Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973)

This is one of those films I watched early on and I will admit that it confused me hopelessly at the time. I did not understand the wigs, or Dharmendra’s facial tics and popping veins, or why Tariq was so manic. I was so ignorant and naive.

Now of course, although I still have questions, I know they can never be adequately answered.

And nor do they need to be.

In the face of all the awesomeness of Ajit at his be-goggled villainous best, Shetty with hair, Shyam Kumar, cute little 8-year-old Aamir Khan, some crazy RD Burman music, blinding seventies fashions, and three brothers separated in childhood after their parents are murdered in front of them (the humanity!), everything else is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter (much) that 1973 vintage Dharmendra—one of the handsomest men on the planet—is burdened by an ill-fitting and ugly wig that makes him look years older, or that his acting is beyond OTT, or that he is essentially a secondary hero to Vijay Arora (whose idea was that?!), or even that the plot is filled with gaping plot holes and glaring inconsistencies.


This movie is magnificent, plunging us into a bewildering world where bad wigs, thick glasses and crazed facial expressions take center stage no matter what is going on, and also where Ajit is a cowboy for a short time.

(Of course, the Memsaab and her family wore 1973 no better. I think that qualifies me to poke fun here.)

Artist Gulzar (Nasir Khan) lives happily with his wife and three sons. They even have a family theme song which Maa sings with her sons on birthdays and anniversaries, appropriately titled “Yaadon Ki Baaraat”. Such idyllic bliss cannot last long and doesn’t: on his way to deliver some paintings one night, Gulzar runs smack into a heinous criminal named Shakal (Ajit).

Knowing that Gulzar is an artist and got a good look at him, Shakal and his cohorts Ranjit (Shyam Kumar in a terrible wig) and Jack (Satyendra Kapoor in an equally bad one) track him down. As his two oldest sons (Shankar and Vijay) look on through a window, Shakal shoots first Gulzar and then his wife dead and gives chase to the boys. Jack has already protested about Shakal’s habit of murdering people senselessly, and he helps Shankar and Vijay escape by redirecting Shakal in the opposite direction.

Sadly, Shankar and Vijay are separated when Shankar jumps on a passing train and Vijay is unable to catch up. The boys’ nursemaid takes the youngest boy Ratan (Aamir Khan) and flees, and Jack is caught by the police. Shakal sends Ranjit to the jail with a message that Jack had better keep chup or they will kill his daughter, and Jack is sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Vijay is found unconscious by the side of the tracks by a kindly man named Mr. Verma (Shivraj) who adopts him, while Shankar takes to stealing in order not to starve. Years pass, and Shankar grows up to be a jewel thief, still haunted—haunted I tell you!—by the memory of his younger brothers.

Dharam gives this film his all for sure. Maybe since he disappears for a good chunk of the middle he thought he should give Mr. Hussain his money’s worth when he did show up. Or maybe his wig was too tight. I don’t know.

Vijay (Vijay Arora) is brought up by Mr. Verma, who works for a wealthy man named Seth Devi Dayal (Murad) and has made sure that Vijay is well educated. Vijay is a happy-go-lucky sort who loves to hang out with his college friends at the Heaven Hotel, where they enjoy the musical stylings of singer-guitarist “Monto” (Tariq).

We know that Monto is really Ratan because each night he includes in his show his lost family’s theme song, hoping that it will ring a bell for one of his brothers should they ever be in the audience. Tariq’s participation in this film is mostly limited to pretending that he is a rock star by fake-playing a guitar and lip-synching to RD Burman’s gravelly voice. Most of us had to settle for an audience of nobody in our own rooms, but our uncles didn’t make films.

Both of Ratan’s brothers do in fact frequent the hotel and his musical shows, but they are always in the bathroom or getting phone calls when he sings their song.

Dayal’s daughter Sunita (Zeenat Aman) is a bratty and spoiled rich girl. I am not sure how it is that she and Vijay are unacquainted until this point since he has grown up on her father’s property, but when they finally do meet they embark on one of those childish and cruel courtships where each pulls increasingly more obnoxious pranks on the other. In this case, Vijay tells her he is a millionaire with cancer after Sunita tricks him into meeting her “alone” but *gasp* brings her friends! My feeling is that Vijay has amped up the heartlessness a tad more than this warrants, but never mind.

Meanwhile, Shankar continues to brood about avenging himself on the man who murdered his parents, although his memory of the killer doesn’t give him much to work with (and his artistic ability seems likely inherited from his mother).

He periodically visits the prison where Jack is incarcerated, hoping to meet him and get more information, but Jack refuses all visitors except his daughter (Anamika).

Shankar’s best friend and companion in crime is Usman Bhai (Ravindra Kapoor), and they are now hired to steal a maharani’s diamond necklace. That same necklace has caught the attention of none other than Shakal, who no longer dresses like a cowboy and has assumed another name. He also owns the Heaven Hotel where Ratan works. His son Roopesh (Imtiaz) suggests they steal the necklace for their big firangi client Robert (Gautam Mukherjee).

That magnifying glass shot is really a favorite device of Hindi film directors, na? Shankar steals the necklace right out from under Shakal’s men, who still include Ranjit (still in the same horrible wig, now frosted gray), and also now Shetty WITH HAIR. Truly the hair and makeup (wig and makeup?) people had lots of fun with this film.

