Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. visit & “Dholi Taro Dhol Baje” from Hum Dil Chuke De Sanam(1999)

I have spent much of the weekend watching live coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the U.S.. I have fallen in love with him like I’ve fallen in love with Bollywood! He was adorable and his papal coat of arms reminded me of India’s emblem for no particular reason other than it looks very official. I even think it looks like the Pope’s feeling the bhangra beat in this photo, doesn’t it? I thought he was German, not Punjabi! I watched the coverage on EWTN and got so enthralled I missed my weekend dose of Bollywood. I did however think of my favorite portrayal of Catholicism in a Bollywood movie: Ajay Devgan in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999). I love the wisdom of Bollywood and Devgan’s characer gets to the heart of his views on what love is. Here’s one of my favorite Bollywood scenes of all time and shows the beauty of purification through suffering. I think that Pope Benecidt said nearly the same thing while he was here, but Bollywood said it fewer words:

I’ve posted about Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam two other times here before, and The Bolly Blog has a great synopsis of the film here. As an extra bonus, the film has a tight slap to the face that takes place in a church of all places! Talk about sacreligious. Now back to the religious, today’s video: “Dholi taro Dhol Baje” with music by Ismail Darbar. The playback singers are Karsan Sagadia, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and Vinod Rathod. It’s picturised on Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan and is one of the many excellent songs from the movie.

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9 thoughts on “Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. visit & “Dholi Taro Dhol Baje” from Hum Dil Chuke De Sanam(1999)

  1. Thanks for sharing. I absolutely loved this movie! And yes, the soundtrack still works. I particularly liked the power of ‘Tadap Tadap’, although singling one out like this might not be fair to the rest of the songs, which make for a rather complete and excellent album.

  2. “Dholi Taro” all the way-thanks for bringing it back! I love love love salman khan, despite the silly blue blazer, an dthe funky red mirror jacket and all his bad boy ways :)

  3. theBollywoodFan, yes, the songs are so wondertul and I especially like ‘Tadap Tadap’ maybe the most.

    Agreed Schweta! :) That blazer is pretty extreme, as extreme as his bad boy ways are rumored to be in real life.

  4. Renegade Eye, Namaste! :)
    I am not sure if that’s possible since she wasn’t married in the Catholic church. But in the case that she was, I am certain that the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict, would grant her an annulment if that was her desire. This would free up her husband for me. ;)
    Though of course I wish them all the best.

  5. Sitaji, I agree that the first half of this movie was terrible — just giggling, laughing, one scene after another of the idle rich lolling about. But then the movie suddenly becomes a serious meditation on the nature of love, giving prominence to Ajay Devgan’s character, perhaps the most decent man I’ve ever seen in a Bollywood, Hollywood or any other movie. Your post on the film was very trenchant. With great economy it crystallized core messages about love and sacrifice.

    By the way, did you notice how once again we see a main character, SK’s Sameer, who is essentially a simpleton? Notice the evidence:

    — the constant head bobs,
    — the non-stop smiling even when he’s sad,
    — the childlike sense of humor
    — the self-satisfaction over bodily functions like indigestion and loud farts,
    — his spastic way of dancing,
    — his irritating habit of gamboling from place to place
    — he keeps talking to his dead father
    — the inappropriate behavior around his elders,
    — poor motor coordination (like knocking stuff over when he was trying to smuggle AR out of the house before her marriage, and falling into the wading pool upon arriving at the house)
    — his love of flexing his muscles in a comically exaggerated ways for anyone who’s interested in looking at him,

    I could go on all day. I mean, he was almost as special-needy as Hrithik Roshan’s character in Koi…Mil Gaya. I think that may be why I really can’t stand SK, or Hrithik Roshan for that matter. Maybe I need to see more of their movies, but every time I come across even a sexy shirtless press photo, all I see is a lovable simpleton.

    SK is totally handsome — gorgeous skin, hair, eyes, teeth, etc.; he’s got a magnificent albeit over-muscled body; he laughs and smiles — and yet I’m kind of repulsed by him. Ajay Devgan was many times sexier. I’d even take Sal Mineo lookalike Shreyas Talpade over Salman Khan. (But you know what? Whether or not you like imbecilic main characters, Khan was just plain lousy in this part anyway.)

    Oh, another example of how Sameer had a piece missing: When Nandini finally finds him in Budapest, I mean Italy, and tells Sameer that she no longer loves him, it takes him all of 30 seconds to come to terms with it. And when he discovers that it was Vanraj he had had beers with a day or two earlier, that doesn’t phase him either. He’s just too happy being simple. I guess she just chose him in the first place as an act of rebellion; that’s why their relationship didn’t have much of a foundation. But then again, what did she have to rebel about? She practically ruled the household, and she chose to go off with Sameer before her father revealed his hard-headedness so you can’t argue that Dad drove her into his steroidal arms.

    Anyway: Maybe Sitaji or another reader can comment on my suspicion that Bollywood audiences enjoy — or at least have a happy tolerance for — borderline-developmentally disabled male main characters. Am I right? Is there any evidence to back me up? And even if I AM groping for a pattern that isn’t there, isn’t it true at least that female main characters are never simpletons? Sure, they may be naive, frivolous or self-absorbed (until tragedy or true love brings out their inner strength), but in my experience they’re never, ever half-wits. (But, like I said, I haven’t seen all that many movies; I could be wrong).

    Regardless, I loved HDDCS. It was tremendously gratifying to watch Nandini discover her true love. And of course the fact that her parents knew all along that Ajay Devgan was the right man for her just confirms that so much of the time parents indeed know best. I also have to give them credit for not giving up on their daughter, because I certainly did. When Vanraj took Nandini to Italy to find Sameer and all she did was pout and bitch and accuse him of being a narcissist, I was ready to write her off. But she learned some valuable lessons and truly evolved as a person. I guess she had it in her all along! Sorry for doubting you, Nandini!

  6. Excellent Brahmanadam! Your comment should have been the post. Well said! You will be happy to know that there is a developmentally delayed example of a female character called Princess Nandini, excellently played by Raima Sen in
    Eklavya: The Royal Guard.


    Her character is “special” yet she’s the only one who knows the real deal about what happened to her mother. So a wise fool, which made me think of that Shakespeare thing:

    “The ‘Shakespearian fool’ is a recurring character type in the works of William Shakespeare. Shakespearean fools are usually very clever peasants or commoners that use their wits to outdo people of higher social standings…”

    see the section on Shakespeare jesters here:


    So perhaps even though Salman’s Sameer was goofy, maybe he was AS wise as Ajay’s Vanraj? I want to see that film again to see if he was perhaps deliberately missing his connections with Aish’s Nandini in “Italy” AKA Budapest.

    Of course I have, as you say, “a happy tolerance for — borderline-developmentally disabled male main characters,” in movies and real life as well as women. :) I think it all gets down to the whole jester, village idiot thing. Lenny in Of Mice and Men, Rain Man, and Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird. They are everywhere! I’ll start keeping my eye out for more women characters like that in Bollywood and hope some readers will answer the questions you pose.

    Sukriya for your post mere dost.

  7. I watched Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam today. Its an amazing film. As you said, the music is brilliant, I loved Tadap Tadap, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, chand chupa the most, rest were good too,,, :)

    • Bikram-ji!
      Thanks for stopping in to comment bhaisahib, and sorry I’m so late in my resopnse. I’m thinking I should rewatch this film again myself.

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