The Top 25 Dialogues of Hindi Cinema

Mr Gable stands corrected. *I* do give a damn.

A largely silent film may have swept top honors at the recent Oscars but dialogues continue to enjoy a formidable place in the movies. Right from bombastic and florid to pedestrian and monosyllabic, it’s all about saying the right words at the right time.

Dialoguebaazi is the backbone of Bollywood’s flamboyant personality. Right from its reliable stock of ‘Apne aap ko kanoon ke hawale kar do’ and ‘Bhagwan ke liye mujhe chhod do’ to the more distinct gems like ‘Tumhare naam kya hai, Basanti’ and ‘Aap purush hi nahi. Maha purush hain’ as well as the most recent punch-lines, ‘Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost’ ‘Filmein sirf teen cheezon ke wajah se chalti hain- entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. Aur main entertainment hoon,’ there’s no dearth of quotable quotes in our movies.

Mouthing catchphrases or zingy lines is quite easily the most fun and addictive element in any cinema aficionado’s conversation. But to pick 25 of its best ones from a heap of hundreds of movies, thousands of lines and millions of reasons is tougher than it looks. Nonetheless, here’s an assorted compilation of the most iconic, amusing and catchy movie quotes I love, arranged in a chronological order.

P:S: Don’t forget to spam the message board with your picks.

1. ‘Kaun kambakth hai jo bardasht karne ke liye peeta hai. Main toh peeta hoon ke bas saans le sakoon.’
Film: Devdas 1955
Dialogues: Rajinder Singh Bedi

It’s been more than half a century but Dilip Kumar’s unforgettable anguish, as he conveys the pitiable desperation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s tragic hero, still evokes a feverish sigh. Shah Rukh Khan’s version does too. Out of exasperation, that is.

2. ‘Salim tujhe marne nahi dega aur hum, Anarkali, tujhe jeene nahi denge’
 Mughal-E-Azam, 1960
Dialogues: Amanullah Khan, Kamal Amrohi, Wajahat Mirza and Ehsan Rizvi.

Few are blessed with the baritone of Prithviraj Kapoor. And he employs it to intimidate Madhubala’s lovelorn Anarkali with an intent that’s both –unconcealed and epic. Later, of course, the statement was distorted to become a popular Ajit (Incidentally, he essayed Durjan Singh in Mughal-E-Azam) joke: Liquid isse jeene nahi dega aur Oxygen isse marne nahi dega.

3. ‘Jinke ghar sheeshe ke hote hain woh doosron ke gharron par patthar nahi phenka karte’
Waqt, 1965
Dialogues: Akhtar-Ul-Iman

How to make a well-known idiom into your own? Answer. Raaj Kumar. His classic style of delivery ensures you never quite forget this lesson in conduct.

4. ‘Tum ahankaar ho, tumko marna hoga. Main aatma hoon, amar hoon.’
Guide, 1966
Dialogues: Vijay Anand

Although the entire monologue when Dev Anand’s inner self discusses the conflict, between his worldly role and salvation of his soul, is exceptionally riveting, it’s these profound lines that stand out most in explaining the transition.

5. ’ Babumoshai, zindagi aur maut uparwale ke haath hai jahanpanah. Usse na toh aap badal sakte hain na main. Hum sab toh rangmanch ki kathputhliyan hain jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon main bandhi hain. Kab, kaun, kaise uthega yeh koi nahi bata sakta hai. Ha, ha, ha.’
Anand, 1971
Dialogues: Gulzar

Nobody demonstrates the philosophy of Anand better than Anand himself. What makes the truth in Gulzar’s words even more effective is how they play out in the climax .just when we start to mourn the loss of its vibrant titular character; comes in Rajesh Khanna’s lively discourse on life and its unpredictability. Embrace it, you do.

6. ‘Aap ke paon dekhey, bahut haseen hain, inhen zameen par mat utariyega, maile ho jayengey.’
Pakeezah, 1972
Dialogues:  Kamal Amrohi

And words are all he has to take her heart away. The grace and grandeur of Raaj Kumar’s delicate observation is simply too precious to not give in. The lovely Meena Kumari cannot help but reciprocate.

7. ’Mujhse dosti karoge?’
Bobby, 1973
Dialogues: Jainendra Jain

Bobby captures an entire generation’s heart with her disarming exuberance, cutesy miniskirts and a warm, friendly proposition. Best friends since 1973 and still going strong. Right, Ms Braganza?

8. ‘Khamoshhhhh!’
Badla, 1974
Dialogues: Jagdish Kanwal

Speaking of dialogues, can Shatrughan Sinha be behind? Considering, it’s his forte; the man’s had many a rollicking, whistle-inducing lines to his credit. But it’s his utter conviction in hollering ‘Khamosh’ that continues to shut us up in delight till date.

9. ‘Saara shaher mujhe loin ke naam se jaanta hai.
Kalicharan, 1976
Dialogues: Jainendra Jain

It’s not just the arrogance of Ajit’s peculiar tone but the manner he chooses to pronounce Lion as Loin that makes all the difference in Subhash Ghai’s directorial debut.

10. ’ Kitne aadmi the?’
 Sholay, 1975
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

One could compile an entire slide show with Sholay’s punch-lines.  (I’ve limited myself to three.) And while Amjad Khan’s career best role has him saying a whole lot of cool stuff that continues to be revered and referenced with manic enthusiasm, his menacing inquiry, ‘Kitne aadmi the?’ leads the count.

11. ‘Main iska khoon pee jaonga.’
Sholay, 1975
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

Dharmendra may have never played a vampire but the most memorable line of his career has him mocking one. His incensed rage seems both justified and believable after he loses Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and unleashes his fury on the evil Gabbar in Salim-Javed’s action-packed script.