Sadly the plot is derailed for the next half hour or more by the aforementioned childish romance between Sunita and Vijay, which goes on far too long. The best thing I can say about it is that it spawns some truly astounding Zeenat outfits and the now-classic “Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko.”

The major weakness of this film for me is these two characters, whom I find pretty much unredeemably unlikable. Besides Sunita’s entitled rich girl attitude and Vijay’s whopping lies, their behavior towards other people is self-centered and mean (they torment two of Hindi cinema’s biggest bellies, Ram Avtar and Moolchand—although I am always happy to see them):

and Vijay is annoying salacious. Note to men who don’t know this already: don’t run your tongue around your lips when you look at a woman. It’s gross.

Plus, “Chura Liya” is almost cancelled out by the nails-on-a-chalkboard “O Meri Soni Meri Tamanna” with its dreadful chorus of “I love yoooooouuuu.” Yikes. Sunita forgives Vijay for the cancer lie when she discovers it, but he doesn’t tell her that he is not the millionaire she also believes him to be. Instead, he takes off for Bombay without a word to her, breaking her heart into chhote chhote pieces.

He finds a job as a waiter at—yup—the Heaven Hotel and finally Shankar returns in all his emo glory. Shakal sends his henchmen to bring Shankar to him with the offer of a job: to steal a gold Natraj that Robert has his heart set on.

Shakal and Shankar agree on a price, and on his way out through the lobby Shankar and his two brothers light up together in one of those heart-stopping masala unwitting almost-reunions. Ratan is accompanied by—yay!—Neetu Singh, who then joins him for a delightfully crazy dance number “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil.”

Shakal sets a plan in motion to escape the country once Shankar has stolen the Natraj for him, and fakes his own death. Now all three brothers work for Shakal: Vijay as a waiter, Ratan as a singer, and Shankar as a thief; and Jack is released from prison vowing revenge on his former boss. But nobody knows who or where Shakal IS. All Jack knows is that he wears a different size shoe on each foot. Plus, the police think Shakal is dead (although strangely they continue to blame him for crimes committed afterwards).

Will Shakal manage to escape? Will anyone figure out who he is? Can Sunita and Vijay find their way back to each other? And will the three boys ever be reunited?


Oh yeah. Will they ever! Dharam almost has an aneurysm, for reals!


Grab your sister and several bottles of wine and just watch it, already.

PS: Shivraj says my favorite line in the film and also appears in a scene which causes me to ask: “What is that in the back window? Someone’s wig? Or did they run over Toonces The Cat Who Could Drive A Car?” Questions, so many questions.

113 Comments to “Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973)”

  1. ‘Note to men who don’t know this already: don’t run your tongue around your lips when you look at a woman. It’s gross’

    *scribbles on post-it*

    This was the first Bollywood film I ever saw – I wasn’t particuarly bowled over but the moment when the first brother is reunited with the second was very moving. I think this, Devdas and Umrao Jaan (1981, of course) are the only Bollywood films to have actually moved me to tears. But there we go…

  2. Vah, vah, Memsaab! I just watched this movie a few weeks back and loved it for all the same reasons! Only difference being that I enjoyed Vijay Arora, as an actor, anyway. I remember little about his character, already.

    Oh, and “Chura Liya Hai Tumne Jo Dil Ko” is one of my all time favorite Hindi films songs!

    • Vijay the actor is okay, but Vijay the character was awful! And it made no sense given the year that Dharam wasn’t the central focus. I mean COME ON. Unless he was busy, which he no doubt was. BUT STILL.

  3. Ohh lordy you know how much I love this! But your questions are so valid, why on earth did Dharamendra hair keep changing from a mullety wig to his normal locks?! And Vijay Arora is so cute as a button, but he was leery at times! All of those glasses that Tariq I definitely have on my shelf, because they are just soooo funkadelic!

    • I never saw Dharmendra in anything but the awful 70s long-hair wig. It was truly unflattering :( But still, I love this movie too, crazy eyeglasses and everything :D

      • I wonder WHY he had to wear that horrid wig. And this in the same year he made Jheel ke Us Paar, Jugnu and Blackmail – all of which (as far as I remember) did not require the wearing of ugly toupees.
        But still, I like Yaadon ki Baaraat very much – so vastly entertaining, and so many of those delicious old cliches all over the place. And the music! :-)

        • It made no sense, that awful wig. He looked terrible in it!!! I just kept flashing forward :( I linked to four different screenshots of 1973 films where he is just beautiful. It is basically criminal, what they did to him here.

          But I like YKB too, it *really is* so vastly entertaining.

  4. Brilliant Memsaab! I’m laughing too hard at your review to come up with anything else. It is such a crazy fun film, and has the inexplicable in abundance. I mean. Monto. Can anyone explain those outfits? The glasses? No I didnt think so.

    • The glasses, the wigs, the incoherent plot…it is all good :) Monto and the Avengers zindabad!

      • Monto – well its the type of silly nickname bandied about sometimes here. Maybe there is an inside joke involved. Avengers of course rhymes with ‘Ventures’ (the Western group) and the brothers are ‘avenging’ the murder of their parents.

