Video of the day: “Dum Maro Dum” from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and my thoughts on those glasses


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Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) tackles lots of evils floating over from Montreal to Kathmandu: drugs, short skirts, hippies, smoking, drinking and the effects of divorce. I prefer the Hindi word for divorce: talak! Sounds so much more harsh and final than the word divorce. Say it: Talak! Doesn’t that sound more like divorce than divorce? Zeenat Aman‘s little Jasbir is told by her maid that her mom and brother are really dead, in order for her to better understand their disappearance from her life after the talak. How thoughtful of her. But I’m getting ahead of myself! What caused the divorce, I mean the talak? The philandering father (Kishore Sahu) is the cause and he flips the whole script on his wife (Achala Sachdev), blaming her. He asks for the divorce after downing some Johnnie Walker, then slaps his wife. In the first few minutes I had a scene combining a tight slap to the face AND drinking Johnnie Walker! Observe these serious parenting errors:

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So back to what I was saying about the maid. I loved how the maid broke the news to Jasbir that her mom and brother were dead, except for they weren’t really dead. I guess the maid thought it would be easier on the kid to explain their absence by telling her they were dead. See those ugly glasses on the nightstand?

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And if those images don’t show just how harsh things were for little Jasbir, take a look at what she has to tolerate from her new step mom in a pink negligee:

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Isn’t if easy for to understand why Jasbir wants to change her name to Janice and become a hippie after all the trouble she faced in Montreal?

When I watched Hare Rama Hare Krishna I just couldn’t stop focusing on Zeenat Aman‘s character’s glasses. Jasbir/Janice was such a mess as a kid. I know she needed those glasses to see, but did they have to be so ugly? I don’t blame her for not wanting to wear them both literally and metaphorically. The glasses were obviously used to symbolize her not wanting to have to “see” her disruptive home life, right?

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Skip ahead to her time in India and she sports groovy glasses, rose colored glasses. With that turbulent past Janice needs to see her world through rose colored glasses or not at all. It made me wondered if the saying rose colored glasses exists in Hindi. Zeenat Aman wearing those big round rose colored specs reminded me of my Malibu Barbie. Both the movie and the Malibu Barbie came out in 1971. Janice wore those pink glasses on top of her head a lot, just like Malibu Barbie did.

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Hare Rama Hare Krishna is a 1971 Indian film directed by Dev Anand starring himself and Zeenat Aman. The film was a hit and a star-making vehicle for Zeenat Aman, who played a westernized hippie, and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award, as well as the BFJA Award for Best Actress. The movie dealt with the decadence of the Hippie culture. It aimed to have an anti-drug message and also depicts some problems associated with Westernization such as divorce. The film is about a Montréal-based Indian family, the Jaiswals. The brother Prashant (Dev Anand) and sister Jasbir (Zeenat) have a good relationship as children. However, the parents quarrel and separate leaving Prashant with the mother and Jasbir with the father. Jasbir is repeatedly told that her mother and brother are dead and she eventually believes that she will never see Prashant again. She is ill-treated by her step mother and she runs away from home. Prashant grows up to be a pilot and he learns that Jasbir is in Kathmandu, Nepalwith a group of hippies. To reunite with his sister, Prashant travels to Kathmandu and meets Shanti (Mumtaz) who was to later marry him, and also Janice who in reality is his sister Jasbir with a new name and identity. She has forgotten her childhood and Prashant too. Prashant has to get his sister back amongst other events which include his being suspected as a thief in Kathmandu and fearing for his life. (wikipedia)

Philips Filum’s has an excellent synopsis of the movie, and Nandini already posted the most excellent song from the movie, Ho Re Ghungroo Ka Bole, featuring Mumtaz, who like Aman sported those fat yarn ribbons in her hair.

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Janice’s western ways and messed up childhood results in her drinking beer from a can:

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So finally, here’s the video of the day, “Asha Bhonsle won Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song Dum Maro Dum, which was a huge hit. The music of the film was composed by Rahul Dev Burman and the lyrics were written by Anand Bakshi.” (wikipedia)

Thanks to organicjerk for the video.

Since I love the talent shows, watch Shreya Ghoshal on Amul Star Voice of India’s Chhote Ustaad introduce Anwesha Dutta Gupta who covers the movie’s title track “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”

Video by dJabhik

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11 thoughts on “Video of the day: “Dum Maro Dum” from Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971) and my thoughts on those glasses

  1. Your doll collection is really cool!

    And those fat yarn ribobns u mention stayed in India for a long time- I remember being a very short-haired lil girl in the 80s, longing for 1 but didnt have the tresses to go w/ them :D

    I honestly think Dev was great at making “groovy” pix- he began it in “Guide”, reached “Hare rama”, and then fizzled out with “Swami Dada.” And Mumtaz is in her elemental best!

  2. Ah Shweta, I remember having a pixie hair cut in the late 60’s and as soon as I had command over my hair in the early 70’s, I grew it out and did wear pony tails with those fat yarn ribbons. I think I have an unfortunate school picture where I’m wearing them :( . Yet now they suddenly seem cool if both Mumtaz AND Zeenat wore them. I like how Janice’s were doubled, nice touch.

    I’ve only seen Dev so far in this movie and “Guide” and “Jewel Thief.” I’ll for sure see “Swami Dada” now too on your recommendation. I loved his butterfly collars in Hare Rama.

  3. No No- that wasnt meant as a recommendation- I really mean he FIZZLED out completly=sunk= committed hari kiri with it :D it may be worth watching only for the camp value, and for the fact that its jackie Shroff’s 1st movie.

  4. :D For me it’s a recommendation. Camp value is great and I HEART Jackie Schroff. I loved him especially in “Yes Boss!”

  5. Ah sitaji, you clearly did not have to wear glasses in the early 70’s. I myself did, and I can tell you with absolute authority that your choices were ugly, uglier, and ugliest. If anyone can find a photo of anyone under the age of 20 (and possibly anyone, period) with nice eyeglasses in that era, I would pay money to see it :-) Heavy, dark rims were pretty much de rigueur.

  6. Yes Memsaab, true. I remember a friend of mine in 3rd grade got Peter Max glasses. They had wire rims and each part was a different bright color; one rim yellow, one green, one bow red, the other blue, the part between the nose, white, very hip. But yes mostly they were the glasses that poor Jasbir had to wear. I also remember active boys wearing those Jasbir black glasses with black elastic straps to hold them to their heads. It’s great that Janice had such a wide assortment of hip glasses to chose from later on in life. I believe they were one small bonus in her sad drugged out existence. Thank goodness I didn’t require glasses until high school and never were they seen on in a photo.

  7. Pingback: My Favorite Song from the Movie Hare Rama Hare Krishna « Rough In Here, Rougher Out There

  8. Yes, I had to wear glasses in the end 70s and I can testify that my optician had two choices, square and more square and 2 colours, black or a dark muddy brown.

    So much so that when my father went abroad I asked him to get a frame (any frame!!!!!) and wore this: OK, it didn’t suit me very much, it didn’t even fit properly, but at least I had a pair of glasses that didn’t want you to stamp on the sight of them…

  9. 8)
    Poor bebo! Although you had to wait for whatever glasses your dad fetched you from abroad, I’m glad you didn’t have to go through what poor Janice had to go through. :)

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