A professional chases his dreams against the odds

Whenever a youth obtains a professional degree (B.E. or B. Tech / M. Tech or C.A. / MBA or like wise), he has already become a dreamer – a dreamer thinking big, just too big. ‘Think big, think better’ is his watchword now. I was also like that when I obtained my C.A. degree way back in January 1992.

However the dreams of a young (Indian) professional are, in all likelihood, going to clash the feudalistic Indian work culture and the politics-hit Indian organizations. The youngster is skilled in his work, knowledgeable in his field. However to rise in his career (if he opts for serving in some organization), something else is also required. What’s that ?

I remember my ex-boss Mr. S. Alaguvel telling me in 2005, ‘Mathur, you work good but you do not possess the knack of keeping people happy and that’s the obstacle in your career.’ What did he mean ? If someone performs according to the expectations levied on him, then why should it not count for his rise in the career ? What’s this ‘knack of keeping people happy’ ? Definitely, it’s not something taught in some school or college or institute. It is to be learned on one’s own.

Plus the old and shrewd peers (or superiors or even juniors) are seldom happy with the young entrant in the organization especially when he is well-qualified and intelligent. He is perceived by them as a threat to their dominance and conspiracies to pull him down start in no time. Status counts more than the ability and flatterers almost always have the day. Then what should the really capable one do ? He should do what I could not do. Just be shrewd and use others as a ladder to climb the height of success. Khwab (1980) tells one such story of a young B. Tech engineer only.Khwaab (dream) starts with the journey of our B. Tech qualified hero – Prataap (Mithun Chakraborty) from a small town to Mumbai (then Bombay) with dreams in his eyes and enthusiasm and self-confidence filling his heart. He stumbles upon Indrani (Ranjeeta) during this journey and impresses her in this very first encounter of theirs. In Mumbai, he straightaway visits his old friend – Gopal (Nasiruddin Shah) who has nobody in the world except his younger sister – Maya (Yogeeta Bali). Gopal works in the same factory whose employment is sought by Prataap. Unfortunately Gopal is an alcoholic and remains frustrated with his life for most of the time. Maya gets smitten by Prataap from the very outset but Prataap does not look upon her in the same manner.

Prataap had to get the job anyway because his father has been the college-friend of the managing director of this company – Mr. Prasaad (Madan Puri) and due to the M.D.’s recommendation, the general manager of the factory – Khanna (Sujit Kumar) had no option but to recruit him as a supervisor. Now the real test starts for our hero when he is pulled down and humiliated by the old and cunning foreman – Tripathi (Yunus Parvez) who is the trusted lieutenant of the general manager. These guys are always interested in grinding their own axes instead of improving the things in the factory. Prataap comes to know about the danger to the workers’ lives through the union leader – Comrade Lobo (Dinesh Thakur) and he prepares a plan of renovation and change in the factory layout. But he is shocked to see that Khanna tears his plan (which he has prepared by devoting a lot of time and energy) before his eyes and warns him ‘to stay in his place’.

Now our young hero realizes that getting a professional degree and being knowledgeable is not sufficient to grow in career. He vows to settle his score with Khanna and Tripathi and make it big in the company. He visits the house of the M.D. , i.e.,  Mr. Prasaad on the ground of his being his father’s friend and here the luck smiles at him when Indrani turns out to be Mr. Prasaad’s daughter. She is fond of swimming and fortunately, our hero is a skilled swimmer. He wins the swimming contest held for the employees of the company and thereby wins the heart of first Indrani in order to find his way to the heart of his father then. He gets his renovation plan passed directly through Mr. Prasaad (bypassing Khanna, the general manager) and by implementing that, impresses the board of directors of the company to this much extent that he is elevated to the post of the deputy general manager of the factory, getting a new spacious flat to move from his present residence (in the neighbourhood of Gopal) and also a car. Now Gopal feels that his old friend is distanced from him because their statuses are no longer at par. He also feels that Prataap is too selfish.

In between these developments in his career, one night Prataap happens to have sex with Maya in a highly intoxicated state of his. He feels guilty upon coming to his senses the next morning but Maya does not feel guilty about it because she has been in love with Prataap in her heart. What she is unaware of is the fact that Prataap is romancing with Indrani. She is shocked first to know that she is pregnant and thereafter that Prataap is going to get engaged to Indrani after becoming the general manager of the factory. Now she calls Prataap to meet her at the boat-club where they had once enjoyed boating in the lake (despite Prataap’s not being a member of the boat-club). And when their boat is in the middle of the lake, Maya falls from the same in the lake and gets drowned.

Prataap now faces the murder-charge. Gopal believes that Prataap only has murdered Maya and thus backstabbed him. In the courtroom drama that follows, Prataap’s defense lawyer – Mr. Joshi (Ashok Kumar) is pitted against the seasoned public prosecutor – Mr. Dalaal (Utpal Dutt). Indrani stands by Prataap through thick and thin and finally he gets exonerated. However his own heart gets repose only when Gopal forgives him.Director Shakti Samanta who used to make movies with high profile heroes like Shammi Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, made this movie as a change with less popular actors (at least then). This movie is an example that prior to the nineties, a lot of effort was devoted to script-writing and not just pump and show with an ugly display of money.  Loosely inspired by the Hollywood movie – A Place in the Sun (1951), the script of this movie has been penned by Ranjan Bose with good application of mind and a proper study of the work culture in the Indian factories and the offices. The complete set-up is realistic but the journey of the hero to the heights of success is too fast as well as too smooth and that’s why less reliable. That’s unlikely in the real life.Since the basic theme was dry, the angles of friendship and love have been inserted to make it a proper Bollywood potboiler with regular entertainment. However that has gone against the movie because it left it as neither a typical masala entertainer nor a truly different movie.

How the lawyers are never hesitant to vilify the character of a girl or a woman just to save their client from the charge levied, has been shown quite realistically and effectively in the courtroom drama when Prataap’s defense counsel (Ashok Kumar) tries to portray (Late) Maya as a seductress. The friendship and camaraderie of Prataap and Gopal is damn impressive. Romance could not be properly exasperated by the director despite two heroines being shown in love with the hero. The movie does not provide any relief moments despite some effort made by the veteran comedian of Bollywood – Birbal.

All the four main artistes of the movie alongwith the complete supporting cast have performed satisfactorily. Nasiruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty have complimented each other very well, playing close friends with one of them being very ambitious (Prataap) and the other one being highly frustrated with his life (Gopal). Yogeeta Bali is Mithun’s real life wife but his amazing own-screen chemistry has always been with Ranjeeta only. That’s true for this movie too.

Ravindra Jain’s music is not excellent but two songs stand out – 1. Banjara Main Nahin Magar Mujhe Har Nai Dagar Bulaaye Apni Or which is a heart-winning journey song sung by Yesudas, 2. Ek Aas Liye Vishwas Liye Mera Mann Manzil Ke Nishan Dhoondhe sung by Suresh Wadkar, Yesudas and Hemlata. In fact, Ravindra Jain as a lyricist is more impressive than as a composer in the context of the music of this movie.

I recommend Khwaab as a decent timepass to all the movie buffs.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
This entry was posted in Movie Review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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