  5. This movie is classic masala. But all that many people can think of the moment they say Yaadon ki baraat, apart of course from Chura Liya, is

    they doan make them no more like that.

  6. Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baraat which were both scripted by Salim-Javed had similar stories and the inspiration as usual came from foreign shores— this time it was ‘Death Rides A Horse’, Zanjeer was almost a photocopy of the film, but all the same YKB was entertaining and as we used to say a’ time-pass’ film. Incidentally Nasir Hussain did not use professional junior artistes for the hotel song sequences, he got hold of college students in fact some students from my college were part of song sequences in both YKB and Hum Kisise Kum Nahin.

    • The plot of YKB made very little sense a great deal of the time. But who cares with visuals like those :) I loved the students in the Heaven Hotel songs, they were such hippies!!!!!

  7. Ha ha. This takes me back so many years!!! I can never forget movies of the 1970s if only because I have personal memories associated with many of them being released.

    While there were no doubt other hit films in 1973, the three stand-out hits that I remember from that year were Bobby, Yaadon Ki Baarat and Zanjeer. In my town we had 4 film halls, and Bobby and YKB were running in two of them. For several weeks on end. House full. We used to discuss then which was the bigger hit of the two. If I am not mistaken, Bobby was an “A” (Adult) film then – so I got to see it only much later. The songs of both movies were an absolute rage but I am pretty sure the Binaca Geet Mala No.1 song of the year was my then-favourite, “Yaari Hai Imaan Mera” from Zanjeer.

    Much like you, I remember being surprised that Vijay Arora had the main male lead in the film. For us young boys then, YKB was a Dharam movie, with all others being incidental to the film. I think a lot of people may have gone to see YKB on the strength of Dharam’s name – I know I did. In fact, before seeing the movie, I (and all my friends) thought “Chura Liya” was a Zeenat song to Dharam.

    I remember Ajit being awesome in this movie. And that scene with Ajit’s shoes (different sizes) on the table is one that stands out in my mind even today. That is a classic scene.

    When my dad got us our first Panasonic cassette-player (the flat-deck one) around 1974, the first cassette we had, contained YKB on one side and Zanjeer on the other. We used to play this cassette non-stop at home – mainly just out of sheer excitement of having a cassette-player. (Needless to mention, I know every single song of both movies by heart. Every single word! :-) ).

    Ok, coming to your review. What can I say? Nothing different from what I usually say – just love it!!! As usual, I love the funny bits of your review the most – things like “Most of us had to settle for an audience of nobody in our own rooms, but our uncles didn’t make films” and “ his artistic ability seems likely inherited from his mother”. Very Oscar Wilde-ish! Love it!

    That subtitle for Shivraj’s line is pretty intriguing “Before wealth slaps poverty, turn around this path”. Wonder what the Hindi is.

    Ok, just for that line I have to watch this again. And, come to think of it, for Ajit too.

    Thanks, memsaab, for a jhakkaas review.

    • Was ist das, jhakkaas? The only thing I remember about the Hindi in that awesome line is that he did use the word “thappar” (sp?). He was telling Vijay to give up on Sunita because she was out of his league.

      Ajit is so very awesome in this. This plus Jugnu may make it his best year ever, although I can think of so many great Ajit villain roles.

      • “Jhakkaas” is Mumbaiya slang for “cracktastic”. :-) It is just the type of word you would come across in, say , a movie like Munnabhai. :-)

        That Shivraj line may, in Hindi, be something like “Isse pehle ki daulat gareebi ko thappad maare, waapas chale jao”. :-) Daulat=wealth, gareebi=poverty, thappad=slap.

        I absolutely love Ajit villain roles of the 70s. That grey hair, white suit, white shoes, goggles! And a typical dialogue (with that drawl), when having mother and hero (long-lost son) captured and tied to a pillar. The line would go “Maa bete ka milan dekh kar mujhe kitna anand aata hai” (“I am SO happy to see mother and son re-united”). Not to forget the briefcase that he would carry to the helicopter waiting for his getaway. :-)

        In the 70s, Ajit was an institution in himself. :-)

  8. I avoid the film and listen to the fabulous, fantastic, hip moving, shaking, great (and many more adjectives which I can’t remember) music

    • Yup the songs are so much fun (except for the horrid “I love yoooooouuuu” which made me want to scream, and not in a good way). But there’s a lot else to love in this too. Cracktastic masala at its best!

  9. I have mentioned sometime in the past that I had a deprived childhood compared to say Raja, in the sense that I did not get to watch too many Hindi movies during my school days. This movie came in 1973, which was a barren year for me as far as watching movies was concerned. The songs of this movie were all the rage, and I would have dearly loved to watch the movie.

    Now that I have read this review and I have found that Vijay Arora is the hero and his romancing Zeenat Aman is not really all that romantic, I would like to think that i may not have missed as much as I earlier thought.

    The review is certainly far more ingenious and original that the Salim Javed’s story and Nassir Hussain’s production. I would have loved to watch the film then considering that kids do not much bother about juvenile stuff that are often dished out in such movies.

