Several decades back, there were two kinds of cinema theaters in India.
The first were the regular, brick and mortar single-screen theaters.
Most of the movies we watched were in these single-screen theaters as the multiplexes made their advent only after we left Indian shores heeding the call to go Head West.
Now, thanks to the onslaught of multiplexes and widespread DVD piracy, a lot of these single-screen theaters have disappeared or in extremis although you still see a few of them here and there.
The second category of theaters were what we used to refer to “Tents” or “Touring Talkies.” Constructed with a few wooden poles and a thatched roof, these semi-permanent structures were usually to be found in smaller towns and villages or on the far corners, the edges of cities.
These mosquitoes-ridden Tents had two classes of seating – on the ground (25-paisa or 50-paisa for a ticket) or rickety chairs (75-paisa or 1-Rupee, at most).
In one such tent many decades back, we watched the 1969 film Ek Phool Do Mali (Balraj Sahni, Sanjay Khan and Sadhana of Sadhana-cut fame) squatting on the bare ground and crunching into a five-paisa Parry’s hard chocolate, the one with the green wrapper.
Despite the incessant drone and torment of the mosquitoes, we had our eyes glued to the screen, spellbound by Sadhana’s ravishing beauty.
Yeh Parda Hata Do is a classic, timeless song from this movie.
When Sadhana, twirling her blue skirt, inviting perky breasts accentuated in a tight pink top, swaying sexily, raising her right hand and thrusting her fingers into Sanjay Khan’s chest, feigning a stern expression, ‘sang’ O Majnu ke nana mere piche na aana, we instantly fell head-over-heels in love with the pretty babe, a passion that time has not diminished one whit.
Sung by Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhosle to music by Ravi, Yeh Parda Hata Do is one of our favorite Hindi oldies.
Listen to this lovely song with two lovely people by clicking on the below image and let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did:
Sanjay Khan and Sadhana in Ek Phool Do Mali
Sanjay Khan plays the young hero with some elan (at least, if you go by the above song).
Say what you will about his later alleged bad behavior or flops, Sanjay Khan had class, not a lot but enough to make him acceptable on the screen. We have a hard time believing that monkey Zayed Khan comes from the same stock.
One of these days, we plan to rewatch Ek Phool Do Mali and review it on SI.