Kati Patang (1970)

Our recent trip to Nainital prompted me (actually, even before we left on our trip) to read Gulshan Nanda’s novel Kati Patang. Gulshan Nanda, for those who may be unfamiliar with his work, wasn’t just a hugely successful writer of Hindi social-romantic popular fiction, but also a script writer for Hindi cinema: he wrote the scripts (many of them based on his own novels) of blockbusters like Saawan ki Ghata, Khilona, Kati Patang, and Jheel ke Us Paar. This insightful article about Nanda’s writing, as well as its adaptation to the big screen, is worth a read.

But, Kati Patang. I read the book (and, as you can see from my review of it), found it to read rather like a Hindi film. It prompted me to rewatch the film, which I hadn’t seen in at least a decade, though I remembered a good deal of it. And since I had never reviewed it on my blog… here we go.

The story begins with Kailash (Prem Chopra) and Shabnam (Bindu) cavorting around in a room, the action just beginning to heat up [or as hot as it gets in 60s-70s Hindi cinema]. There’s an insistent knocking at the door, and when Kailash goes to open it (Shabnam hides behind a curtain in the meantime), he finds that it’s Madhavi ‘Madhu’ (Asha Parekh). Madhu is his girlfriend, and—for love of Kailash—she’s run away from the bride groom she was supposed to marry this evening. She’s run away, too, from the considerable legacy she would be heir to from her sole living relative, her uncle.

Kailash is upset: why would Madhu spurn all that wealth? He basically hints that a Madhu minus her wealth is no use to him. A shocked Madhu realizes then just what a rat this fellow is, and just as that realization is setting in, she notices Shabnam hiding behind the curtain. Madhu is furious and disillusioned. She rushes out, and goes home…

… to find that her baaraat has gone back, and that everybody is passing snide remarks about her behaviour. Madhu sneaks up to her room, and discovers that her uncle is there, dead of a heart attack. With no-one to call her own now, disgraced and guilty, Madhu decides to run away. Where, she doesn’t quite know when she arrives at the railway station, but the decision is soon made for her: there, in the waiting room, Madhu runs into an old friend, Poonam (Naaz).

Poonam has recently been widowed and is going to Nainital along with her toddler Munna (Moppet Pooran), to be with her in laws, whom she’s never seen. It emerges that Poonam’s husband Shekhar (Sujit Kumar, who is seen only in still photographs in Kati Patang) had married Poonam against his parents’ wishes, and so his parents never accepted her. Now, with Shekhar having died in a road accident, they’ve asked Poonam to come so that Munna, the scion of the family, may be united with his grandparents.

Discovering that Madhu is trying to flee her past, Poonam persuades her to come along. She will be passed off as Poonam’s sister; they will look after each other, be companion and friend to each other. Madhu agrees. Poonam shows Madhu some old photos, letters of Shekhar’s, and the letter from her father-in-law, inviting Poonam to Nainital.

But the train crashes and Poonam is fatally injured. Dying, she extracts a promise: Madhu will go to Nainital, posing as Poonam. Poonam dies, and Madhu considers this a matter of keeping a promise [not that she actually gets around to promising a hysterical Poonam anything; but as it appears later, Madhu seems to just be predisposed to lying]. So she gives her name as Poonam, and taking Munna with her, sets off in a taxi for Nainital.

Midway, she stops to ask the cabbie to buy milk for the baby; opening her handbag to give the man money, she also allows him a good look at the contents of her handbag. The next thing Madhu knows, the driver has gone off the highway onto what he tells her is a shortcut—but when Madhu, now suspicious, starts questioning him, he threatens her. Madhu’s screams attract the attention of a man, Kamal (Rajesh Khanna) in a passing jeep. It’s pouring rain by now.

Kamal manages to chase the taxi, frightening the driver into stopping. The man gets out, grabs Madhu’s bag, and runs off. Kamal follows. Then [while the lashing rain does nothing to hide that this, instead of being a Himalayan jungle, is actually a Bombay garden we’ve seen in umpteen songs] Kamal beats the stuffing out of the driver, retrieves the bag, and goes back to Madhu.

