‘Yeh haath mujhe dede Thakur!’ We all know this dialogue even though many of us weren’t even born when Sholay had released. And it’s not only Sholay’s dialogues that made its impact on the audience; there were so many lines then which have stayed with us even today.

Our generation knows ‘Ro mat Pushpa, I hate tears,’ even if those movies belong to the generation before us. But sadly, this making-history quality is lacking in Hindi films today.

‘Nowadays, movies are dull. All they have to their credit is the amount of crores they make,’ says Deepak Shah, director of a construction company. His wife, Reeta, holds a similar opinion, ‘Nothing stays with you after watching a movie anymore. The dialogues are crude and vulgar.’

Their son, Ravi Shah, says, “I’m a movie buff and while I like today’s movies, I doubt if my kids will ever watch them with the interest that we watched yesteryear movies.’

Now, comedy dialogues are slapstick, romantic ones are too sappy, and attitude ones are silly. Before you had Chupke Chupke’s hilarious, ‘Jab T-O to hota hai toh G-O goo kyun nahin hota’ and now you have Housefull 2’s, ‘Kyun thaak raha hai.’

Recently, there is a spurt in time-pass movies. Even the big-scale romantic movies of our times like DDLJ, Mohabbatein, etc are disappearing. Remember, ‘Bade bade deshon mein aisi chhoti moti baatein hoti rehti hai?’ Today, dialogues rarely deliver that magic.

Dialogues have simply ceased to become meaningful. ‘None of the present dialogues make you ponder or get instantly installed in your memory like ‘Zindagi lambi nahin, badi honi chahiye’. They are blurted out, you listen and you forget’, says Deepak Shah. ‘And the same can be said for the songs too’ adds Reeta.

Reshma Desai, a homemaker agrees, ‘Item numbers are ruling today. While I enjoy them, I miss the simple innocent melodies. Her daughter Mansi has a different view, ‘I love the songs now. They are fast and the music’s great.’

With the technological advance over the years, the music and quality of sound has definitely improved. Yet, very few songs make a mark on our minds. Today songs, just like the movies, come, make a temporary impact, and then disappear completely. We can barely remember the song which rocked the charts 4 months ago. Says Mansi, ‘It’s true that songs today are replaceable. I was hooked onto Chikni Chameli and now I’m hooked onto the song titled, I want just you.’

Reshma’s husband, Vipul, a marketing executive, says, ‘It’s not like I don’t like the new songs. There are a few which are really wonderful like Raabta, Ishq Sufiyana, etc. But, I doubt if I will remember them by heart 35 years down the lane the way my father remembers Yeh shaam mastani  even today.’

The trends in dialogues and songs in movies have gradually shifted. The focus is more on what will immediately capture the audience’s attention, even if it’s only temporary. Moreover, with the sudden hype around item numbers, the attention on creating a sizzling song has won over creating an everlasting tune, save a few.

Films today have become more open and are targeted to today’s generation. Hence it’s no surprise that dialogues today also do the same. You can’t really say that the writers are doing a bad job since the films do well. However, they don’t really have a repeat or recall value. How many of us went to the theatre more than two times for the same movies in the recent years?

Some may argue about the importance of a dialogue becoming a legend. Says Ravi, ‘Maybe I won’t remember, ‘Ek baar maine commitment kar di, toh phir mai apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta’ 25 years down the line. But it entertained me in the movie which I think is the main purpose.’

Mansi seconds it, ‘There may not be a lot many songs from this time which the next generation may hum, but they will have their own music then. And the previous years are always viewed better. My granddad didn’t like the songs of my dad’s time and my dad dislikes the ones now.’

Times have changed and although the dialogues and songs may not hold the magic of yesterday, they sure wield their power completely as long as they last. Yesterday is legend and today, although very different, works because they provide, as a recent famous dialogue goes, Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment’.