    The pictures of your family in 1970s stuff is priceless. In fact, even Indian families those days actually dressed the way it is shown in this movie. And it was all considered fashioable to dress like that.

    I know that some members use the word superhit liberally to describe even flop movies of those days, but it was a movie that was actually a big hit. The audience cerytainly were far forgiving of the plotholes in the plot of movies like this, as long as they had enough material to thrill them. And this movie had that in the form of Dharmendra, Ajit, baddies, and last but not the least, its awesome music.

    In fact, I feel that music played the biggest role in the success of this movie, followed by Dharmendra,Ajit and the story.

    • I still think you should see this Atul even though Dharmendra isn’t really the hero (I figure he must have been too busy making 300 other films in 1973, although it still doesn’t explain the wig). It is pretty fun, and for Ajit alone is worth it (but there is so much more). I am sure the music played a big part in it being a hit although for me anyway it isn’t the best thing about it.

      LOL@my family pictures. My mom made my sister’s and my matching dresses, and they were SHORT. My glasses were easily as hideous as any seen in YKB too!

  10. Nice to hear from you again, Memsaab: it was quite a long time since your last review and I was wondering(actually dreading) that you had again gone on a vacation. And thanks for introducing your family to us. Your father looks very handsome, and your sister looks like a Barbie in her floral dress. Your brother also looks good, but was he being photographed for the first time?- he looks intrigued-or was it because the photographer said something?
    I think Dharam wore that wig only to look older, as a macho big brother to not-so-tough siblings who will never able to defend themselves from being bashed up by Ajit’s goons.
    Cannot blame VA’s tongue-ZA’s figure in that era caused millions to salivate, including Dev Anand(see HEERA PANNA).
    That object in the car maybe a mannequin head with brown wig, as far as I can make out; it certainly does not look like a stuffed cat.
    Finally Memsaab, ‘jhakkas’ means splendid and hot. It is a Punjabi word.

    • Oh, is “jhakkaas” a Punjabi word? I always thought it was Mumbaiya slang. I lived in Mumbai many years ago and it was a very common word then. If its origin is Punjabi, I stand corrected. See, one learns something new everyday. :-)

      • As far as I know it is also used in Marathi and it is a Marathi word (as well).

        • Well I just googled it myself and saw it referenced as Gujarati as well, although the preponderance of hits seem to say it’s Bambaiyya slang. But slang often comes from other languages, so who knows?

          It is still my new favorite word :D

    • It is very busy around here these days, I’ve not had as much time for watching movies as I’d like, let alone writing about them :( But hopefully this too shall pass and I’ll get back to having no life soon.

      Jhakkaas is my new favorite word.

      • If I remember right, Jhakaas was used by Anil Kapoor character in ANDAR BAAHAR, and yes I think this is very much a Bombay-slang

  11. jhakkas is a mumbai slang……

  12. For me, Tariq’s appeal is completely zilch (although his outfits help a lot). I remember wondering who he must have been related to in order to play the romantic lead in this film.

    • He was in no way the lead…he had even less screen time than Dharam (although Neetu played his GF in her special appearance). He was just a guy who wanted to be a rockstar and he got to play one on tv, I mean one film :) I liked him better in HKKN although even there he had to fight for status with Rishi :D

  13. We were in college when this movie came out. Who wanted a plot and all that sanity for? We just wanted to watch zeenie baby sing ‘Chura Liya’. The rocking ‘Lekar Hum’ was a big favorite. Hey, where is the mention of ‘aapke kamre me koi rehta hai’

    Sigh… how we loved this movie.

    • Plot and sanity ARE so overrated, aren’t they? I can only imagine the nostalgia it must bring to those who saw it when it came out :) It makes ME nostalgic! :)

  14. Tariq is related to Nassir Hussain. That is why he got to work in these movies.

    • I suspect he didn’t really want to be an actor, but a musician ;-) Possibly he had little aptitude for it so instead opted to play one in the movies!

  15. Re: Last cap – that is a stuffed animal used as a decoration – to imitate a cat or a dog looking out of the rear window :-)

    The second last cap is actually a pithy homily – basically saying that the rich parent of Zeenie will humiliate Shivraj and Vijay (who are poor employees in his pay) if Vijay even thinks of marrying Zeenie and he should desist further pursuit- and that is why Vijay leaves Zeenie dangling and goes away to seek employment. I guess some translation needs footnotes :-)

    This was a multi starer and a huge HIT! We expected divergent story lines. We gave Vijay Arora the benefit of doubt – we were after all leering away with him 8-). Zeenat was at her endearing best (pity she wasted this phase with Dev Anand; later on there was more of a hard boiled edge to her- which couldn’t hold a candle to that softness she displayed during these years).

    The alternating moods (grim/frolic/grim/frolic) gave that particular charm to the film. A Nasir Hussain film and no romance !? How could it ever be. And it scored in both moods and how.

    Aw why pick on poor Tariq. I want to be a part of a film family (Khandaan) too !!!

    • I just wanted to leer at Dharam but he looked pretty bad :( I understood Shivraj’s line—I put it there because I LOVED it, especially the way it was subtitled. I am going to use that line in real life some day if it kills me. And I’m not picking on Tariq! I love Tariq!