Since Madhu is nowhere near Nainital, Kamal (who is a forest officer) kindly offers to take her to his home nearby, where she and Munna can stay the night. Madhu agrees.

That evening, while Kamal goes off to a party (and sings Yeh jo mohabbat hai)—he has apologized to Madhu, telling her he cannot back out of this invitation—Madhu stays at home.

Kamal’s servant, Shambhu Kaka (?) gossips to Madhu, saying he wishes Kamal wouldn’t drink so. But really, he adds, Kamal isn’t to blame; not after what happened… from Shambhu’s words, Madhu realizes the truth: Kamal is the man she was supposed to marry, and whom she ran away from to be with that rotter Kailash. Kamal was devastated by this act of hers, and his daily drinking of his derives from that.

Anyway, next morning, before Kamal is even back home, Madhu has taken Munna and gone off to Nainital, where she turns up at the home of Poonam’s in laws, Diwan Dinanath (Nasir Hussain) and his wife (Sulochana Latkar), who are overjoyed to finally have their bahu with them. Madhu settles in soon, is made much of, and is such a self-sacrificing, devoted bahu that the old people regret having rejected her sight unseen back then.

On her very first day there, Madhu meets Kamal, who was a close friend of Poonam’s husband Shekhar, and who is therefore almost like a son to his bereaved parents.

Madhu is also introduced to Dr Kashinath (Satyen Kappu), not just the family doctor but also a good friend of Dinanath’s. To the doctor, too, Dinanath raves about his daughter-in-law, what a fine woman she is, how much she cares for her in laws.

All seems to be going well. Kamal is friendly and attentive, her ‘in laws’ are kind. The maid Ramaiyya (Daisy Irani) is a bit of an airhead, but her little brother Sheetoo (Junior Mehmood), a precocious child [when did Junior Mehmood not play a precocious child in the years he was a child actor?] seems more intelligent and worldly-wise than her.

Then one day, when she goes to a chemist’s shop to buy medicine for Dinanath, Madhu is accosted by the shopkeeper: it turns out he had briefly been a classmate of Madhu’s at college. Kamal also happens to be there and is surprised, but Madhu manages to deflect suspicion—somewhat—by denying it all and insisting she’s Poonam. The chemist is still sceptical, but Kamal, who has not the slightest suspicion of Madhu’s true identity, comes to her rescue.

But more danger lurks: because when Madhu goes to a restaurant, who should be the dancer there but Shabnam, Kailash’s girlfriend? And Shabnam, never one to back down, flings barbs at Madhu, openly teasing her about her real identity.

And where Shabnam is, Kailash—greedy, unscrupulous, outright criminal—cannot be far behind.

What I liked about this film:

The music. RD Burman’s compositions and Anand Bakshi’s words come together in a stellar album that featured one hit song after the other. I personally feel that the songs of Kati Patang are the pinnacle of the Kishore Kumar-RD Burman pairing: Yeh jo mohabbat hai, Pyaar deewaana hota hai and Yeh shaam mastaani are my three favourite songs from this film. The other songs, including the title song, Mera naam hai Shabnam, Aaj na chhodenge bas humjoli, and Jis gali mein tera ghar na ho baalma, are also good.

And, the overall entertainment value of it. While it has its melodrama, its clichés and other fairly predictable elements (the silly comic characters, the crazy coincidences, and more), Kati Patang is, on the whole, fairly good time-pass, as we say.

What I didn’t like:

The needless urge on the part of Madhu to lie. It’s not as if this woman promised Poonam anything (and Poonam, all said and done, was a hysterical, dying woman: her pleas for Madhu to impersonate her should not have been taken seriously at all). Madhu could easily have fulfilled whatever duty she felt by going to Dinanath’s home and introducing herself for who she was, handing over the toddler to them. There was no need to hoodwink them.

But Madhu does lie, and goes on weaving a tangled web of deception—down to the climax, when yet another lie gets her into really deep trouble.

