Return of the Prodigal: 20 Questions on Bollywood

It has been a really long time since I wrote a proper Bollywood post. Did take a few short singles but they were hardly anywhere near a decent innings. Elsewhere, Nilendu shut down his blog as well. It is rather ironic that with three top stars blogging, there’s nothing on Bollywood worth reading on the ‘net!

I should really be doing yet another 2000-word essay on a pet topic – which would be something like therapy. But that would take some time. Instead, this post is a quickie quiz on Bollywood. Digging into the cobwebbed recesses of my hard drive, I scrounged out 20 Questions. And I broke them up into two parts.
Part I needs a basic amount of Bolly gyan and you can work out the answers from common sense. Which means you should get all the answers (or come very close) if you have watched a reasonable clutch of movies and have a half-decent memory.
Part II, obviously, needs you to be a little more devoted.

Answers can be mailed to me (address on my profile page). You can even post them in the comments if you are the showing-off type. And if you are Udayan, you can just write a rude comment.
Did you ask ‘prizes’? Hell – people like you should be doing things for the challenge and not the money!

PART I 1. In the film Sholay, how many times was the coin tossed?
2. In the film Chashme Baddoor, what brand of detergent was Deepti Naval selling when she came to Farooq Shaikh’s flat?
3. Between which two stations did Amol Palekar and Tina Munim travel on a Mumbai local in the film Baaton Baaton Mein?
4. Which sibling duo sang the children’s version of the song ‘Kitni hain pyaari pyaari dosti hamaari’ from the film Parinda?
5. In the climactic cycle race of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, which school came third?
6. In the film Utsav, why was Amjad Khan’s character constantly peeping into rooms of prostitutes?
7. Which Assistant Director is common to the movies Swades, Saathiya, Lagaan and Monsoon Wedding?
8. Which film ends with the line – ‘Jai Dharmendra’?
9. Which star made his debut as a child artiste in the film Ek Baar Phir?
10. With what was the sound effect of fluttering pigeons’ wings created on screen for the film Parinda?

PART II1. Which brand of biscuit did Gabbar Singh endorse after the success of Sholay?
2. What is common to Kabhi Kabhie, Anand, Manzil, Baghban – apart from being Amitabh Bachchan films?
3. In which landmark film was Anupam Kher supposed to debut before his part got edited out?
4. Who are Ashok Banjara, Gibreel Farishta and Akshay Arora?
5. In the song Ruk jaa o jaanewaali ruk jaa from the film Kanhaiya (starring Raj Kapoor), who is the jaanewaali?
6. In the film Yeh Vaada Raha, Jaya Bhaduri dubbed the voices of Poonam Dhillon and Tina Munim. Why was the dubbing required?
7. When the heroes enter the AIR Building in Rang De Basanti, what is the name of the on-air programme?
8. In which film does Amitabh Bachchan share his name with Javed Akhtar’s father?
9. Which is the only film till date in which Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan appear together?
10. Name two actors who have won the Booker Prize in Hindi films.

I thought its time I moved ahead a little. So, the first four paragraphs are 56 (!) words each. The questions add up to 336 (56 x 6) words, making a total of 560 words.
Overwhelming response – though I must admit I should have barred Nilendu from participating because not only did he give most of the answers away, he even sneered at some of the easy questions, deliberately did not answer some of the even easier ones and hijacked the quiz mid-way to explain answers. But then, I should have known better!

Anyways, here are the answers.

