How Indian celluloid glorifies the brother-sister bond

Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 13:13

Gayatri Sankar

Bhaiyya Mere, Raakhi Ke Bandhan Ko Nibhana (My dear brother, please keep up the integrity of our pious bond) is how legendary lyricist Shailendra described a sister’s message to her brother while tying a Rakhi on her brother’s wrist on the day of Raksha Bandhan. `Chhoti Behan`, a 1959 classic film featuring Balraj Sahni, Nanda and Rehman is one of those classic flicks that portrayed the relationship between a brother and a sister in the most beautiful way.

The song composed by Shankar Jaikishen happens to be one of the most heard songs on the day of Rakhi even till date. And there is no other song that can beat this melodious number, for it intricately weaves the love and warmth of this special relationship into a lyrical form.

Bollywood, as we all know is one of the world’s largest film industries and it predominantly thrives on emotions unlike its western counterpart, Hollywood. The showbiz industry in India has tactfully made the most of all festivals as people in India are deeply and spiritually inclined towards emotions. Almost about everything sells here provided it is packaged with emotions!

Here’s look at some of the films that revolve round the relationship between a brother and a sister and the significance of the scared thread that is instrumental in glorifying the brother-sister relationship.

`Resham Ki Dori` released in 1974 starring Dharmendra, Saira Banu and Kumud Chhugani is another classic film that lays emphasis on the importance of the sacred thread that is tied on the brother’s wrist to remind him of his duties towards his sister. The song `Behna Ne Bhai Ki Kalayi Pe Pyaar Baandha Hai Pyaar Ke Do Taar Se, Sansaar Baandha Hai ` (Dear brother, I am tying this Rakhi on your wrist with love and by doing so I wish you all the happiness in the world), can easily put your tear glands at work, for it stirs the innate feelings of brotherhood in one and all.

In the film, Rajjo alias Kumud is ditched royally by her lover and to avenge this, her brother Ajit (Dharmendra) kills the man who betrays her in a fit of rage. He serves imprisonment for committing the murder. In his absence Rajjo faces a number of challenges in life and eventually her brother returns to rescue her of all troubles. In `Resham Ki Dori` meaning silk thread, a brother’s sacrifice for his sister is portrayed in a manner that can easily make even the strongest heart melt.

In a country like India, a brother is as good as a father figure, who is conscious of his responsibilities towards his sister. Right from playing a guardian during the absence of the parents to ensuring no stranger ever dares to eye his sister, a brother leaves no stone unturned to make his sister feel safe and secure. Hindi Cinema has drawn great deal of inspiration from this god gifted bond to make reel characters look real.

Remember `Phoolon Ka Taaron Ka Sabka Kehna Hai…Ek Hazaaron Mein…Meri Behna Hai…`? This song composed by RD Burman and sung by the effervescent and legendary Kishore Kumar is featured on evergreen hero Dev Anand who is earnestly in search of his younger sister played by Zeenat Aman. The 1971 cult film even till date is arguably the best film revolving around a brother and his sister. The visual representation of a brother trying to free his sister of all her distress creates a lump in your throat and you will certainly start missing your sibling if you have one or start craving if you don’t’ have one!

In `Majboor,` Amitabh Bachchan plays brother to Farida Jalal, who is lame. He essays the role of Ravi Khanna, a cash trapped man who shoulders the responsibility of a widowed mother, a handicapped sister and a kid brother. To make matters worse, he is diagnosed having brain tumour. In a scene in the film, the angry young man, sings a song for his sister, who feels utterly depressed for being lame and being a liability on her brother, who is already in a financial mess. She starts crying and to console her, the loving brother sings a song for her that goes something like this- ` Dekha Phoolon Ko Kaanton Pe Sote Hue, Dekha Toofan Ko Kasht Dubote Hue, Nahi Main Nahi Dekh Sakta Tujhe Rote Hue` (I have seen flowers resting on thorns, I have the boat drowning in hail but I cannot bear the sorrow of seeing tears in your eyes.) Here we see a brother, who is pained to see his sister sad.

These were some of the classic characters on screen, who have either taken inspiration from real life or have been a source of inspiration for many. Rakhi is no ordinary thread, for it acts as a constant reminder of the duties of a brother towards his sister all his life. Time and again, Hindi Cinema has produced stories that paints a perfect picture of a brother and a sister bond.

Hope Hindi Cinema comes up with more stories that elevate this relationship to a higher level especially at a time when reserving time for near and dear has become a need of the hour!



First Published: Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 13:13

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