations between common Hindus and Muslims change at the grassroot level when something like Partition happens.
Mehta brought out the best in Aamir as he played the role of an ice candy man.
Nandita Das and Rahul Khanna too were great in the film.
Joined: 16 January 2005
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