Holi – Amitabh Bachchan, Jung, Bergman

Today is Holi and this is the most classic of all classic Holi songs, one that has to be played every year, each time someone even mentions the word Holi. The song scenario is quite something: two past lovers, married to other people, are now having an affair – and on Holi, perhaps high from marijuana, Amitabh declares his interest openly in front of the spouses. The lyrics, with all its sexual innuendos, basically means:

The lover makes love to the beloved while the husband suffers.

There’s a rather interesting story behind it:

Amitabh Bachchan, married to another celebrated actor Jaya Bhaduri, father of two chidren, fell passionately in love with Rekha, a then upcoming star. It was quite the scandal, and eventually, as it often happens, he bowed down to what Jung calls “the world” and left Rekha. And perhaps because all of the people involved were such celebrated actors in India and the Indian audience is a conservative and judgmental one – in a bizarre twist, they ended up making a film with Amitabh, Jaya, and Rekha depicting the events from real life and finally Amitabh leaving Rekha for his commitment to his wife Jaya.

It was the ultimate declaration of victory of marriage over love, and the audience, as expected, loved it very much.

It’s been decades and Rekha still openly admits her love for Amitabh Bachchan. Amitabh, on the other hand, doesn’t remember anything of the sort happening. He is a true man of the world.

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