Comparisons, comparisons:

As I mentioned at the start of this post, Kati Patang is based on Gulshan Nanda’s novel of the same name. Nanda also wrote the screenplay for this film, so it’s hardly surprising that the film is a fairly faithful copy of the book. Even then, there are some differences (besides the superficial ones, like some names being different). Kamal’s servant, Shambhu and Ramaiyya’s brother Sheetoo, for instance, are not there in the book; and the way the climax plays out is somewhat different.

52 thoughts on “Kati Patang (1970)

  1. Nice review of a lovely film. This and Aradhana really got me hooked to Rajesh Khanna. The songs are classics, and as you mentioned, overall entertainer, and Asha Parek looked radiant in this film. I see this and Aradhana and Anand at least once a year!! I need my fix!! Thank you for the nice review. I have not read the book. I studied hindi upto tenth and barely passed, so reading it now will be a task!!

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    • Actually, though I did end up studying Hindi till 3rd year of BA (not because I wanted to; it just so happened that that was the rule back then – we had to study Hindi in 11th if we did Arts, and then if one had done Hindi in Arts, one had to do Hindi in BA too!) – but I hadn’t read Hindi novels for over 20 years after I left college. It’s only in the past few years that I’ve been making a concerted effort to read a few Hindi books every year. My speed is terrible, but at least I manage!

      True, Rajesh Khanna is very attractive here, and generally a likeable character. Plus, overall entertaining.

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      • These comments about Hindi on a forum that flourishes on Hindi cinema is saddening. But then, it has been noted that many (if not most) performers read their lines in Roman script. Many don’t ever see their films but they sure make a lot of money. Sorry if I am offending someone. I know my reply is not in keeping with the spirit of this forum and you are totally welcome to ignore it. I just couldn’t swallow these comments.

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        • Can you please tell me what it is you find offensive about my comment about Hindi? It’s just a general preference – I find it difficult to read Hindi fast. I have nowhere said anything derogatory about Hindi; all I am doing is stating my own inability to read it fast. How does that reflect on the language?

          And you don’t even note that I’m saying I am now making a concerted effort to read more Hindi novels – does that offend you too?

          I find your comment totally unwarranted and unfair.

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          • My sincere apologies for adding this odd note to this wonderfully lighthearted and jovial forum. Hindi Films are so interwoven with our own stories and I thoroughly enjoy stepping in to the memory lane. Thank you.
            In retrospect, my comment does seem unfair and perhaps unwarranted. I let my emotions sway me. Nonetheless, there is a short film on You Tube, Khamkhah by Aarti Bagdi. It is fairly entertaining so your time won’t be wasted. My comments might make a bit more sense. In any case, no more on this topic.

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      • That’s amazing! Although I’m fluent in Hindi and as a kid used to read a lot of Hindi magazines, it’s been ages since I read a book in Hindi. This should inspire me to do that. I’ve always wanted to read Premchand in Hindi.

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        • Premchand is a master, totally. I read Nirmala and Godaan a few years back, besides some isolated short stories (Shatranj ke Khiladi, Do Bailon ki Katha, Idgah, Boodhi Kaaki etc) and he is brilliant, each and every time.

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  2. Madhuji you have the knack of kindling nostalgia in a simple & beautiful way . The movie was almost at the beginning of Rajesh Khanna’s epoch saga & no one believed , especially girls in college during that period, that the hero will no longer be the superstar by 1974. Such are vicissitudes of life particularly if one cannot have a mature head on one’s shoulders. That the songs from the movie are popular & sought after even today is a fitting tribute to everyone involved in the movie

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    • You’re so right, nobody who would have seen Rajesh Khanna, or the adulation that surrounded him at this stage of his career, could have foretold the sudden crumbling of that superstar persona within just a few years. You’re right, too, about not having a “mature head on one’s shoulders” – very well said.

