Ever since I announced the classic Hindi cinema quiz last week, though I’ve published no new posts, I’ve had a lot of traffic on my blog – and a large amount of it to the quiz post. Thank you, everybody, who commented on it, gave up on it (!), and – very especially – sent in answers. Even if they weren’t all correct, even if they were just wild guesses. Your enthusiasm touched me and encouraged me. You’re the reason I keep this blog alive. Thank you.
Okay, we’ll get around to the winners in a little while, but first, the answers:
Q1. In the film Detective (1958), what is the profession of the character played by Pradeep Kumar?
Answer: A magician. Anu was the only one who came close – she thought he might be a street entertainer. (If you listen to the song Aankhon pe bharosa mat kar, duniya jaadoo ka khel hai – “Don’t believe all you see, this world is a magical show” – it does contain a hint).
The detective in the film is actually the father of the character Mala Sinha plays.
Q2. The West Indian cricketer Frank Worrell, the first black to captain the West Indies, appears in a Hindi film in a cameo role. Which film?
Answer: Almost everybody got this one right. Yes, it’s Raj Kapoor’s Around the World (1967). Frank Worrell has a very brief scene, as himself, when Raj Kapoor’s character stops en route in the Caribbean.
Q3. Which was Sahir Ludhianvi’s first ghazal to be recorded as a song in a Hindi film after he came to Bombay and joined the cinema industry?
Answer: My father – among whose favourite TV channels is Zee Classic – heard this interesting bit of trivia on a programme and phoned me excitedly to tell me. No, it’s not Mohabbat tark ki maine, as most people thought. Sahir’s first ghazal to be recorded as a song in a Hindi film was actually Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le, from Baazi (1951).
The important fact to remember here is that a ghazal is not determined by its music (it need not necessarily be soulful and gentle!) but by its lyrics – technically, a ghazal must follow a certain rhyme pattern. And yes, no matter what tune S D Burman gave it, Tadbeer se bigdi hui taqdeer bana le is a ghazal.
Q4. Raj Kapoor, O P Nayyar, Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, and Burman are among the film personalities mentioned in the lyrics of which song written by Qamar Jalalabadi?
Answer: Another answer which nearly everybody got right. This one’s a delightful Johnny Walker song from the Shammi Kapoor-Nutan starrer, Basant (1960). The song is Ghoomke aaya hoon main.
Q5. Two films—one made in 1957, the other in 1963—had the following dialogue. In each case, the dialogue is between the hero and the heroine’s friend:
Woman: Soorat toh buri nahin. (The face isn’t bad.)
Man: Seerat bhi buri nahin. (Neither is the nature.)
Woman: Woh toh abhi dekhna hai! (That we’re yet to see!)
Man: Dekhnewaale dekh chuke hain. (Those who had to see, have seen.)
Woman: Acchha? Toh phir der kis baat ki hai? (Really? Then why the delay?)
Man: Shehnai bajaanewaale chhutti pe gaye hue hain! (The men who play the shehnai at weddings have gone on vacation!)
Name the two films.
(Hint: Both conversations occur between the hero and the heroine’s friend, in the presence of the heroine).
Answer: Was this one of the reasons Anu, submitting her answers, ribbed me about me having a ‘sadistic streak’?! I guess so. This was obscure, but Anoushka got it right anyway: the first film is Paying Guest; the conversation occurs between Dev Anand and Shubha Khote.
Six years later, it was repeated in Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, this time between Joy Mukherjee and Tabassum.
Q6. What were the ‘Filmfare Awards’ known as before they came to be called that?
Answer: Not a difficult one, that, if you do a little Googling – or just are fond of Hindi film trivia. They were called the Clares, after Clare Mendonca, who was the film critic for The Times of India.
Q7. British novelist Marie Corelli’s books were used as a basis for a number of films – only one of which was a colour film, and that too in Hindi. Which film was it?
