“Dil Hoom Hoom Kare” from Rudaali (1993) & Amjad Khan’s last role

I watched a parallel cinema film from 1993 last night directed by Kalpana Lazmi called Rudaali.  Like parallel cinema is supposed to do, it dealt with a serious topic: professional mourners, known as Rudaali in Hindi. I was happy to hear great music by both Lata and Asha throughout the movie, a feature not always present in the parallel cinema.  I had a whole stack of Hindi movies from the library waiting for me to watch them, and I was in the mood for some personal, professional mourning, as the night before a ferocious hail storm ruined my garden.  I knew I loved my hosta plants, but this destructive storm only confirmed this attachment.  What in the past I would have described as golf ball sized hail, and now refer to as ladoo sized hail, fell from the sky at high speeds and in minutes ruined my garden. These aren’t my hosta pictured here, I found the image online, (if you click on the picture you’ll see they belong to a math professor from the University of MN) but I believe mine would have looked like these if the storm taken a different path:


Ahh, the power of Shiva! I wanted to weep at the loss, and briefly hired myself as a professional mourner.  Afterwards, I had to accept it, tip my hat to mother nature’s shakti, and seek peace through a movie. I was in the mood to mourn and had the perfect movie in front of me so things were already looking up! Here’s a bit about the movie: 

Rudaali is a 1993 Hindi film directed by Kalpana Lajmi, based on the short story written by Mahasweta Devi. The title is a reference to a custom in certain areas of Rajasthan where women are hired as professional mourners after the death of a male relative. These women are referred to as a ‘rudaali’ (roo-dah-lee),literally translated as female weeper. Their purpose is to publicly express grief of family members that are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. The film is set in a small village in Rajasthan, India. It tells the story of a woman named Shanichari, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her father’s death. Bad fortune follows as she marries an alcoholic, who leaves her with little hope of a brighter future for herself and her son. Throughout Shanichari’s lifetime of misfortune she has never cried. This creates great difficulty once she is called to become a rudaali until Bhinkni, an experienced mourner, enters her life. But Shanichari is simply led to more misery that will surely bring her to tears. Dimple Kapadia won a National Film Award for her role of Shanichari in the film. The film also features Raakhee, Raj Babbar and Amjad Khan in one of his last films. Amjad Khan had died before the film’s release and the film is dedicated to him at the beginning of the film’s credits. (wikipedia)

Read more on the film at Philip’sfil-ums, rAjOo, and alternate movies.

Here’s my progression of Amjad Khan viewing: Sholay (1975), Muqaddar Ka Sikander (1978), Qurbani (1980), Lawaaris (1981)  and last night I saw Rudaali (1993).  In the beginning Rudaali  you see this:

I then realized Amjad must have died around the time of the movie’s release.  I was thinking that maybe he wasn’t in the movie, but rather that the movie simply was dedicated to him. So when someone who looked like a MUCH BIGGER Amjad Khan appeared…

I couldn’t believe it was him. I remember seeing Khan in Lawaaris and thinking how chunky he’d become and how fitting since that character started out in the film as a pig of a man. Khan’s character appears in Rudaali several times and he’s on his death bed, trying unsuccessfully to die. Ironic that it was one of his last roles to play a dying man. 

 Finally I figured out that this was indeed Amjad Khan:

After I got over my shock about Amjad’s apperance, I was free to enjoy the film.

For today’s video, listen to Dil Hoom Hoom Gare” (My heart beats with fear) which is about Dimple’s character’s sad life, but reminds me of the hail storm I’d just survived.  I am dedicating to this song to my plants harmed by the storm.  It’s sung by Lata Mangeshkar, picturized on Dimple Kapadia, with lyrics by Gulzar, and music by Bhupen Hazarika:

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

Ghan dham dham kare, darr jaaye

The clouds are thundering, my heart becomes afraid

Ek boond kabhi paani ki mori ankhiyon se barsaaye

A drop of water sometimes flows from my eyes

Dil hoom hoom kare, ghabraaye

My heart is gasping, it shivers in fear

More Lyrics HERE.

Thanks to Dimple, for her excellent acting, for crying over my injured hosta, for being the Rudaali of my hail storm.