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  3. There’s nothing to disagree with in this post. Being an avid reader of Gulshan Nanda, I have read the novel and seen this movie also at least thrice because of its entertainment value and more because of its music appeal. My son is fond of singing Pyar Diwana Hota Hai whereas I have sung Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai & Jis Gali Mein Tera Ghar Na Ho Baalma for some gatherings in the past. Aaj Na Chhodenge Bas Hamjoli is my favorite Holi song (the numero uno song in my compilation of Holi songs from Bollywood). And the magic of Yeh Shaam Mastani is hard to escape from for any music lover. You haven’t said anything about Lata’s Na Koi Umang Hai which also is a good song in my view. When I decided to write reviews of Bollywood movies and started writing on mouthshut.com, the very first review posted by me was of Kati Patang only (on 9th February, 2010). Thanks for refreshing all these memories. Kati Patang is nostalgic and definitely a treat for a typical Bollywood movie viewer seeking wholesome entertainment.

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      • But you did mention it!. Without a link, though – you just said the title song, which surely is this.

        I’m catching up late on reading old blog posts. Enjoyed reading this review. I saw this movie when I was just around 12, and remember loving the songs (especially jis gali mein, yeh shaam mastani, and mera naam hai shabnam), wondering why Madhu was so spineless, and trying to imitate some of Kaka’s mannerisms in school! I should try and read one of the precursor English novels mentioned in the comments.

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  4. I am surprised that the film “KaTi Patang” was based on Gulshan Nanda’s novel since I always assumed that it was an adaptation of the 1950 English film “No Man of her Own” *ring Barbara Stanwyck. I watched the Hindi film several years back and found Asha Parekh to be extremely annoying – not just the character’s building up the lies, but also her interpretation of the character – found it very melodramatic and shrill. My recollection of Rajesh Khanna is on the other hand much more positive. I know a lot of people thought Asha Parekh was very good in this film, which surprised me. So I had assumed that I should probably revisit the film to see if I missed something.
    Musically, the film is super strong as you already said. But I specifically find “Mera naam hai Shabnam” to be an extremely interesting composition, but what takes it over the top is Asha’s extraordinary singing. I am not sure if the idea for this song came from the director or from RD Burman himself, but genius IMO.

    The storyline itself seems so very Hindi filmi (like the tropes of children getting separated in the mela), which is why I was surprised when I found the English film with the same concept. Then accidentally, amazingly just last week, I came across another more recent English film with the same story called “Mrs Winterbourne” with Shirley McLaine, Brendan Fraser and Ricki Lake. Then a quick wikipedia research showed that all these films came from a 1948 English novel “I Married a Dead Man” by Cornell Woolrich.

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    • You are right. It is an adaptation of “No Man of her Own” which in turn was based on the novel “I Married a Dead Man”. And I found this, when I watched bits of “Mrs Winterbourne” many, many years ago, and, at that time, had danced with excitement because I had “finally found an English movie copied from a Bollywood one” – a rather euphoric moment, which was dashed when a Wikipedia search showed it was more complicated than that!
      And I guess that explains the issue Madhu has with the story in Kati Patang- why all the lies? In the other versions, the woman has a very large stake in continuing the deception- a child of her own who she is passing off as the heir (in Mrs. Winterbourne, she is heavily pregnant). But that compulsion is missing and very weak in Kati Patang precisely because it was adapted for Indian sensibilities which would never have digested a single mom in 1970 (unless it was a Yash Chopra movie!)
      But, but Rajesh Khanna singing the lines “shama kahe parwane se, bade chala ja, mere tarah jal jayega, yahan nahi aa…” had me swooning so much over his boyish looks, charm and the slightly pink lips, that I was able to forgive everything else.

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      • Thank you, sangeetbhakt, and Simrita, for the comment and its followup. I haven’t seen any of the English language predecessors of this film, so I can’t comment, but Simrita’s insight into the persuasions of the original character make sense. A Hindi film heroine, especially in a totally masala mainstream film like this, pregnant and unmarried, wouldn’t have been acceptable. True, too, that the compulsion, therefore, to lie (or to impersonate, really) is weak in the Hindi version.

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      • The way I had interpreted the character in the Hindi film was that she was so wracked with guilt over being responsible for her uncle’s death that she wanted to forget her old life and start anew – and this gave her an opportunity to do just that. I do not recall all the different lies she tells after that, but I think I was okay with the first decision. And by making her “wealthy” in the Hindi version, they removed the angle of her eyeing the money. As with so many Hindi films, main characters often are either uber-good or uber-bad.

