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Bollywood's love affair with LETTERS!

Last updated on: June 24, 2013 16:58 IST

Bollywood's love affair with LETTERS!

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Need to get in touch urgently, missing someone or sharing your well-being to the ones you love, letter writing is one of the oldest means of communication.

With astonishing advancement in technology, a simple message is just a phone, lately SMS, away.

But there was a time when folks relied on telegrams and snail mail to convey their desperation, despair or delight. Come July and the once significant telegram service of India will be officially discontinued as it is deemed far too expensive and outdated to maintain.

The phrase 'Taar aaya hai' and 'Taar bhej dena' is so prevalent in our Hindi movies, especially the black and white ones, it's hard to pinpoint a particular instance. So is the writing and sending of mails to create a situation of sudden tragedy or sweet surprise.

Take a look.

Sangam

Romance is the primary objective of most letter-writing in Hindi films. And so the announcement 'Yeh mera prem patra padh karke tum naaraz na hona,' from Rajendra Kumar's gushing note leaves his overwhelmed ladylove, Vyjayanthimala, flushed and wistful.


Image: Vyjayanthimala in Sangam


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Blackmail

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Dharmendra writes and Raakhee reads -- an entire stash of mush-filled heartfelt letters in Kishore Kumar's beautiful rendition of Pal pal dil ke paas in the 1973 Vijay Anand drama.


Image: Rakhee in Blackmail


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Dushman

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Ashutosh Rana plays a sadistic postman who uses his profession as a means to molest/assault unsuspecting victims; one of them is Kajol, who plays a double role in Tanuja Chandra's loosely-inspired version of Eye For An Eye.

Image: Ashutosh Rana in Dushman


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Parichay

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It all begins after an unemployed Jeetendra receives a postcard from his uncle regarding a prospective job -- of home schooling a bunch of rich, unruly kids in Pran's palatial home -- in Gulzar's feel-good Parichay.



Image: Jeetendra and Vinod Khanna in Parichay


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Sirf Tum

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In this desi You've Got Mail, also a remake of Tamil hit Kadhal Kottai, Sanjay Kapoor and Priya Gill correspond over hand-written love letters without meeting each other till the end.

Sirf Tum, produced by big brother Boney Kapoor, boasted of some catchy Nadeem-Shravan melodies and fared decently at the box office.


Image: Priya Gill in Sirf Tum


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Rajnigandha

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Sometime in 1974, when not everybody had a landline installed in their apartments, people wrote letters.

And one of the most significant scenes of Basu Chatterjee's Rajnigandha involves Vidya Sinha receiving mail from Dinesh Thakur, who signs off the letter with a distant 'Shesh phir' leaving our briefly infatuated heroine feeling all high and dry.


Image: Vidya Sinha in Rajnigandha


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Devdas

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And it is through an upsetting letter Paro (Suchitra Sen) learns of Devdas' deteriorating state, the latter (played by Dilip Kumar) unable to come to terms with his life after losing his soul mate over foolish ego and a bout of cowardice.

Image: Suchitra Sen in Devdas


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Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

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Little does Kajol realise the 'chitthi' she's so obediently reading out to her folks seals her fate with an 'undekha, anjaana chehra' in a way she hadn't imagined.

It's from a family friend (Satish Shah) suggesting a match between his son (Parmeet Sethi) and her.


Image: Amrish Puri, Kajol and Farida Jalal in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge


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Parakh

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Bimal Roy's clever fable starring Motilal Sadhana is set around a postmaster who mysteriously received a big sum of money and the events it leads to.

Parakh won the filmmaker a Best Director Filmfare trophy.


Image: Motilal Sadhana in Parakh


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Ram Teri Ganga Maili

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Several complications arise in Raj Kapoor's saga between a mountain girl (Mandakini) and her city-dwelling love interest (Rajeev Kapoor) and letters play their part in fueling misunderstandings in the melodrama best remembered for transparent saris and waterfalls.



Image: Mandakini (left) in Ram Teri Ganga Maili


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Border

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In Javed Akhtar's apt description of army men feeling homesick, Sandese aate hain, Sunny Deol, Akshaye Khanna and Suniel Shetty get emotional about their wives and families when a bag of mail arrives asking them the all-important question, 'Ghar kab aaoge?'

Image: Akshaye Khanna in Border


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Masoom

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What happens when a letter meant for somebody falls in wrong hands? In Masoom, Jugal Hansraj learns the painful truth about his father's identity when he reads a confidential letter meant for his uncle, in truth his dad, Naseeruddin Shah.

One of big screen's most heartbreaking moments, this.


Image: Jugal Hansraj in Masoom


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Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein

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Quite easily the most definitive song to celebrate the hardworking folk of Indian postal system is Rajesh Khanna's charismatic postman singing Dakiya daak laye in Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein co-starring Hema Malini.

Image: Rajesh Khanna in Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein


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Welcome to Sajjanpur

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In Shyam Benegal's satrical Welcome to Sajjanpur, Shreyas Talpade plays an aspiring novelist writing letters for the illiterate villagers to make a living. While nowhere in the same league as Benegal's past works, Sajjanpur drew favourable reviews for its whimsical texture.

Image: Shreyas Talpade in Welcome to Sajjanpur


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Abhimaan

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Some letters pack in a word of recommendation. And that's precisely what Amitabh Bachchan is excitedly reading out after he receives correspondence from his munh-boli aunt to perform (since he's a famous singer) in his native place in this scene from Abhimaan.



Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Asrani in Abhimaan


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Swades

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After Shah Rukh Khan arrives in Charanpur village, he's helped out by Rajesh Vivek, the local postmaster cum wrestler, who is dazzled by the advancement in technology and aims to transform his humble post-office into an internet-friendly space.


Image: Rajesh Vivek in Swades


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Mausam

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One of the greatest criticisms Mausam received is how farfetched and forced the miscommunication between Shahid and Sonam Kapoor appears to be.

Here, Sonam pens a note about her whereabouts to her far-away beau in the hope he'll find her and live happily ever after. Only jealous delivery girl never does the needful delaying their union by another 40 minutes.


Image: Sonam Kapoor in Mausam

Tags: Mausam , Sonam , Shahid

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