Saturday, July 23, 2011

Revenge

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 22; the twenty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
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Which books or stories or films related to revenge have left a strong impression on me?

It is not that there are no real-life examples of revenge these days. The bomb attacks a few days ago in Mumbai and then yesterday in Oslo, are a gruesome reminder of way revenge is enacted for real or perceived injustices, hurts or insults by the terrorists. This way of revenge targets general populations.

However, I don't want to talk about those kinds of real-life things. I would rather focus on imaginary revenges, that is, revenges dreamed up by their writers as part of their stories in literature and in cinema.

Revenge is a common enough theme in cinema and literature, where it is planned for avenging some wrong-doing or injustices, especially killing or rape of siblings or parents. Think of films like Yadon ki Baarat or Sholay or Don, and you will understand what I mean.

Revenge - sholay graphics

So I decided to think of books, stories and films related to revenge, that have left a strong impression on me.

The dentist and the handsome guy: There was a Hindi story I had read around 40 years ago, that still remains vivid in my mind. It was published in a magazine called Sarika, that was probably shut down in early nineteen nineties.

The story was about a handsome guy who goes to a dentist. He had been chewing paan (betel) and had not rinsed his mouth properly. So the dentist, who is not very good looking and also a haughty-looking woman, tells him curtly that he is ill mannered and to go and rinse the mouth.

The man, used to women falling at him, feels very hurt by the curt manner of the dentist and decides to take his revenge. He follows the dentist and keeps on bumping in to her, first saying sorry, and then slowly praising her and flirting with her. Slowly over a period of time, the dentist falls in love with him. At the end, when dentist wants to kiss him, he tells her that she is ugly and unattractive to him, pushes her away and leaves.

I still remember my shock when I had read this story. I do not remember who had written it or the names of the two characters, but I think that it was an example of really cruel revenge, for something very petty.

Favourite films on the theme of revenge: I can think of an old Hindi film, that had the element of revenge, that I had liked very much. It was called Bandini (Prisoner, 1960) and was directed by Bimal Roy. The film was about a gentle and kind woman named Kalyani (a wonderful performance by Nutan), who comes to the city to look for her would-be husband and discovers that he has married someone else. She starts to work as a servant in that house, where the woman married to her would-be husband is a rich and ill tempered lady. One day Kalyani gets the news that her father is dead. When Kalyani is still numb with shock, the rich lady shouts abuses at her. Suddenly unhinged with anger, Kalyani takes out rat poison and mixes it in the coffee of the rich lady, killing her.

That film showed that sometimes circumstances can be such that even the gentle and kind person can become a killer.

However, there is another more recent film about revenge that I had enjoyed very much. It was called "Khosla ka Ghosla" (The nest of Khosla, 2006, director Dibakar Banerjee). It was the story of the middle class Khosla family living in Delhi that puts all its savings to buy a piece of land where they want to build their dream house. However a cunning builder occupies their land, and wants lots of money to vacate their land. The young son of Khosla, planning to immigrate to USA, asks his friends in a drama company to help him and hatches out a perfect plan to trap the cunning builder.

In our real lives, the corrupt and the crooked, hardly ever get punished. Rather, they seem to get awards and keep on accumulating wealth. Thus, a film like "Khosla ka Ghosla" that has a perfect plan for teaching a good lesson to the corrupt, is mentally satisfying. At least in our imaginations, we can get our revenge, not by fights and might, but just by the intelligence.

And you, do you have a favourite revenge story or film?

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19 comments:

  1. Well my fav is SHolay and the Kill Bill series... BTW you seem to have a lot many blogs!

    ATB for the BAT...

    Read mine at Revenge is best when served cold

    Regards Wandering Thoughts

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  2. A very eclectic and composed view of the subject-your exposition of these varied perspectives has given me quite some food for thought.
    Especially liked the story of the dentist and the handsome man !!

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  3. Thanks Asshish and Brijesh.

    Even for me Sholay is a milestone, as you could have guessed form the pciture I had posted. Even Kill Bill is a pure-blooded action and horror.

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  4. I am here on your blog for the first time.. Very impressive realistic post.. Movies and books always speak most about revenge.. Well, my fav is Kill Bill Series.. Good Luck... Here is my post.. Oh this is.. ReVeNge

    Someone is Special

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  5. Hi Sunil:) Nice post. What do we do and what not we do for revenge? Sweet are the fruits of revenge;) The story of the dentist you narrated is just horrifying. How low do people stoop to revenge? My fav too is Kill Bill series. Following you from now on:)

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  6. Enjoyed reading your post. The dentist story was cool. Like so many others here, Kill Bill is one of my favorites too. And revenge was indeed a popular theme in most Hindi movies of the 80s. You can check out my Blog-a-t0n post here: Revenge

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  7. wow..the immortal Thaakur n Gabbar Singh....
    all about revenge, you narrated it so well here, My best wishes for the contest....

    irfan

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  8. Thanks to Someone is Special, Cloud Nine, The Fool and Irfan. It does seem that if hold a contest about movies on the theme of revenge, in Hindi sholay would win and in English, Kill Bill.

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  9. Khoon bhari maang, kill bill .. hands down...

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  10. Sunil Deepak nothing can beat Sholay in the revenge department as also Trishul. Amitabh somehow epitomises the angry young man seeking revenge. It is probably one emotion that most people love to identify themselves with - no wonder so many stories and films are made around revenge!

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  11. about that dentist story, it was sad... people who are good looking are so used to praises on looks and staring that if one person says something bad, it hurts a lot... :) if u have time, check my Revenge :)

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  12. Thanks Menachary for reminding about Khoon bhari maang, that was a nice revenge story.

    Meera, I don't remember the revenge angle in Trishul.

    Thank you Prathika

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  13. I have 3 all-time favorites - Kill Bill, Khoon Bhari Maang and ChaalBaaz :D But then again, Sholay is the classic cult film :)

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  14. Thanks Shilpa.

    Chaalbaaz was a Sridevi starrer? I vaguely remember it :)

    However, you have somehow remindedme of another great favourite about revenge - Seeta aur Geeta.

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  15. ya as many said kill-bill is meaning of revenge....different take

    here is mine
    the revenge of aparniyan- Revenge

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  16. @ Sunil Deepak the revenge angle in Trishul was against the father ( Sanjeev Kumar). BTW I think "A Wednesday" is also a movie about revenge of sorts!!

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  17. This is my first visit to your blog - thanks to BAT. Enjoyed reading it. Though I hardly watch movies, Sholay was of course watched and enjoyed. The dentist story you mention is also interesting. How many revenge stories we would have in Indian literature? I am not sure, but I think every regional language is rich in this regard.

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  18. i louuuved khosla ka ghosla!!!
    n more dan anythin i loved boman irani in it.
    my fevretttt story on revenge wud b ek haseena thi. it totally crashed at d box offic starrin urmila n saif ali khan....bt d end of d story was really sumthin id remembr fr long.
    actually watevr d reviews i really liked it. as in sets a bar ki baba dis is how its supposed to b done :)
    post- super like! :-)

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  19. Huh, this post was awesome. i enjoyed a lot reading it. Am not much of a movie person. So donot remember names...but yes so many of them based on revenge and like you said Sholay is one I like.

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