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        • Agreed that she wanted to start anew. I wish that she’d used her education, and not taken the easy way out of using someone else’s money (even if she wasn’t outright eyeing it) to make herself comfortable. After all, this woman was educated, and in age when it was already fairly common for women to be employed – few taboos, few restrictions. I see this decision as being the one that most benefited her, which is why she takes it.

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  5. I think this is the first time I have a bone to pick with you regarding one of your reviews – or maybe I am just showing my age and taking umbrage at anyone throwing shade at old and fond memories of youth !!
    I doubt any Hindi movie will make sense where their implausible storyline is set out the way you have have done for Kati Patang. The first requirement to appreciate Hindi movies is suspension of normal rules of how world words – otherswise how does one explain the number of coincidences in this movie! And withhout the coincidense there would be no movie!!
    I am also pained that you have missed out highlighting the one factor that makes this movie work – Rajesh Khanna!! Kati Patang came mid-way his dream run of 16 hits – earning him the title of Super star. Without Kaka and his charm and ability to light up the screen – this would have been a very painful watch!!
    Incidentally I believe the heroine’s was meant to go to Sharmila Thakur – but then she fell pregnant with Saif so Asha Parekh stepped in. The heroine in Kati Patang is anything but – she is a lying and conniving person who seems to spread sorrow wherever she goes. Still we are lucky Asha did it – for with Sharmila, it would have been Amar Prem Part 2 !

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    • “The first requirement to appreciate Hindi movies is suspension of normal rules of how world words – otherswise how does one explain the number of coincidences in this movie!

      LoL! Yes, you’re right, of course. Where would Hindi cinema be without its many classic tropes? :-)

      “she is a lying and conniving person who seems to spread sorrow wherever she goes.

      I so agree!

      And agree, too, about Rajesh Khanna. He really is very charismatic – and generally a nice person – in this film. Too nice, even. She doesn’t deserve him.

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  6. Asha’s behaviour is realistic -even if she lies too easily. She’s a woman alone in the world. Her only solace, her best friend has juat died. Had she handed out the child to the inlaws, she’d have been out on the street. There’s no convenient helpful nun like in Jab We Met to take her in. I too found Mrs Winterbourne uncannily similar to Kati Patang. But Kati Patang seems to have none of the devar-bhabhi romance in the former. Perhaps Devar is changed to family friend to avoid offending the sensibilities of Hindi film audience.Did they both come from the same source? Or was there a vintage Hindi film fan among the makers of Mrs Winterbourne?

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    • I still beg to differ. It’s convenient for her to lie, which is why she does it. This is a woman who’s well-educated, urbane, perfectly capable (if she wishes) to perhaps find employment and start working. To tell lies and sponge off someone else is not something I expect a ‘heroine’ to do. Besides which, this isn’t the only instance of her lying; as I mentioned in my review, later on too she resorts to another lie, which lands her in deep trouble.

      Did they both come from the same source? Or was there a vintage Hindi film fan among the makers of Mrs Winterbourne?

      Have a look at the comments by sangeetbhakt and Simrita, above – they explain the chain of adaptations that led to Mrs Winterbourne, somewhat. Gulshan Nanda might have watched one of the earlier Hollywood movies, or read the novel, and decided to do a Hindi take on it.

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      • Rajendra Kumar’s sister in Gehra Daag is the only one I remember who had the gumption to pick herself up after a tragedy, find a job and support herself and her toddler sister Mumtaz -all that without family connections or friends. Her parents are dead. Her brother landed up in jail. She had to sell the house and property herself. Which is not an easy thing since it is 100% likely that the buyers tried to fleece her. Then she shifted to a strange new city, found a job, fell in love with her boss and yes, lied to his face that her brother was working in Africa. She’s not only unapologetic. She makes her brother lie too. I wanted to see more of her early struggles. But since she’s a supporting character and it’s Rajendra Kumar’s story, it happens offscreen.

