Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ahista Ahista - old movie with Kunal Kapoor & Padmini Kolhapure, not the one with Abhay Deol & Soha Ali Khan

Growing up, Ahista Ahista is one of my favorite tear-jerking movies. Whenever I want a good movie to cry and bawl, I watch this film. Although I have seen it so many times and know what to expect, the expressions and emotions form the stars get me each time. Many Hmong people have also found a special place for this film their heart. This is one of the few films that my cousins and I would watch over and over again when we were younger. My parents own the Hmong dubbed version on VHS and let her friends, Hmong and non-Hmong, watch it and they loved it. Because I am so attach to this film, I've been waiting and waiting for it to release on dvd one day with English subs. Still, no word on the version. However, a friend sent me the VCD version with no English subs, I was satisfied since I wanted to see it again anyways. Many Hmong people have asked me about this movie, about where could they could purchase it.

While watching the film again, I want to complain that the quality sucks. Hubby came by and joked with me was I watching a 1970s film. I replied back with "sorta" and told him it's an older Indian movie that I grew up with and been dying to watch again. He laughed and told me that even the dvds for older films have better quality. True, but still...

Dear Indus Video Pvt. Ltd,

Since you already distribute a horrible VCD version of the 1981 film, Ahista Ahista, could you please consider releasing a version on dvd with English subtitles? Please? Pretty please? Oh yeah, please subtitle the songs too. Just hate it when the movie has subtitles but the songs are ignored. Why? Don't you know the music also drives the movie as well?

Since I am just a Hmong Chick who Loves Indian Cinema, I don't know if Ahista Ahista fared well or not at the box office, at that time. You see, just checking it up on the Internet was not convenient back then. However, if you would like, I could get the entire Hmong population to sign a petition so you could see how much we, Hmong people, love this film.

Impatiently waiting for so many years for Ahista Ahista to release on dvd,

Nicki aka ApunBindaas

Why does the Hmong people like this movie so much? I can not answer that question on behalf of Hmong people but for me, it's the storyline that is good and the acting.

Subbalaxmi (Shashikala) is a courtesan who manages and oversees a household of women. When one of the women in the house, Sangeeta (Nanda), gives birth to Chandra (Padmini Kolhapure), Subalaxmi is estastic. Chandra befriends Kunal (Kunal Kapoor) and his family; she wants to study and not train to dance. Disappointed Subalaxmi is heart broken but allows Chandra to continue her studies. Kunal and Chandra start to fall in love. Can a young, beautiful girl born in a family of courtesans be accepted by Kunal's family? Or the society? Or is her life destined to be a courtesan?

Chandra is a beautiful, young lady born in a courtesan environment. But that doesn't stop her for being ambitious and deciding what her future has in store for her! She fights against all the rumors and stand on her own. All she wants is Kunal's love.

Even though, Padmini is credited third, I believe the movie revolves around her. When I was younger, I was told at the guys at the Indian store that Ahista Ahista is her debut film. I'm not sure about it. Even though the Internet is available and ready, sites like Wiki and IMBD is not always reliable. I want to believe Ahista Ahista is Padmini's debut film as a leading role.

I freaking love her. Seeing her in Ahista Ahista, turned me instantly to one of her fans. Not only is she beautiful, but I enjoy her on-screen presence. I want to see more of her films and hope that her older films will be available on dvd with English subtitles soon.

Ahista Ahista is Padmini's film all the way.

Kunal loves Chandra and defends her to so many people. However, problems start to occur when Chandra is unable to tell him a secret in which she had promise her mom.

Kunal Kapoor - this Kunal Kapoor is the offspring of Shashi Kapoor, the oldest son. Not the same Desi version of Jesus that is popular now-a-days, the one in Rang De Basanti. Ahista Ahista is his debut film but he didn't stay in Bollywood long.

Sagar - the sweet, understanding father of Kunal and Deepa. He welcomes Chandra to his home despite what others have to say about Chandra's status of being born in a courtesan environment, gives her blessings, and loves her like his own daughter.

Shammi Kapoor is actually credited first but I'm introducing him third. Why? Although his role is significant as well, I feel that the movie is target more towards Kunal and Chandra's love. With roles that are endearing to me, such as in Romance and Yeh Vaada Raha, I love his characters he portrays and think Hmong people love him as much also.

Sangeeta (Nanda) - Chandra's mother. She doesn't want Chandra to follow her footsteps and wants Chandra to continue her education and make a name for herself.

Subbalaxmi (Shashikala) is in charge of the courtesans. Sadly, Sangeeta and Chandra live with her as well. All she thinks about is money, money, money.

Deepa (Soni Razdan) - Kunal's sister. Both of them have befriended Chandra when she was young. All three grew up together.

Sagar's wife. Kunal & Deepa's mother. She isn't happy when her husband and family start to hang around with Chandra but allowed it. Bothered by what the society has to say, she lets Savitri's words get to her.

Savitri (Aruna Irani) likes to gossip and stir up problems.

The music is very soothing to listen to. Till this day, I still listen to it.

Song #1 - "Kabhi Kisi Ko"
Sangeeta is worried about the future of her daughter, Chandra

Song #2 - "Ahista Ahista"
Kunal and Chandra are falling in love.

Watch Below

Song #3 - Bin Bhulaye Hum Chale"
Chandra wants Kunal's attention.

