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North Falls in Love with South


Ek Duuje Ke Liye 1981

This was a novel concept in Hindi movies and it was handled beautifully. Ek Duuje Ke Liye was a launch vehicle for Kamala Hassan in the Hindi film Industry. A rare phenomenon where a southern star acted in a Hindi film and the movie was a blockbuster hit. This paved way for many a real life love stories of North meets South and falls in love at the time.

‘Two States’ came much later. The film explored the North-South divide, or shall we say romance, in perspective. Released on 5th June 1981, Ek Duuje Ke Liye was green lighted by the famous South Indian Film Industry moghul L.V. Prasad who himself had acted in the first Indian Talkie ‘Alam Ara’ and also produced many a Hindi movies including ‘Milan’ to the last one being the period film ‘Jay Vijay’ most of his movies were directed by Southern directors like this one by the Dadasaheb Phalke award winner from Shri K. Balachander.

Ek Duuje Ke Liye also gave the beautiful Rati Agnihotri and the singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam to the Hindi Film Industry. It was a remake of K.Balachander’s own 1978 Telugu movie ‘Maro Charitra’ which also had Kamal Hassan essaying the same role.

This is the story of carefree boy Vasu (Kamal Haasan) and Sapna (Rati Agnihotri) who fall in love and are mad for each other. Vasu is a Tamil boy and Rati a north Indian girl but are neighbours in the beach paradise of Goa and are totally unaware of each other’s language but know only the language of love.

Their families who cannot even bear to look each other in the eye and are constantly bickering about the North-South divide and are up in arms when they come to know about their love. It is pandemonium no one can even think of this match. Sapna’s mother an overbearing North Indian mother that she is lock’s her up forbidding her to meet Vasu and Vasu is chided by his father, this does not deter him and he goes to Sapna’s house and confesses his love for her in everyone’s presence.

When the families see there is no go they agree the match on one condition that the love bird have to stay away from each other without contact for a year and if they still feel the same after that period, they will be married. Though this movie ended in a tragedy but it pulled at the heart strings of the common public who showed their admiration by visiting the theatres in flocks.

Mind you in 1981 people were not that liberal with love stories which has become a norm now (even live-in relations don’t shock you anymore), so this was also a tribute to those brave hearts who still went ahead and fell in love and at times eloped with each other. The Indian Society has undergone a sea change in the last 30-40 years.

Ek Duuje Ke Liye was not only a block buster but was also awarded the National Film Award for the best film and also received 13 nominations in that year’s Filmfare. It was a defining film with it’s song ‘Tere mere beech mein’ not only was a chartbuster but also went on to become an anthem for all the young lovers, the Hindi film title parody song ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi” is also a very peppy number

-This Retro Gem of Bollywood is Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA

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