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13 thoughts on ““Dil Hoom Hoom Kare” from Rudaali (1993) & Amjad Khan’s last role

  1. I saw this pretty long ago, at a particularily young and impressionable age- I was charmed by Dimple, loved Raj Babbar (though I’ve hated him in most of his movies), and cried buckets throughout the movie. Even Rakhi’s cameo in the end was pretty cool (though I dont like her either)- and I just felt v sad for Amjad- poor man.

    Its been a very long time, but I think if I saw this again today, I’d probably have the exact same reactions.

    But the real star here is so definitely the music- it is amazing that Hazarika sang and composed songs rooted in Assam for a movie rooted in Rajsthan, and still made it work!

    Thank you for bringing this back Suzanne- so good.

  2. Hey Shweta, glad you enjoyed remembering this film. I thought Dimple was excellent in this. I also enjoyed Rakhi’s performance. I think this is a movie that I’d get much more from with an additional viewing. I was also very happy over the music, especially because I wasn’t expecting it at all. The “parallel cinema” that I’ve seen the music isn’t as significant a part (if a part at all) compared to other Hindi movies. And yes, poor Amjad. :( He looked very uncomfortable.

  3. Ooh I need to see this. Dimple looks absolutely stunning (as usual)…and I can’t believe how enormous Amjad Khan was! 8-O

    No wonder he died soon after…:-( My sympathies to your garden, may it grow back stronger than before.

  4. Yes memsaab, Dimple was great in the part and looked fantastic too. She has that pansexual appeal to the masses. She’s what my mother would call “a handsome woman.” You know I felt better about Amjad once I realized that the pillow was propping him up making him look even larger than he was, plus he’s wearing white and has a white sheet around him, so that makes it worse.
    Thanks for your garden sympathies, every day it gets easier to move on and wait for the new to grow, just like life and Bollywood teaches us. :) Of course that movie helped a lot too.

  5. I din watch the movie but i have read the story by Mahasweta Devi ,just for the sake of my project…….. Not bad the story was quite good,i found lots of death in the story. There is nothing to talk much abt the role of the mother. Could someone help me with points with regard to the role of mother in the story. Plz plz plz plz…………..

  6. preethi-ji,
    Here’s some more that will help you that I found here:


    The story carefully examined the love, friendship and bonding of two women. Belonging to different tempraments they shared an affinity rarely heard. The love which the main protagnist has been searching her life is found in the gentle and caring hands of a Rudaali.


    Then she meets Bhikni (Rakhee) a Rudaali who was called to mourn for Thakur Ram Avatar for a small fee. She asked shelter in Shanichari’s home and after knowing her sad story she asks Shanichari to become a Rudaali as her. But gently Shanichari abdominishes her. Despite the fact that this portion of the movie is probably only for 1/3rd of the movie, yet this holds the whole crux of the movie. The way both women share an affection, they become closer and turn on best of friends. Though their nature are poles apart, yet they have something for each other. The story of a woman who never knew to cry till she was touched by genuine affection.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Sitaji I am really glade that u replied to me, i really thank you from bottom of my heart…… Of course it helps me a lot and thanks for the site, after watching the movie ill send you the comment. once again thank you sooooooooooo much.

  8. Thanks Preethi-ji!
    So an easy angle would be to write that she is searching for a mother’s love which she didn’t get

    1. from her own mom, because she ran off an abandoned her.
    2. Nor from her mother in law who was too ill.

    While she herself was a good mother to her son, she missed out on having that same love given to her and found it finally from the rudaali. You could even add that through the act of pretending to mourn, as a rudaali does, she was actually able to mourn the loss of her mother and then was finally free to find this love both from the actual rudaali (Rakhee’s character), and also through the action of being a rudaali. Yes the theme of purification through suffering once again rears its head. :D

  9. For me “Rudali” is the career best performance of “Dimple” , she surely is brilliant actress, even today when I watch her in movies , though she has little part or supporting role, she shines out in them , the best example for this can be her character in “Luck By Chance” {possessive strict celebrity mother} and “Cocktail” {strict mother} , hope today also she gets some great roles , it’s a treat to watch her perform on screen.

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