      • Here Dharam was the bad boy on the street – the kind guys secretly want to be – not the romantic mushy type. He loves ’em (the gals) and leaves them (I guess). Noticed the item he gets?

  16. Another fantastic review, thank you Memsaab (I do like the words on the screencaps!).

  17. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks YKB belongs in the “Criminal waste of Dharmendra’s Hotness” bucket. I don’t remember much about the movie but reading your review and others’ remembrances of the era makes me wish I had been born in the 70s. Oh wait, I *was* born in the 70s. Dharam’s wig has addled my brains.


    PS. Now I’ll have “I Looooooovvvvvveeeee You” stuck in my head all day. Thanks!

  18. Definitely one of the favorites among the flicks I’ve seen so far. I love it when adult D-man shows his angry expression and jumps on top of that train. And I like it when Monto gets everybody to sing along with Dum Maro Dum (trying to remember the other movie they slipped that song into, when someone has it on their car radio). Chura Liya and Lekar Hum are two of my fave tunes, so the slow parts don’t bug me too much.

    • Adult D-Man!!!!! I LOVE IT! Poor Shankar is haunted—haunted!—by trains! and memories! and cowboy hats!

      Dum Maro Dum shows up in so many films in the 70s :)

  19. @Memsaab – Great review as ever. The only point I wished to make other than what everyone else has said, is that this movie had ‘repeat’ value like many other 70s blockbusters. I remember this would be re-released every few years (this was prior to the VCR/DVD era) and still run to packed houses. I guess the combination of stars and songs would pull the crowds in.
    And someone rightly said that Ajit was an institution by himself. Riding on successes like this one, he spawned several joke collections. It was’nt so much about how funny the jokes were but how one narrated them.

    • Ooh! Do you remember any of the jokes? I am sure I can imagine Ajit saying them :) He is one of my favorites, loved him as a hero and adored him as a villain.

      Yes, this has definite repeat value—I pull it out whenever I need cheering up!

  20. Ha Ha! Good review. The wigs, oh my gosh what an awful site. I seem to recall that Shetty had an equally bad wig in another movie…maybe Imaan Dharam?

  21. Let me give you a sample of Ajit jokes-“AGAR WOH SMART-BOY HAI TOH WOH PHONE UTHAYEGA, NAHIN TOH LION USEY KHA JAAYEGA”(if he is a smart boy, he will pick up the phone, or..) “MONA, BANDH KARO YEH RONA-DHONA, MICHAEL GAYA HAIN BANK SE CHURANE SONA” (Mona, stop this whimpering, Michael has gone to steal gold), “LION KI NAZAR TUM PE HAI AUR TUMHARA GUN KHALI HAI.”

  22. Dharmendra’s expressions are like Joey’s(from FRIENDS) when he is “acting” in the serial.

  23. Nice post over a entertaining movie.

  24. I’m in complete agreement about Dharmendra’s wig – what were they thinking?!

    The main problem I had with this movie was the Vijay-Zeenat romance. Every time they were on the screen, I wanted to throw something at the tv :) And even though he’s lame, I love Tariq…after seeing Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, there was no turning back.

  25. can u name another movie where fight director(sheety) was wearing awig

  26. @Mamta:The movie was ‘Iman Dharam’ where Shetty wore a wig.

  27. and what about much yearly movie (an evening in paris)

  28. there was nothing in the movie ydb but loud music which we were not habituated at that time yet we hv to bear, because mr r.d.burman was at top of head of that generation if objected u were nowhere JUST listen to the music now u will tell urself what a waste of talent and money while making this movie (my title of this movie should be YADOON KI BARBADI ) RU LISTENING( MR NAUSH,AD SHAIB,MADAN MOHAN, JAIDEV SHAIB(YEH DIL AUR UNKEE NIGAHAO KE SAAYA, )(AKHREE GEET MAUHABAT KA SUNADOO TOU CHALOO, MAI CHALAA JAUNGAA DO AKSH BHAA LOO TOU CHALOO)(PREM PARBAT/ NEELA AKASH)



        • Just got into the humor, Memsaab; I personally like the movie- VA, Dharam’s wig, Tariq, plot weaknesses notwithstanding. Actually the other blogger shares her name with a prominent politician in my home-state, who made a thumping victory in the recent elections, and who never misses an opportunity to trumpet out loud. I hope you enjoy my nominations to the choice of alternative titles to this movie.

  29. Terrific review, memsaab, or as you put it, a jhakkaas review! As I remember reading about it, apparently Dev Anand didn’t want Zeenie to be wooed by Dharmendra, afraid of the competition, maybe! That was why the script was rewritten so that Dharmendra was left without a leading lady and Vijay Arora got the spotlight! I didn’t watch the movie in those days after learning that Dharm had been sidelined (how could he do it to MY Dharm? I will not watch this movie in protest!), but sang the songs all the time, esp Chura liya hai tumne jo … and Aapke kamre mein koi rehta hai….

  30. And talking about 70’s clothes, I still remember (and cringe when I do so) some hideous outfits of mine with outrageous colors and humongous flowers!