12. ‘Chal dhanno, aaj teri Basanti ki ijaat ka sawaal hai,’
Sholay, 1975
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

Being the most loquacious character in one of Bollywood’s most beloved movies has its perks. Salim-Javed’s historic script ensured Hema Malini and the horse get their due as she takes on Gabbar’s men with her ‘Chal Dhanno’ call that was later spoofed by Shah Rukh Khan with a rickshaw in Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Naa.

13. ‘Mere paas maa hai.’
Deewar, 1975
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

It takes a Maa to steal the scene from the otherwise invincible Amitabh Bachchan. Only Salim-Javed could have cracked a retort of this stature.

14. ‘Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai.’
Don, 1978
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

There’s something about the confidence of this statement where Amitabh Bachchan declares the implausibility of such possibility, it had to catch on. No surprise then that even the generation, unacquainted with the original, succumbed to its charm when Shah Rukh Khan proclaimed the same in Farhan Akhtar’s version.

15. ‘Draupadi tere akele ki nahi hai, hum sab shareholder hain.’
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, 1983
Dialogues: Ranjit Kapoor, Satish Kaushik

Right from ‘Yeh sab kya ho raha hai and Shaant gadadhari Bheem to Main Draupadi ke vastraharan ka idea drop kar diya hai, the famous Mahabharata play sequence can be quoted verbatim by its multitude of fans. But it’s the loutish argument made in Om Puri’s corporate tone that draws unbridled laughs.

16. ‘Lo kallo baat. Arre babuji, aisi English aave that I can leave angrez behind. You see sir, I can walk English. I can talk English. I can laugh English. Because English is a very phunny language. Bhairon becomes Baron and Baron becomes Bhairon because their minds are very narrow.’
 Namak Halal., 1982
Dialogues:  Surendra Nath Kaul

Whether or not English is a phunny language, there’s no debating the seriously phunny contents of Big B’s long-winded, laugh-by-the-second gyaan to a befuddled Ranjeet in Prakash Mehra’s zingy comedy.

17.  ‘Mogambo Khush Hua.’
 Mr India, 1987
Dialogues: Salim-Javed

Mr India may have the coolest gadgets and a super hot Sridevi for arm candy but it is Mogambo’s knack for appreciation, in Amrish Puri’s booming baritone, which adds to its overall ‘khushi.’

18. ‘Rishte mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah.’
Shahenshah, 1988
Dialogues: Inder Raj Anand

Amitabh Bachchan’s characters are easily the most quoted ones in Bollywood history. So much that he paid a tribute to himself in Bbuddah… Hoga Terra Baap. But this slide show isn’t exclusively dedicated to him. (Click here for that.) Coming to Shahenshah, AB’s grandiose opening as a midnight messiah, a desi Dark Knight is truly the baap of all introductions.

19. ‘Balma. Main chhota sa pyaar sa, nanha sa munna sa bacha hoon.’
Chaalbaaz, 1989
Dialogues: Kamlesh Pandey

It may be a Sridevi vehicle from start to finish but Shakti Kapoor made quite an impression with his goofy, over-the-top Balma everytime he goes, ‘Main chhota sa, pyaar sa, nanha sa munna sa bacha hoon.’ So silly, so fun.

20. ‘Dosti ki hai, nibhani to padegi.’
Maine Pyar Kiya, 1989
Dialogues: Sooraj R Barjatya

Long before Salman Khan battered the screen with one-liners about ‘commitment,’ ‘cheds’ and ‘ehsaans,’ he floored us and Suman with his sincerity and friendliness as Prem. And that’s what made the ‘Friend’ cap so hugely popular for the audience too believed, ‘Dosti ki hai, nibhani to padegi.’

21. ‘ Jab yeh dhaai kilo ka haath kisipe padta hain, toh aadmi uthta nahi, uth jaata hai.’
 Damini, 1993
Dialogues: Dilip Shukla

In movies, threatening is an art form. It requires a specialised degree of conviction. And hence when Sunny Deol flexes that dhaai kilo ka haath in the bad guy’s face, you know he means business. Instant classic, this.

22.  ‘Teja main hoon mark idhar hai.’
Andaz Apna Apna, 1994
Dialogues: Rajkumar Santoshi, Dilip Shukla

Fans of Andaz Apna Apna could probably rattle off the entire script in their sleep. There are so many gems and Paresh Rawal’s, in a double role, hilariously insistent ‘Teja main hoon mark idhar hai is the one I pick. He has the mark, you see. Moreover, this one’s so popular they even have t-shirts imprinted with the said quote.

23. ‘Koi baat nahi Senorita, bade bade deshon main aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai.’
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, 1994
Dialogues: Aditya Chopra and Javed Siddiqui.

Mimicry artists may have had a field day stuttering, K-k-kiran. Bollywood enthusiasts dig the heroism attached with ‘Haar ke jitnewale ko Baazigar kehte hain’ but Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s Bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai is the one that influenced most real-time conversations.  Saying ‘It happens’ never felt this lyrical.

24.  ‘Ya toh dosti gehri hai ya yeh photo 3D hai.’
 Dil Chahta Hai, 2001
Dialogues: Farhan Akhtar

The new millennium brought a certain degree of normalcy in the way the actors spoke their lines. Farhan Akhtar’s urban story about three friends works on understated but effective wit. And this one with Saif Ali Khan, trying to be the smart aleck, is most chuckle-worthy.

25. ‘Tension nahi lene ka.’
Munnabhai MBBS, 2003
Dialogues: Abbas Tyrewala

Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS has many attributes but its Sanjay Dutt’s fluency in speaking the delectably written tapori lingo and the aforementioned catchphrase that interested the viewer’s most. It sure inspired me to write its review in kind.

First published on rediff.com

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