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Aila! Sachin Tendulkar and Andaz Apna Apna!

Sachin Tendulkar © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar © Getty Images

Andaz Apna Apna, one of the greatest cult movies in the history of the Indian cinema, completes 20 years in 2014. Much to the surprise of everyone, Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was present at the mahurat of the movie. Humjee Break-Sheikh looks at link between the man and one of the most popular Bollywood movie.

Please note this is a humour article — work of pure fiction

The year was 1990. Sachin Tendulkar, back from surviving some of the most ferocious fast bowlers in the world, was invited to the mahurat (for lack of words, an Indian inauguration function) of Rajkumar Santoshi’s upcoming movie. Santoshi’s blockbuster Ghayal had propelled him into stardom that very year, and his second production, Damini, was in the pipelines.

Amidst all this Santoshi had started working on the movie discussed above. Little did he know that he was in the process of creating one of the greatest cult classics in the history of Indian cinema. Andaz Apna Apna did not do too well at the box-office, but with time it turned out to be a cult classic, with people from the 1990s reciting its lines and passing them on the next generation.

Tendulkar was a teenager during the mahurat; he was a youngster when Andaz Apna Apna had released as well; two days after the release he played an Austral-Asia Cup match at Sharjah, which meant that he was probably away when the movie came out, bombed at the box-office, entertained a few thousands (including this columnists), and had been taken off from almost all theatres.

Then, as Little Master grew in stature, Andaz Apna Apna found slowly found the niche it deserved with the growth of cable television. Then came the 1999 World Cup, and along with came a Pepsi commercial featuring Shane Warne, Carl Hooper, and Tendulkar. This commercial was possibly the first occasion when the Little Master had uttered the word “Aila!” (an expression of surprise) — a phrase that is commonly used by men who have mimicked the great man over the years.

 

Memories rushed back to Andaz Apna Apna — the second line of which was, as movie connoisseurs would remember, “Aila! Juhi Chawla!” The single nonchalant word connected one of India’s greatest batsmen and one of India’s finest cult classics. Thus the two were connected (if one ignores the innocent “h”) and continued to bring smiles to the nation.

One can only imagine the number of times eyes of Tendulkar (India’s youngest debutant) had lit up while playing domestic cricket when he came up against India’s second-youngest debutant. There could have been only one phrase going through his mind as the leg-spinner had come on to bowl: “Aila! Piyush Chawla!”

 (Humjee Break-Sheikh eats, drinks, breathes and lives cricket. Unfortunately, he does not believe in social media.)

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