    • That’s interesting info Lalitha, and not too hard to believe, either :) And I have photographic proof (some of it in the post) of my brightly colored floral outfits :D

  31. can i hv the permission to ask a? y was male actors where wearing wigs ie dhamendra, satyan kapoor, ajit, shyam kumar, shetty ,female actress sanjana dhamendras ,assitance mother, father (i dont remeber thier name) had a wigs as 3 brother wr young i hv some doubt the director, had he made this in flash back because how is it only zeenat, vijay ,tariqui and the those fatty brothers had originality

  32. Wasn’t Asha Parekh supposed to be in it? We can only dream whether she would have paired with Dharam or Vijay (recalling that they starred in 1972’s desultory “Rakhi aur Hathkadi”). As far as I know, neither Asha or Nasir Hussain have fully discussed what happened – and whether this had something to do with why they never worked together again. I don’t buy that Zeenat replaced her, the common explanation. After all: three brides for three brothers, no? Dharam’s lone-wolf, slightly broody “bara bhai” performance does the give the movie gravitas, something the jalebi-like Vijay is sweetly incapable of. In addition to all the other fave moments from others, one of my favorite shots – and one of my first inklings of movie-making technique, one of those “wow” moments as a youngster – is the 360 camera pan of the young Shankar morphing into the adult one watching trains go by. It’s all in the feet/shoes – quite stylish. … A side note quite apart from Yaadon ki Baaraat: Memsaab – do you intend to co-post on Facebook? Would love to catch up with linked reviews there. A good, natural leap, I think. The Chachi’s Kitchen blog which has gone Facebook is a case in point: worth checking out and with instructive parallels, possibly. Many thanks.

    • I don’t know that much about this film’s background, although of course I know that Asha and Nasir had a long association :) I am LOLing at “jalebi-like Vijay”—so true! As is your comment on the 360° camera shot, loved it too. Great device.

      I have thought about making a Facebook page for the blog—maybe I will put up a poll asking if people would like that!

      • Thanks! I resisted FB for a long time – and now find I access most of my media that way, since all sorts of international and internationally-minded media post there. On Vijay, I have to say something unreservedly nice: I loved his special appearance in “Roti” – he showed great assurance opposite Rajesh Khanna when liberated from being the romantic hero. Although who knows what really happened on that fateful train ride in “Roti”.

        • Oh yes…he had a lovely appearance in Roti, and I love that film for completely different reasons from why I love this one :) I have nothing against him at all…but this was a terrible waste of Dharam at his prime, who rules over almost everything :D

  33. “they torment two of Hindi cinema’s biggest bellies”

    I cried. :(


    Great review though I can’t say I care much for the film. Vijay Arora and Zeenat prancing around was really annoying and argh.. Great to see aforementioned Moolchand (in an actual role!), Ram Avtar and Gora Robert though!

    Like the new marker commentary on the screencaps! Nice touch. :)

  34. I had typed a pretty long message, but don’t know why it was lost. Some internet error I guess. To cut it short, I think Dharmendra sported that wig so that there could be no continuity issues of his looks from start to finish. In 1973, he appeared in some movies where his hair style was like that of his 1971-72 movies (viz.. Loafer, Jugnu). In other movies, he sported a slightly long hair (Jheel Ke Us Paar, Blackmail, etc.)

    • The internet is full of errors :) That is a good point, and maybe it explains why the film I watched last night was full of young men with unnecessary wigs!

      • BTW, Dharmendra was nominated for Filmfare Best Actor award that year. So your claim that his acting is OTT may be correct, but only upto a point :-)

        • I don’t see what good acting has to do with awards, to be honest. His acting in this was terrible, although amusing! And I say that as someone who thinks Dharam was capable of very good performances.

  35. Does Rajesh Khanna appear as an extra in the song Chura Liya?Check out the guy in the background at the party who says WAH!Kya Baat Hain?

    Can anyone please confirm?

  36. Where is Tariq nowadays?I know he is alive and was last seen at Imran Khan’s engagement.Vijay Arora passed away due to some illness.Zeenat and Vijay made a lovely pair.In one of her interviews,after the demise of Arora,she stated that she had not been in touch with her co-star for the last 37 years or so.They just mingled on the sets,and that was it!!!

  37. Oh, another witty and hilarious take on one of the very-popular movies of 70-s!! Love your writing and small but terribly funny details!!

    I personally have never seen this movie completely, just in parts. And the sole reason that I couldn’t gather enough courage, was the scene, where Vijay and Monto recognize each other and unite!! They take a position for a long run-up first, literally, and then run towards each other, that is so LOLROFL!!!!

    Anyway, that was a different era, viewer’s tastes were different… and maybe Dharmendra’s wig was in fashion (though I hardly believe that!!!).. and this movie was undoubtedly one of the most entertaining movies of that time, with the timelessly hummable title song!

  38. ..and where is Shivram?The one who adopted Vijay Arora in YKB?Is he still alive?

    • I doubt that he’s alive…he was pretty old by the 70s even. He might be, but he’d be ancient. No idea where Tariq is either…and it’s my opinion that the guy in Chura Liye is NOT Rajesh Khanna :)

    • Shivraj not Shivram! He’s being playing the Father since the early 50s (even though he was relatively young back then!). The earliest film I’ve seen him in is Sangdil (1951) where he’s already playing an elderly character; the only time he’s played an actual young guy as far as I know is ‘Patita’ where he’s the izzat stealing landlord.

