Bollywood and Railways – Bond beyond the Lifeline!

Chennai chennai-expressExpress (2013)

Shah Rukh Khan’s iconic train scene from Dilwale Dulhania LeJayenge was recreated in this Rohit Shetty flick when Rahul Mithaiwala (SRK) gives his hand to Meenamma (Deepika Padukone). A few scenes were shot in CST Terminus while Vasco Da Gama station in Goa was shown as Kalyan railway station in the film. The train part was quite a visual treat with beautiful shots of waterfalls, forested hills and lakes. It did succeed in showcasing the natural beauty of South India to some extent.

baton-baton-meinBaton Baton Mein (1979)
One of the most loved films of Amol Palekar, Baton Baton Mein had Tony Braganza (Palekar) meeting the lovely Nancy Perriera (Tina Munim) for the first time in a 9am local train from Bandra to Churchgate. Late actor David who is Nancy’s neighbour, Tom gets the couple introduced to one another. In the next few months, the train becomes their meeting point, a place where they share their feelings, hopes and aspirations. From the quintessential scenes of shy boy and girl trying to avoid each other’s gaze to the sense of yearning conveyed in the song Kahan Tak Yeh Mann Ko, the train is quite central to their story of love, separation and reunion.

jab-we-metJab We Met (2007)
Ratlam, one of the busiest junctions on the Mumbai-Delhi route and known for its sev, was made infamous after the release of Jab We Met. Quite a few people enquired about ‘Hotel Decent’ after seeing the film. Imitiaz Ali’s romantic comedy has some of the best train scenes in the history of Bollywood. Who can forget the scene with the station master in Ratlam junction and dialogues like, “Zindagi, ek rail ki patri hai, ek inch ka bend aur meelo ki doori hai, meri bhi kahi train choothi hai par un zamane me main mard tha”, “by God aaj tak ek train miss nahi hui meri” and more. All in all, the film gave Indian Railways a kind of publicity; it hadn’t received in a really long time.

MetroLife In A…Metro (2007)
Though a greater part of this Anurag Basu film captures the loneliness and tribulations of Maximum City, the train sequence where Akash (Shiney Ahuja) tries to protect Shikha (Shilpa Shetty) from getting pushed in the gent’s compartment shows the tender romance that develops between the two. The train platform is also the backdrop of the scene where Shikha tells Akash that she can’t leave her husband and family for him, and says her last good-bye. In another sequence, Neha (Kangana Ranaut) chases Rahul (Sharman Joshi) to the station as she realises that she’s in love with him. The local trains in the film seem to say that life goes on.

SaathiyaSaathiya (2002)
After their tiff at the wedding, Aditya (Vivek Oberoi) and Suhani(Rani Mukherjee) manage to spot each other in Mumbai iconiclocal trains. Aditya tries to catch a glimpse of Suhani everydayin the train and finally traces her down to her medical college with the help from his friends. Most of their courtship happens in the local stations and trains in the midst of crowds and commotion. With the peppy O Humdum Suniyo Re playing in the background, Saathiya was a perfect reflection to Mumbai’s romantic spirit that thrives in the middle of chaos.

dombivali-fastDombivali Fast (2005)
The opening scene of Nishikant Kamat’s critically acclaimed film depicts the grind of Mumbai where Madhav Apte (Sandeep Kulkarni) boards the overcrowded local train, performs dull office work and rushes to board the packed train home. The train is also the setting where the idealistic Apte constantly hears and reflects about the corruption and anarchy in the city. The film’s climax is also shot inside a train where police officials shoot down a deranged Apte who has been on a rampage in the city trying to set things right. The train was used as an apt metaphor to show the stress of daily life in the city.

Here are a few more…

  • Dev Anand oozes romance as he sings uparwala jaankar anjaan hai (Kala Bazaar) to Waheeda Rehman in the ‘upper’ berth.
  • Mere sapnon ki rani had Sharmila Tagore in a train being followed by Rajesh Khanna in a car.
  • Chaiyan chaiyan (Dil Se) shot atop a running train remains iconic.
  • Ghulam’s bike race featuring Aamir Khan and Deepak Tijori towards a running train is memorable.