1. The easiest question did not get a single correct answer. All you had to do was to replay the film in your mind. The coin was tossed four times. One, for taking the injured Thakur to the hospital. Two, when the coin landed on its side (during the Yeh Dosti song). Three, for deciding to go to Ramgarh. Four, for deciding who fights the dacoits.
2. This turned out to be the easiest. Everybody remembered Deepti Naval was called Miss Chamko for some time during the film!
3. At no point is it mentioned in the film but the landmarks clearly indicate Bandra and Churchgate (not Marine Lines!).
4. Again, widely answered. I made it easy by mentioning that song was sung by siblings and everybody knows only Shan(tanu) and Sagarika Mukherjee.
5. Surprisingly, zero correct answers. Sanjaylal Sharma of Model School came first. Rajput came second. That leaves two other participating schools – yellow-jerseyed Xavier’s and black-jerseyed Lawrence. The guy behind the first two was wearing a black jersey.
6. This becomes a cake walk if you know the character played by Amjad Khan – Vatsyayana. Obviously, he was doing research for a book which he wanted to call Kama Sutra.
7. Again, everybody answered correctly with the most famous AD in Bollywood – Kiran Rao.
8. Which movie do you think projects Dharam as the biggest hero? Dharamveer, right? But in which film is he projected as a hero and his name is Dharmendra. The film is Guddi – where he plays the object of Jaya Bhaduri’s adulation and saves the day with a superstar-with-a-heart-of-gold act.
9. Ek Baar Phir had only one future star connection. The lead actor was one Suresh Oberoi, whose son Viveik was hanging around the sets. And he’s the one!
10. Fluttering of wings can be equated with only one thing. But you need to be RD Burman to think of that. He got a whole bunch of telephone directories and flipped through their pages to overwhelm the audience with pigeon flutterings. And this was long before Dolby and surround sound. And no – it’s NOT Nana Patekar’s anything.

1. I wanted the brand (which Roger Rabbit provided – Britannia Glucose). Actress Maya Alagh contacted Amjad on the behalf of her husband, Sunil – who later went on to become the CEO of the company. I have seen the actual ad (“Gabbar Singh ki asli pasand”) on the back cover of Indrajal Comics.
2. Surprisingly, nobody got this correct though people came close. These films are also names of books written by Amitabh in various films. The last 3 are from the eponymous films but Manzil was a book written by him in the film Ek Nazar (I think).
3. The film was Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. And the character’s name was supposed to be Disco Killer.
4. These are Bollywood characters (loosely based on Amitabh Bachchan) by created by Indo-Anglian authors – Shashi Tharoor (for Show Business), Salman Rushdie (for The Satanic Verses) and Shobha De (for Starry Nights). Everybody got the connection and also thought it to be too easy to name the novels they are from.
@ Wanderlust: If Mr Tharoor says that a Bollywood superstar who has an affair with a co-star, a fatal accident on the sets and a tryst with politics is not Amitabh Bachchan, then I would have to take it with a pinch of salt. And no, there are no fleeting references to Amitabh in the novel!
5. It is a bottle of liquor, which the drunkard Raj Kapoor follows down a slope.
6. In the film, Rishi Kapoor’s girlfriend Poonam has an accident and her disfigured face is restored by plastic surgery and she becomes Tina. So, both the heroines played the same character – who had to have the same voice! And the voice was that of Jaya Bhaduri. And why did either of them not dub for the other? Because it would have created ego clashes, which could have been resolved only by having a ‘senior’ doing the dubbing.
7. Real-life VJ Cyrus Sahukar was on air with the show – Raat Baaki Baat Baaki – when the gang hijacked the building.
8. Jaa Nissar Akhtar – Andha Kanoon
9. The operative word was together. SRK and Aamir appear in Pehla Nasha in different scenes. Actually SRK and Aamir did appear together in Pehla Nasha but I have a different totka. If you know Aamir Khan played one of the kid brothers in the film Yaadon Ki Baraat and remember that Shah Rukh was watching the same film in Swades, then you would have probably noticed the fleeting moment when both appear in the same frame. It is the only time. Yet. For obvious reasons, this is my favourite question.
10. Amitabh Bachchan in Baghban and Sanjay Dutt in Shabd are the lucky two! Though I must admit that I was stumped by the ‘Anon’ who came up with Vatsal Seth of Nanhe Jaisalmer.
As for Arundhati Roy, she acted in Massey Sahib and Annie – both of which were directed by her husband, Pradeep Kishen – now better known for writing a book on the trees of Delhi. She also wrote the screenplay for Annie (a genuinely funny script, though I have not seen the film) and Electric Moon, yet another Pradeep Kishen venture.