      Credits have him going into the 1990s so he was alive till about 1998 at least.

  39. Hi Memsaab,

    I am just a bit curious as to how you know so much about Bollywood Movies both old, and new. Have you watched every indian movie as far back as the 1920s? Your knowledge, comments and writing just amazed me. I Doubt if there is any one outside the Bollywood industry wh o know so much.
    How do you do it?. The more i read your comments or analysis of every movie the more i get blown away.

    Your contributions are amazingly excellent and i hope that you will never stop. I have started rewatching some of those 70s classics again (Thank God for the DVD technology). I did not even noticed that Dharam wore a wig in that movie –Yaadon Ki Baarat until i read your blog.

    Please keep up this good work we need people like you . You really bring back old memories.

    By the way–Is there anyone who could help me out?….Why was Dharmendra unable to win MOVIE AWARDS in the70s? He had very good movies in those days or didn’t he?
    Thank you.

    • I have just watched a lot of them (although not even CLOSE to all of them, I don’t even know if that’s possible!) :) I’m glad you enjoy the blog, and I have no idea why Dharam didn’t win awards. I think he’s awesome.

  40. Thanks Memsaab!You must be right.I guess Shivram is not around any more.There is no info about him on the net.There might be a couple of people in Bombay who may know about his family.Tariq was last seen at the engagement or wedding ceremony of Imran Khan,nephew of Aamir Khan.I will try to send you a photo of Tariq.I have heard that he does not want to talk about the film industry.Not even a slight mention!

    I asked Mansoor Khan if that guy was Rajesh Khanna.He said NO!but it’s hard to believe.Anyone else can confirm please?

    • It’s not Rajesh Khanna. The guy in the scene looks completely different.

      Plus considering how famous Khanna was around that time — he wouldn’t go uncredited.

    • How’d you talk to Mansoor Khan btw? Isn’t he living in some rural area in the Tamil Nadu?

  41. Yes.He is living in Coonoor,TN.He has his own farming/dairy business there,far from the hustle and bustle of Bombay.I am a fan of Nasir Hussain+RD+Majrooh combo,BTW,and YKB is my all time favorite.

    How’d I talk to Mansoor?SMS!!

  42. Robert?Who?

    • The white guy that Ajit is trying to sell the Natraj. You see him at the airport looking concerned as Dharmendra and the others come and ruin Ajit’s plans.

  43. I have seen “Shivraj”, the character artiste,2 or 3 years ago, in a HINDI T.V.serial(He appeared very skinny and very much old, But I have identifued him correctly),Oh sorry, I just forgot the name of Hindi serial, But it was in STAR PLUS channel.

  44. Dear all,
    My sincere request is that please don’t be so harsh on a movie that was a super duper hit of its time. I recall that I was about 4 years old when this movie released and the song – “Lekar Ham” was all over the city in Vividh Bharati.

    1.Dharmendra was paired opposite an actress called “Anamika” who came in a very brief role.

    2.I am not sure about the Dev Anand theory, but the plot required Dharam as the hero who wanted to avenge the death of his family. So, it was justified that to fill the movie with songs, you needed a pair. This was fulfilled by the pairing of Vijay Arora and Zeenat.

    3.I fully agree that this period (1972 to 1979) was Zeenat’s best phase. Check out “Dhund” and “Heera Panna”.

    4.It is sad that Vijay Arora never got his due, but he did act in the TV serial – Ramayan. Later on, he did some supporting comic roles but nothing could recreate that magic.Nasir Hussain never repeated him – don’t know why,

    5.Bollywood gossip does talk about Asha Parekh’s long association with Nasir Hussain – but no one knows the truth. But if Asha Parekh had done “Chura Liya”, YKB would not have been the classic movie that it is hailed today. I am sorry – not classic, but cult movie.
    I think Dharam’s tryst as the angry young hero began with this movie.

    6.I am surprised how all of you have misseed that crucial landmark scene – Where Dharam hears the sound of the train and locates the telephone booth.I am sorry, I have seen this movie on TV so many moons ago and so my memory is a bit nebulous.

    7.Tariq did not do many movies and we did read that he was related to Nasir Hussain. He did act in a few TV serials in the 90s but he had gone bald and was not the same hero whom you saw in YKB and HKKN.

    8.Interestingly, YKB was made as “Nalay Namathe” in Tamil and starrred MGR in double roles (playing both the roles of Dharam and Vijay Arora). It was a terrible bore and paled in comparison to YKB. What set apart YKB was the music, the charm of Zeenat, the acting by Dharam and the endearing characters played by Tariq and Vijay Arora.

    9.The nanny in this movie later on went on to do some character roles in TV serials. She was a Farida Jalal look alike. Alas, not much is known about her .

    • Oh I am sorry you think I was hard on the movie, because I really love it :D Its “flaws” are what make it so great too in large part. Re: the telephone booth scene, it is Ajit who hears the train in the background and locates the booth I think. He is a clever, clever villain!