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        • I have watched Gehra Daag, a few years back – and must admit that I’ve forgotten this element of the plot completely. But I also think that there are plenty of examples in Hindi cinema in which women (including sometimes women who’ve lived very sheltered lives, or are illiterate or nearly so) get out of the house and find a job for themselves, enough to support themselves and their families. Lots of them, in fact, in all sorts of straitened circumstances. Saying that Asha Parekh’s character in Kati Patang is forced to practise this deception in order to survive is being too kind. She’s lazy, and she’s not willing to stand on her own two feet.

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  7. Madhu,
    This is an excellent review of a hugely popular movie with superb songs. I find some of your readers, and you too, have a somewhat negative impression about Asha Parekh’s character – “lying and conniving person”. Really! That would mean that she was doing it with some selfish motive, i.e. to inherit the considerable wealth of Dinanath. That is not my recollection of the movie. She was as white and pure as her white sari.

    One can fault her for being so gullible as to fall for the rogue like Prem Chopra. After that shock and shame at home, she has to run away. Running into her widowed friend with a child, train accident, moral obligation towards her friend is a chain of coincidences in which she gets trapped.

    I didn’t know that Gulshan Nanda’s books are not available. Hind Pocket Books had launched a membership scheme, and everyone those days read Gulshan Nanda, though we knew that was not literature. He was the Chetan Bhagat of Hindi novels those days.
    AK

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    • “That would mean that she was doing it with some selfish motive, i.e. to inherit the considerable wealth of Dinanath.

      Okay, not ‘conniving’, perhaps – but it is still done with a selfish motive, because after all, who benefits from her impersonating Poonam? She herself. She gets a home and people who are grateful to her. She doesn’t have to work to earn a living and can just sponge off them – so, because she benefits from the impersonation, she does it.

      And I don’t think she’s trapped, really. After all, this is an educated woman, in an age when it was no longer taboo for a woman to work. And she had enough money (remember the loads of cash in her bag, which the cabbie sees) to at least mean that she won’t be utterly destitute, even if she tried to be independent… but she chooses not to be.

      Also, later in the film, for no good reason, she lies about Dinanath being asleep when actually she knows well enough that he’s dead. It could be put down to panic (though why? It’s not as if she has a guilty conscience on this front), but I think it’s a result of a compulsion to lie.

      Gulshan Nanda’s books are not unavailable; who said they are? They’re available as paper backs, and some (Kati Patang is one) are even available as ebooks.

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  8. One of the best Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar, RD Burman combinations ever! Asha Parekh widened her eyes, wept, and overacted as always.
    None of her lies was justifiable in any way

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  9. Many years back, I happen to read an Interview of Mumtaz where is rated her performance in “Tere Mere Sapne” very high and expressed disappointment at losing the award to Asha Parekh, who according to her just stood by the Piano in a white Saree looking constantly shocked/confused in Kati Patang.
    Haven’t been able to get rid of that image ever since. Not a huge fan of Asha Parekh as a dramatic actress and her wide eyed “Nahinn” face but the songs are just lovely and Rajesh Khanna was soooo very handsome. Lovely Review.

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  10. Agree with everything you’ve written, Madhu, about “Kati Patang” being a rather ridiculous but highly entertaining movie. I also share your view of Asha’s character -indeed I not only found her duplicitous but too-stupid-to-live for most of the movie.:-( Luckily, a charming Rajesh K and a host of lovely songs (expect for the whiny “Na koi umang hai”) provide amble compensation.

    Incidentally, you might want to check out “Sanjh Ki Bela” a re-working of “Kati Patang” starring Nutan and Joy Mukerjee. The plot hews closer to the source material (the Cornell Woolrich novel) which makes the impersonation deception at the center of the tale not only make more sense but lends an urgency and steeliness to Nutan’s performance that’s entirely missing from Asha Parekh’s portrayal.

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    • I had never even heard of Saanjh ki Bela. Thank you for this, Shalini – will certainly keep an eye out for it (a cursory search online doesn’t throw up the complete movie, just some songs, right now).

      Asha Parekh’s character is seriously stupid too, I agree. She makes the most idiotic decisions, does the most brainless things.

