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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baap Ka Suroor

A Post which confusingly switches between Bollywood, issue of Female foeticide, killing of Girl Child, the practice of Dowry all packaged with a tribute to the legendary Satyen Kappu. Stays true to the name of Blog.

शादी नही हो सकती , ठाकुर साहेब मैं अपनी पगड़ी आपके कदमो मैं रखता हूँ , मेरी बेटी लक्ष्मी है उससे मत ठुकारिये, मैं आपकी पाई पाई चुका दूंगा,

यह शादी नही हो सकती, कहा उसका खानदान कहा हमारा !!!

मुझे अपनी बेटी की शादी के लीये करज़ा चाहीये लाला !!!

बेटी सेठजी से शादी कर ले, तुझे खूब सुखी रखेंगें !!!

Satyen Kappu is a legend by any standards, people remember Jagdish Raj for playing the inspector innumerable number of times, so much so that he has a Limca Record on his name. Satyen Kappu (originally named Satyendra Kapoor) has been devoid of such an honour but I bet him playing a worried Father of an unmarried daughter symbolises much more than these recognitions. He is part of a group of individuals whose contribution to Cinema is somewhat neglected in the glitz of stars. [Refer this post which pays a tribute all these characters.]

( A Middle Aged Kappu from movie Coolie, he played charecters from every facet of life, irreseopective of religion, caste or profession. Inset: Waheeda Rehaman)

In an India torn apart by the Gender divide Kappu represents the destiny of so many fathers who end up struggling for their daughter's marriage, and brings to light the issue of dowry and female infanticide. In times when our Nation is struggling to keep up a healthy sex ratio, Kappu acts as an inspiration to Millions by giving the message of Beti being Ghar ki Lakshmi. The topic of Girl Child being killed is one of the most depressing things which comes up in our day-to-day discussions, people who practice killing of girl child should be hanged, movies like Matrubhumi have really shown what extremes this phenomenon can lead too. Also Dowry Deaths are still present in our country and is well spread, all these practices should have an end and Cinema can act as a vehicle for raising the concious of so many people related with this. Read through this poem by Sur on Dowry Deaths which was posted a few days back, The Ultimate Greed.

coming back to Mr. Kappu, be it the drunkard who is worried about his daughter's marriage in Kaala Patthar to the recent tele series on Zee TV "Mehendi tere naam ki" directed by Aruna Irani where he plays the father of four daughters, he has given new heights to the role of a worried father. Even in films like Rajesh Khanna starrer Aap Ki Kasam where he plays the second-hand Husband of Mumtaaz, his defining scenes come when accepts Mumtaaz’s daughter and finally when he is marrying her off (in the last scene when Khanna dies). His efforts spread across decades are put forward by his presence in the movie Beti No.1, a movie which epitomises the importance of Girl Child (the concept was good, the movie’s execution pathetic), such a movie can be never conceptualized without Mr. Kappu. Maybe he suited the roles to perfection because in real life he had four daughters himself. No one played the role of a depressed Beti Ka Baap better than Kappu through the 70's and 80's.

But Kappu's defining moment came in two movies- both Kurosawa inspired Rural-Bandit sagas one of which went on to be come Sholay and another poor man's Sholay- Khotey Sikkay. Although everyone remembers the Ramu Kaka ka kirdaar from Sholay less is known about the origins of an Advocate who fights for Truth and Justice against Jagga (Ajit as the Bandit), is gifted a Golden Watch (which hums a melodious tune) by Sarkar (government, maybe the judiciary) for his sacchai and imaandaari and gives his life for that. In Khotay Sikkay he plays the father of Feroz Khan(who just roams around in a Eastwood inspired robe from spaghetti western days) , Feroz Khan (the unnamed Horse Rider) then goes ahead and avenges his Father's killing by killing Jagga by the end and hence the victory of Truth and Justice.

Kappu's death scene in the movie is one of my favorite moments from Hindi Cinema, when Jagga puts the Khanjar ( a dagger) in his stomach, the tension, the carvings of his face, the widening of his eyes, some 8-9 drops of sweat on his face and the watch poignantly falling from his hand playing a melodious tune and in background of the ever strong Ajit laughter makes for a unparalleled moment in Cinema. I don’t think this death sequence will ever bettered by anyone.

RamLal from Sholay is somewhat popularised recently by the series of jokes remarking the relationships of Thakur-Ramlal, something which puts the great man in bad light.

Apart from these Kappu represents the true Indian middle class by donning almost all possible professions in his career- Inspector (on all possible designations from hawaldar to DIG to Commissioner), doctor(Aap ki Kasam), Judge (Khotay Sikkay etc.), Naukar( Sholay), Army Fellow (Dream Girl), Teacher(Khel Khel Main) cutting across religions- Panditji in Ganga Ki Saugandh, Aslam Bhai in coolie, to church Father (I don’t remember the movie name but remember seeing him once). Mr. Kappu is a true manifestation of Aam Aadmi, and we will always remember him as a great actor and a champion of Social Cause.