  45. Memsaab – I have my doubts about the fact that Dharmendra wears a wig in this movie. In certain scenes (like the ones you circled) it appears his hair is gelled up (I guess he had a bad hair stylist for this movie). Check out his other movies during the same period (e.g Jheel ke Us paar), he has a very thick hair growth. Is it possible to clarify this fact with any of the production people of YKB? or with Dharmendra himself ? I dont see any valid reason for the director to make Dharmendra wear a wig…or unless he was making an art film….lol

  46. I love YTB, like you do, for all of its flaws that make it that much more endearing. For me, this was the first of the many, many brothers separated as children movies of the 70s. It was not really new but it was for me and the reuniting scene as a child was terribly moving. Thanks for another great review and taking me back on my childhood flashback.

  47. This movie outraged ,I say outraged me when I saw it as a child. One of the joys of going to cinema for me was seeing the clash of two titans that were Dharmender and his arch nemesis Shetty . Me nd my friends never missed a movie when these two had a Fight scene. We talk about it in anticipation, celebrated the entrance of Kuljeet ,our name for him since in Farsi it literary means mr. bold, with loud claps and whistles and proceed to watch him get his behind kicked. But he gave as good as he got. Shetty was as much of a draw for us as any star.
    A friend told me about this movie and how both my dishoom dishoom heroes were in the movie. For weeks I dreamed about this movie. I finally my dad took the family to see it on a Fri night. I disliked the movie instantly . Dharm looked so old and different and had weird hair. And there was a fight seen with a buggy eyed guy but that was not Kuljeet ,this guy was wearing “hair”. Surely ,no one director would be that stupid enough to make these two look so different. And the fight was so brief. No ,I decided those two were not the real deal. Some stupid guy had used look a likes to fool us. Plus the movie had a scrawny looking girly guy with pink glasses singing every fight minutes. Funny, to this day I don’t like the movie for the same reasons. Why all the weird Whigs ? Poor Dharm was made to sulk and cry like those 70’s Indian movie moms. A couple of he songs are good. Ajit was great ,specially when he kept calling a a captive Zeenat Aman mohtrema! Clearly a lot of people still like the movie and it was a big hit. But come on! Why hide Shetty’s great head with a really bad rug?

  48. YAADON KI BAARAAT was AUG 1973 as to best of my memories and also at same time JUGNU too was running alongside,If one carefully observes ZANJEER (MAY 1973)had more or less similar storyline,Both written by SALIM/JAVED,in both movies AJITDA had central/identical role,in both of them he performed with excelence at par.DHARAM uncles performance was by itself highlight of career,ZEENAT aunty,VIJAY ARORA uncle,TARIQ uncle were newcomers,along with NEETU auntys first major role,though I believe RIKSHAWALA her first role as a heroine was released few months earlier and my agemate AAMIR KHAN was too there,everybody gave super performance,I will not forget to mention IMTIAZ uncles performance(elder brother of AMJAD uncle) unfoturnately got well deserved due from Industry,thankfully as per requirement of role DHARAM uncle had no romantic angle(though a fringe of attachment with girl named ANIMAKA,which coincidently was name of AAMIRs home production same year,ONE of most outstanding performances by DHARAM uncle,who in entire movie wore one black dress,though never mentioned,DHARAM uncle gave carefree/outstanding performance in JEEVAN MIRTU(1970) and DO CHOR(1972)strangely never considered for award,and if I say that 1973 belonged to DHARAM uncle IN won’t be wrong,inspite of ZANJEER,DAAG,and BOBBY,DHARAM uncle had LOAFER(MAR 1973),JHEEL KE US PAAR(JUNE1973),JUGNU (AUG 1973),KEEMAT(OCT1973),JAWAR BHATA(OCT 1973),BLACK MAIL NOV 1973)and infact DO CHOR was rereleased in(DEC 1973)to housefull opening once again and IMay be right/wrong if KAHANI KISMAT KI was 1973 or 1974 release but all were runway hits,so in way this was DHARAM uncles year as well,though personaly disheartened with his choice of movies in nintees and now too see him half of himself he useto be,but I Suppose this is Law of nature,but this does not dether to our generations affection with him,which will always remain.RAVINDER MINHAS,JALANDHAR CITY,PANJAB,minhas35@yahoo.com.

  49. there is a song in this movie, kya hua tera waada,i was wondering who is this song for? when ratan sings it, it is obviously for some girl in the crowd, but who is that girl?

  50. Guys loved the review by one and only memsaab. I too wonder the reason for using those horrible wigs for dharam paaji…if you are interested to more about tariq @ monto pleased find the details here


    also you can find his latest picture of going bald with the passage of time.

  51. I have seen this movie many times, but did not notice his ‘bad hair’ until your observation in this review. Now I cannot un-see it! ha ha

    I wrote this piece ‘Sketches on manhood’ observing themes and patterns in selected Dharmendra movies – hope you enjoy it.


  52. One possible reason for Dharmendra’s wig could be that Nasir Hussain wanted to appeal to the South Indian audience who naturall prefer their heroes in wigs. Who can forget Jeetendra’s awful wig in Himmatwaka. Incidentally I recall Nargis refused to wear thigh pads in Chori Chori – the producer felt the South Indian audience would prefer a heavy thighed heroine.

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