Answer: Plenty of people got this one right, too. The Marie Corelli novel in question was Vendetta (aka The Story of One Forgotten), written in 1886. (You can download a free – and legal – copy here if you wish to read it). The Hindi film adaptation was Intequam (1969), starring Sadhana, Sanjay Khan, Ashok Kumar and Rehman.
P.S. Anu tells me that there was a Tamil film, Marmayogi (1951), which starred MGR. Intequam was based on Marmayogi. Both Karthik and Pacifist submitted Ek Tha Raja as their answer for this question, and on doing a little research, I found that Ek Tha Raja was the Hindi version (dubbed, I guess) of Marmayogi.
Q8. Which actor appears only in a photograph in the Asha Parekh starrer Kati Patang, as the man whose dead wife Asha is impersonating?
Answer. Another easy one – perhaps because Kati Patang is such a familiar film to so many of us? Sujit Kumar was the actor. His only appearance in the film is in a photograph, as Shekhar, the husband of the character Naaz plays.
Q9. In which film does Nargis dance to the hit Ritchie Valens song, La Bamba?
Answer. Okay, I thought this one was a toughie, but a surprisingly large number of people got this right. The film is Raat aur Din. One night, while she’s admitted in the mental hospital, Nargis’s character plays La Bamba on the console in her room and dances wildly to it.
Q 10. For Hai apna dil toh awara (Solvaan Saal), who actually played the mouth organ Sunder is shown to be playing?
Answer: Another question that nearly everybody answered correctly. Yes, that’s Rahul Dev Burman, playing the mouth organ for this song composed by his father, Sachin Dev Burman.
Well done, everybody! I thought there were some difficult questions in this quiz, but most of you got quite a few of them right (which means the next time I host a quiz on this blog, I need to raise the level of the questions!) Thank you for participating, and for being such enthusiastic and supportive readers. And thank you, Karthik, for egging me on to give a ‘consolation prize’ – and pacifist, for giving me ideas on what they could be: prizes, as in the film awards, that allow everybody to go home happy, secure in the fact that they’ve won something.
And now, the winners: the two people who came in first with the maximum correct answers. Nobody got all the answers right, but two people got 8 out of 10 answers right.
Da Winnah! *drum roll*
– Anoushka Dave, who gets the Bollywood Trivia Award. Even if she hadn’t been the first person to have submitted the maximum correct answers, Anoushka would still have got a prize: the Dark Horse Award, because this was the first time she’d commented on my blog.
And the runner-up: Anu Warrier, who sent in an equal number of correct answers as Anoushka – but a few hours later. Anu, in her mail, told me that a lot of her answers were ‘wild guesses’. In that case, she also gets the Best Guesser Award. (Sorry, Anu: this one gets combined with your runner-up prize).
I’ll be sending both of you individual e-mails soon. Meanwhile, congratulations!
Congratulations, also, to everybody else who won. There are several other awards:
The First-off-the-Mark Award goes to Ravi, who answered really quick – on September 28 itself.
The Quick Worker Award goes to Harvey. Harvey had to leave town on September 30 and will be back only on October 10, so unless he sent in his answers before September 30, he’d not have had a chance. But he did – and he got 7 answers right. I am impressed.
Neha gets the Hope Springs Eternal Award. The fact that she knew less than half of the answers didn’t deter her from submitting them. Atta-girl!
The Innovative Ideas Award goes to Pacifist. Not because her answers were crazily off the mark, but because she was the one who came up with this idea of “lots of prizes”, film awards-style.
Raja, who sent in his answers just about half an hour before the quiz deadline gets (what else?!) the By the Skin of His Teeth Award.
… and, last but not least, Karthik – who gets the Just for the Heck of it Award. (I have to admit to not having been able to think up some exciting enough award to bestow on you, Karthik – sorry!)
To all of you: congratulations, a very heartfelt thank you, and the assurance that each of you will get a prize sometime within the next couple of months, in the form of a post specially for you. Wait your turn and see what I come up with!