There is something unique about this movie – Yehi Hai Zindagi, as it was the first time that an interaction between an ordinary common man, that too an atheist and Lord Krishna himself was shown on the silver screen. A low budget film, it is an unsung movie of 1977, though may not have been a high grosser like the other Bachchan movies of the era and might have even been overshadowed by other big budget movies.
Every human being who is living in this world has some desire or the other and when their desires don’t get fulfilled they look up to the Lord and complaint to him that he has been unfair, but the Lord never appears and one just quarrels with Him in his own mind.
This story is on the similar premise but there is a twist and what follows is very beautifully told and summarised on the screen. We endeavour to take this movie in our list of top hundred retro gems because of its uniqueness. The movie was produced by B Nagi Reddy, after the hit Julie from his stables, and from whose production house we have got to see some great movies with some resounding social messages. The interaction between the common man and the Lord himself has been handled with finesse. There is no holds barred conversation between the Lord and the common man as they talk to each other as if they are friends and there lies the beauty in the script and screenplay. One of the better roles carried off by Sanjeev Kumar in his illustrious career which only he could have pulled off. He was also nominated for the best actor Filmfare award for this movie but he had to to make way for Amitabh Bachchan for Amar Akbar Anthony which was also released in the same year.
Anand (Sanjeev Kumar) is a cook in a restaurant, a poor man eking out a living in a small house with wife Gayatri (Seema Deo) and three kids sons Madhu and Govind and daughter Kamla. He always dreams of making it big and give a better life to his kids, but lacks the means but is also an atheist who believes that one can make it big with one’s own hard work and intelligence, no divine intervention is required as he always felt that the Lord always favoured the rich, and always wonders why his wife and anothers around him always give credit for everything to the Lord.
He is a regular solver of puzzles which carry a reward. He steals ₹50 from the hundi kept to feed people on Lord’s birthday to submit his entry to the puzzle competition which carries a prize of ₹10000. The same night he is visited by the Lord (superbly played by Vikram Gokhale) who wants His money back, during the conversation with the Lord he makes a deal with Him that he will keep aside 5% for Him but the Lord reminds him that he should not forget the ₹50 he has stolen from the hundi that will be dealt separately.
Things change, he wins the prize money and starts his own business and has visitation from the Lord with each success cautioning him of consequences, but Anand still feels egoistic and says that whatever has happened is due to his own hardwork and wisdom. Today he is one of the richest person in town but slowly peace goes out of his life as his children become rebellious, he himself gets sick and in one final visit of the Lord who explains this cryptically, the realisation dawns on Anand that it really was the Lord who was visiting him and it was no myth and whatever He said had come true.
The movie leaves us a few messages that a man only has to bear the fruits of his own actions, with good fortune one also has to go thru the negative, money is not everything and love cannot be bought. That ego and I are not only thing in life, there is something called fate or divine intervention.
The movie was a remake of Tamil film Kaliyuga Kannan of 1974. The soundtrack was ordinary with only the title song by Kishore Kumar ‘Pyar ke badle tujhe paisa mila’ that is hummable and summarises the movie and the feelings aptly. Worth a dekkho for entertainment.
– Revisited by PAWAN GUPTA