Technorati Tags: Bollywood, Satyen Kappu, Cinema, Dowry Deaths


TheQuark said...

How about Nasir Hussain? Remember the old fellow from Kati Patang? (Asha Parekh's dad in law). He epitomized upper class almost feudal father figure often seen in his bungalow dressed in a robe often troubled by his children. Well Saeed Jaffrey was a troubled father too, remember Dil, his daughter always used to run away :).
Saeed has done some brilliant comical roles too like Utpal Dutt's friend in 'Kisi se na kehna' (Farookh Sheikh and Deepti Naval).

TheQuark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheQuark said...

It would be really hard for you to remeber her by name. She is not Nirupa Roy as she never had sons like Amitabh or Shashi, neither Rakhi who in her fits would be crying out non-stop "Mere bete ayenge".

She used to have some of the most wretched roles. In Ijazat she wept off her sari ka pallu for her daughter Rakhi's fate. In ghar ho to aisa she died in front of her harassed daughter's sasural. She is Sulabha Deshpande (

BTW Dr. Shreeram Lagoo needs a separate post.

desh said...

I dont remember Mr.Hussain, I know a Mr. Hussain who is Aamir's uncle and produced, yaadon ki baarat and hum kisi se kam nahin

Mr. Jaffrey was brilliant in Chasm-e-baddor, although thr deepti naval's father wa splayed by a Aam Aadmi

Jaffrey was awesome in Dil, infact throughout 90's you can see a similar baaps, Rich, gifts her daughter a Maruti 1000 as birthday gift (which progressed to a Porsche by the time Kaho Na Pyaar hai came), cares for her very much, the girl wears a frock and dances on college lawn, falls in love with a rowdy, baap turns villain, Amiri vs Gareebi (beautifully depicted in Ishq, where you had two different combinations available, amir ladka garib ladki and garib ladka amir ladki), and finally he realises his mistake, either dies in coming in front of her beti or hone waala damaad, or mellows down to accept him

90's baap is much easily defined this way, the baap from 60's 70's is more reflective of the social realities of those times(ex. Mr. Kappu), 90's baap just turned to be a fictional character

desh said...

I surely know my SurName-Sake, she used to evoke strong emotions, the ones which really made you shake from within, basically she was deadly in crying sequences

I have seen her play neglected roles, mostly in simple white cotton saris, with brown borders

Dr. Shreeram Lagoo's performance as the worried father of Padmini Kolhapuri in Sautan is in now way short of efforts of Mr. Kappu, he evokes extreme pity for the character in that one and overshadows Kaka in his sort of semi-comeback in the Saawan Kumar classic shot beautifully in Mauritius

TheQuark said...

Kappu and Lagoo both had essayed noticeable negative roles. Kappu in Namak halaal but I do not remember Laagoo's role.

Dr. Sreeram according to me had a wider repertoire than Kappu.

desh said...

Yep he played a great paralyzed role in Rakesh Roshan's Kishen Kanahaiya, it again evoked extreme pity...

cant remember any of his negative roles

radha bina hai, kisan akela
radha bina hai, kisan akela
bhul nahi jaana, bhul nahi jaana

TheQuark said...

I too had recollection of the same movie but thought it might be a digression here :)

That also had Ranjeet in it. He was sort of regular in Roshan's masala movies - Koyla, Karan Arjun.

No villain has shown man cleavage like Ranjeet and no villain has lit up a smoke like Pran. Ironically these two people are considered absolute gentlemen unlike Mr. SuckThee Kapoor.

We can have a post on villain tag lines too.

SuckThee Kapoor and Gulshan Grover had a host of them:

SuckThee: Sumbadi main Kumbadi

Gulshan Grover: bad Man (obvious one)
Jindagi ka maja khatte main hi hai (pani poori guzzling inspector)

The list is endless.

desh said...

Haha :D

70's was symbolised by Men showing off thr chest, it was evident with so many heros sporting a similar look, a hero or far that matter a villain without a Hirsue chest wasnt considered manly enough, sadly Anil Kapoor carried that tradition a bit longer than he shud have.

One of Ranjeet's best role is again in Khotey Sikkay where he plays the leader of bomb squad, he made crude bombs and drank cheap liqour, although positive he still cudnt resist staring at women with a deadly gaze :)

My fav Gulshan Grover moment: Chappan Tikali and best line dil garden garden ho gaya from khiladiyon ka khiladi

Fav shakti Kapoor role is although a comic one from Raja Babu, nandu sabka bandhu

Nirmal Simon said...

I love hindi songs!Check out it has awesome lyrics from thousands of songs.

Cuckoo said...

You are tagged here

TheQuark said...

Man this is endless. A blog can't capture even an iota of bakar in the corporate bus, lunch breaks and sheshgiri