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  11. Madhu Ji I remember kati patang cause it was first asha Parekh and Rajesh khanna movies I watch. I used to see both of them in songs. I enjoyed the beautiful soothing talk btw both Kamal and madhu. Their scenes in beautiful outdoors . I can see any time.

    thanks for telling us that the garden we see is bombay garden which we have seen so many times. Here Rajesh khanna drives here in rain. I feel he was the one actor who looked most comfortable driving on screen. There are many examples – chala jata hu, itna toh yaad hai, diwana kar k chodenge. He actually looked driving comfortable in songs and scenes.

    Also remember mumtaz ji was very confident of winning and also saying openly that she deserved the award but asha Parekh got for wearing white saree all the time. I don’t like asha Parekh here much.
    I have warmed up to asha rajesh pair. After watching baharo k sapney and aaj milo sajna. Not much romantic but look more of a friendship love. I also feel songs are best of Rd kishore combination. Thanks for the review madhu Ji of a soothing film.

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    • That’s an interesting observation, about Rajesh Khanna looking very comfortable driving a jeep/car! Indeed. Some iconic songs there.

      Agreed, I too don’t like Asha Parekh much here; she’s just too shrill and melodramatic. But as you mention, she and Rajesh Khanna did some other memorable films together. I especially like Bahaaron ke Sapne – it’s much more low-key and subtle.

      Glad you enjoyed this review. Thank you for the appreciation!

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  12. I have read most of Gulshan Nanda’s novels and have also seen the movies based on these. Later on, it became rather predictable, as if he was writing with a movie script on his mind. I think there are quite a few others as well, like Neel Kamal, Mehbooba, Patthar ke Sanam, etc. Kati Patang had litling songs, fine acting and, as usual, a melodramatic plot. The best part I like about your post is the comparison between the novel and the movie.

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  13. That “Hi” above was a tester, Madhu, coz many of many recent comments on your posts got swallowed up by Gravatar. So this was one last try, and the comment went ! I loved your review of “Kati Patang” .Your observations were spot on. The movie was lovely. It was a good looking film because of the setting. The picturesque Nainital sceneries ,the actors, the wonderful songs,and even the houses looked good. I find a movie exhilarating if it’s set in a hill station .Like you I have read quite a few books in Hindi , including two of Gulshan Nanda’s , “Maili Chandini” was one, which was made into “Daag”, the other I don’t remember. I’ve also read Dharamvir Bharti’s , “Gunahon ka devta” the too heavy romance of which suffocated me . Then Munshi Premchand”s stories were in my 11th class course books.To many Hindi speaking persons it may seem surprising that everybody in India does not read Hindi. Well they don’t. Only those living in Hindi speaking states M.P. and U.P. read it and very few from other states do. Well, my primary education was in Hyderabad , Andhra Pradesh, ,I studied at St. George’s Grammar School till the 6th class. In those days , the Principal and most teachers were Australian, so no Hindi was taught , and my knowledge of it was terrible ! But English was my forte and even at that age I read tons of English books, both classics and fiction.. Then I got admitted to, Cambridge School, Bhopal, where I had to take Higher Hindi and Sanskrit. Later I studied Urdu also for three years and I stood First in it in the Board Exam ! This was Elementary Urdu and all my classmates here were Non Muslim students. The others had Higher Urdu. Now I can speak and write Hindi and Urdu fluently using the most difficult words. Hindi is a beautiful language, and so is Urdu. But I’m going off at a tangent. Like you I’ve been to Nainital recently too, and like you I even sang “Jis gali me tera ghar na ho baalma” whle boating on Naini Lake ! But this time there seemed to be no sails on any of the boats. But I’ll write about it in your Nainital post.

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    • I am impressed that you know Urdu, and that too so well. My father (who learnt it before he learnt Hindi, back when he was a child) tried teaching me the Urdu alphabet, but that was so long ago that I’ve forgotten most of it. My sister, on the other hand, persevered (she is a historian and specializes in British-era Delhi, so it is useful to her in reading documents etc of the period) – and she is very fluent.

      Back on track: yes, we didn’t see any sailboats on the lake either! (And no, I didn’t sing Jis gali mein tera ghar while boating – I was too shy to do that with the boatman rowing us along. :-)

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