Friday, June 26, 2009


When the recently wed heroine faints, the entire audience is convinced that she is in the family way. But not the heroine's dumb relatives who summon the family quack. As the medic in white coat feels the pulse of the recumbent damsel, a knowing smile plays on his lips before he proclaims " Mubarak ho. Aap ki bahu maa bun-naywali hai ".
The Bollywood , in connivance with its subsidiaries down south has, over the years, evolved a vast speciality of celluloid medicine - the Cellopathy - of which the ' pulse method ' of diagnosing pregnancy is just a minor exhibit. And with the dizzy spells being labelled as the cardinal sign of pregnancy, respectable unwed lasses can't even faint in public without raising the society's collective eyebrows. But wait...... there is more.
Cellopathic manuals, for instance, expound that a snakebite victim would croak if allowed to nod off. Therefore the hero cajoles his cobra-bitten paramour into a song and dance sequence to ward off sleep while his sidekick dashes off to fetch the doctor. But even before the help arrives, the guilt-ridden cobra makes an encore, only this time to suck the poison out of its victim.
Goofier are the ways in which the on-screen characters showcase their ailments. A man about to go bonkers opens the proceedings with an alternate bout of laughing and crying and then tears his clothes into slivers before roaming around with a heart-wrenching song on his lips.
A terminally ill patriarch launches into a lenghty oration on the virtues of thrift while his relatives drench him in gallons of tears. And finally when he runs out of steam, the sudden closure of his eyes in sync with pivoting of the head to one side signals his demise. And taking the cue, all the relatives dive on to his body to expedite his passage to the nether world.
A Bollywood potboiler is repository of wonder cures. A person afflicted with amnesia (loss of memory), for instance, listens to the family signature tune and, after a bit of struggle, regains his memory shouting "Maaa..." or "Bhiyyaaa...." depending on who composed the ditty. A wheelchair-bound paraplegic heroine, threatened by the villain's amorous advances, jumps out of the carriage and runs like a bat out of hell.
But the Indian filmdom's ultimate trail-blazing innovation is its ridiculously simple blood transfusion technique. All one needs is long India-rubber tube with the donor's vein at one end and the recipient's at the other. As the blood gushes directly through the 'hotline' into the patient (to the accompaniment of the song " khoon ka rung ek hai..... " in the back ground), both blood-brothers beam contentedly at each other. Bloody smart - or what?

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