Anonymous said…
Part 1
2. Chamko
5. Model??
Part 2
3. Anupam Kher
Anonymous said…
2. chamko.
4. guessing it's shaan and sagarika
7. kiran rao

part 2:
4. they are all fictionalized portrayals of amitabh. though, i would dispute the ashok banjara bit. Shashi Tharoor, in one of his essays says the name had nothing to do with mr. bachchan and was a pseudonym he used while writing for his college magazine. to further assert it has nothing to do with mr. bachchan, he goes on to give mr. bachchan a fleeting mention in the novel.
8. andha kanoon.
Nilendu said…
Pt 1-

1. 2
2. Chamko
3. Bandra / Marine Lines (?)
4. Shaan / Sagarika
5. "Xavier"
6. To research for his blockbuster book. He was single (perhaps celibate too?)
7. Kiran Rao
8. Guddi
9. Vivek Oberoi (I thought it was Lawaaris?)
10. Nana Patekar's fart

Pt 2 -

1. Britannia (there were not many around!)

3. Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

4. Shashi Tharoor yada yada...

5. Nutan or a liquor bottle?


7. Raat Baaki (?)

8. Andha Kanoon

9. Pehla Nasha


Nilendu said…
OK, so thinking about II/2. All lead roles first planned to be played by someone other than Amitabh? Stories of all three born while director was drinking / chatting with an easygoing industry friend? Eludes me!

BTW, best question is II/10. Whew! Must be movies made post 1993?
pt 2-6 Dubbing was reqd because both poonam dhillon and Tina Munim were same charecters, poonam changing into tina munim after plastic surgery
Nilendu said…
@ line of beauty -- Yeah, I got that. But then why did they not use Poonam's voice for both the characters?
Anonymous said…
some of the others i knew have already been written down.

Part 2 question 10- I think Jhumpa Lahiri did a bit role in 'Namesake'
Anonymous said…
Part 2.10- Arundhati Roy?- she's married to a film maker
@ All: A clarification on II/10. What I meant was which films have characters winning the Booker. Not, Booker winners acting in films.
Anonymous said…
2.10. One is Bachchan in Baghban. Dunno the other
Anonymous said…
10. sanjay dutt in shabd. permit me to show off a bit here... arundathi roy acted in a film called In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones, which also starred Shah Rukh Khan... that was his first film appearance.
Anonymous said…
I/4. Sagarika Mukherjee & Preeti
II/5. Liquor bottle
Anonymous said…
i think arundhati roy also starred in a film called Massey Sahib
Anonymous said…
nice quiz! want more!!
Sanjay GT said…
Here goes....

Part 1
1. Three
2. Chamko detergent
4. Shaan & Sagarika
6. He was noting down descriptions of... for his forthcoming novel Kamasutra.
7. Kiran Rao
8. Guddi
10. Don't know (I don't believe it was a fart Nilendu suggested... but with RD, one never knows)

Part II
1. Britannia Glucose D
2. All these films are in flashback, being recited by Amitabh Bachchan from his book (award ceremony).
5. The liquor bottle rolling down the hill
9. Ashutosh Gwarikar's 1993 film "Pehla Nasha"
10. Amitabh Bachchan in Baghban is one for sure. Second.. Sanjay Dutt in Shabd (not sure).
Anonymous said…
part 2

q 10) at least 3 anot 2 characters have won a booker

3)vatsal seth-nanhe jaisalmer
Nilendu said…
You pretty much eff-ed us with that II/9. By the same logic, I am with Hitler in the same room with Ash /Grand Canyon in PIP.

Hats off to one who came out with Vatsal Seth. These "anons" keep the world far more interesting than it would have been.

Sanjay GT said…
Swades ta ektu beshi tan hoye gelo boss..
Anonymous said…
Amazing talent...
Claps for you.
Anonymous said…
great questions.
I only got Chamko, but then my excuse is that I am from Assam where hindi movies were not that popular when I was growing up.Could I forward a few questions(with due credit to your blog of course)