This week’s release, 'Raabta', is about reincarnation. The theme of punarjanam has been a popular one in Bollywood. A look at some out of the many films based on characters being reborn.
1) Om Shanti Om (2007): In Farah Khan’s film, Shah Rukh Khan as an extra in the film industry is reborn as a star. He recalls the murder of his beloved (Deepika Padukone) in his last birth, as well as his own death and now has the means to make the villain (Arjun Rampal) pay for his crimes.
2) Karan Arjun (1995): Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan starred in this Rakesh Roshan film as Karan and Arjun, who are brutally murdered by the village landlord (Amrish Puri) in front of their mother (Raakhee). She goes mad with grief but does not let go of the belief that her sons will return to take revenge, and they do, in their next birth.
3) Karz (1980): In Subhash Ghai’s hit musical, a singer, Monty (Rishi Kapoor) visits Ooty and is bombarded with memories that have nothing to do with his life. He remembers that he had been Ravi (Raj Kiran) in his past birth and was killed by his wife Kamini (Simi Garewal). He decides that it’s time she paid for her crime.
4) Milan (1967): Sunil Dutt plays a boatman Gopi who falls in love with a rich girl (Nutan) but they are separated by fate. In the next birth, they unite and only find out about their tumultuous past birth when they travel to the place where they had lived and run into the old Gauri (Jamuna) who used to be in love with Gopi and was a witness to their tragedy. A Subba Rao directed this musical hit.
5) Kudrat (1981): In Chetan Anand’s film Chandramukhi (Hema Malini) and Mohan (Rajesh Khanna), meet as strangers and discover their past birth connection, when they were Madhav and Paro, in love with each other, and murdered by Janak Singh (Raaj Kumar), who must pay for his crimes.
6) Madhumati (1958): Bimal Roy’s classic romance with its wonderful music was set in the hills, where a beautiful village girl (Vyjayanthimala) dies while escaping a rape attempt by the villain (Pran), leaving behind a distraught lover (Dilip Kumar). In the next birth as a painter, he returns to the dilapidated palace and the story of the past birth unfolds.
7) Mehbooba (1976): In Shakti Samanta’s film a singer (Rajesh Khanna) in the palace and a courtesan Ratna (Hema Malini) are in love. When they elope, they are murdered. They promise to reunite in the next birth and do, as Suraj and Jhumki.
8) Prem (1995): Satish Kaushik directed the debut film of Sanjay Kapoor and Tabu, which had a reincarnation story; it did not do well, as it was released after a long delay.
9 Mahua (1969): A little-known film by Bibhuti Mitra starring Shiv Kumar and Anjana Mumtaz, is about a woman, Mahua, who remembers her past life when she was separated from the man she loved by the cruel Rajkumar (Prem Nath). But they are destined to meet in their reincarnated avatars.
10) Makkhi (2010): The Hindi version of SS Rajamouli’s Telugu Eega, had the hero Nani besotted by Bindu (Samantha Ruth Prabhu), but he is killed by the villain (Sudeep) and reincarnated as a fly who makes life unbearable for the villain.