Song #4 - "Humko Mile Tum"
Kunal and Chandra promise to be together.

Song #5 - "Bhuja Saka Hain"
Kunal is upset with Chandra. She is sad because she has a secret and promises her mom she won't reveal it to anyone, not even Kunal.

Ahista Ahista will always be an all-time favorite of mine. I would like to hear from people in India telling me how it did at the box office at that time.


ajnabi said...

I'm glad you clarified about the Kunal Kapoor issue; I was thinking "Kunal was in an old movie? When he was a baby maybe?" LOL Anyway, I can see why you love this film. I'm a sucker for heartbreak myself.

Anonymous said...


This was a hindi remake of a famous kannada movie "gajje Puje". The original kannada version was a big hit in Karnataka.

However the hindi version ie Ahista Ahista bombed at the box office. Some of the songs were hit though ie on radio stations. I think one sad song of Padmini - Mana teri nazaar mein hum tera pyaar nahin - used to be played often - even on chitrahaar (hindi film songs program on the national TV channel Doordharshan).

One of my friends saw it in an empty theatre when it was released yrs ago and overheard one of the guys in the audience say (on the last scene ie kunal kapoor crying) - "he is crying over his first flop film "

Nicki said...

ajnabi - so silly. I knew people would say that. :D You should watch it but dvd with English subs yet.

anonymous - Thanks so much for stopping by and answering my questions!!

I'm sad that it bombed at the box office. Plus didn't realize that it was a remake from a Kannada film. I'm going to try to find the original. Thanks soooo much!!

Your last paragraph had me cracking up!

S said...

I missed this movie when it was first released, will try and catch it when it releases on dvd, if it does :-)

lapetitediva said...

Re: Gejje Pooje - Here are some songs from it on YouTube:

"Gaganavu Ello"

"Panchama Veda"

"Hejje Hejjegu"

"Maguve Ninna Hunage"

There are a few more vids on Sirigannadiga's channel, do a search for gejje pooje

Re: Ahista Ahista - Padmini looks so beautiful, I'm tempted to try to hunt this down.

Nicki said...

Reviewer - Do try to watch it. I just hope you're not getting this movie confused with the Abhay/Soha one.

lapetitediva - Thanks so much for stopping by! Gosh, I freaking love YouTube. I can't wait to watch it! I'm at work and can't access YouTube, boo-who. Padmini is so gorgeous in the film. Do try to watch it. :0

Anonymous said...

I missed seeing this when it played on TV and judging by my friends' story narration I was sure I didnt miss much. I love Padmini but cant stand Kunal (dunno how Shashi and Jennifer produced two sons who couldnt act!) and am not really into trauma-dramas - its nice to see these screen caps though. For your sake I hope the movie soon comes on DVD with subs.

Nicki said...

You're so funny bollyviewer about Shashi producing two sons who can't act. I don't like Kunal as much either but this movie is worth it for Padmini. However, you're not into trauma-dramas so I wouldn't suggest you to watch this film at all. Thanks. I hope this movie does release on dvd with subs.

Anonymous said...

OMG! For years my sisters and I have searched for this movie also. I too am Hmong and we had owned Ahista Ahista on VHS but it was an original so no Hmong voice-overs. I liked the originality of it. We did have to make up our own translations of what they were saying but we got the general jist of the movie. haha But since we'd watched it so many times the tape got messed up.

I've grown weary in hopes to find this movie. Went to India-town a couple times asking around for it. I go on frantic searches to dig up anything I can find to buy this movie but I'm still lost. (which is how I had stumbled onto your blog)

But, it's nice to see someone as obsessed about this movie as I. haha. =) To the both of us luck. And if by some miracle, I ever stumble upon this movie, I'll be sure to let you know.

btw. Don't you love how Hmong people messed up Kabhi Kisi Ko? lmfao.

Nicki said...

Nyob zoo crazyamy!!!! Tell me about it! Peb Hmoob hlub this movie!!!! I am so glad you found my blog. Keep coming back, okay? I like to share Bollywood movies with others that we Hmmong peeps grew up watching and loving, such as Ahista Ahista, Yeh Vaada Raha, and Maa.

Girl, whenever I do find this movie on dvd with English subs, trust me, I'll be the first to post it here! Hmong people always mess up dubbing! I hated how they took out many of the songs too! Come back again!

Anonymous said...

I really loved this movie, too. I am Hmong, too. I remember my cousin does have this movie on vhs with English Subtitles. I saw this movie in Hindi before seeing it dubbed in Hmong. I also been looking for this movie on dvd but have no luck on it.

Nicki said...

Hey anonymous Hmong person. A lot of Hmong people have asked me about this movie. As far as I know of, no luck with it on dvd.

sal said...

OMG! this is one of my favorite classic indian favorite scene is when Padmini is dancing in devotion to the deity towards the end of the film - does anyone know where i can find a clip of that scene online?

Nicki said...

Sal - thamks for dropping by! Glad you enjoyed it lots too. You can try contacting this YouTube user and asking since some music clips were put up from the film

windiivang said...

hey there.. i love reading ur blogg....i love dis movie too...i been looking for dis movie for ever n finally found it. but olny the hmong dub.. it call " Tiam Ntawv Phem ".....i hope this help the people who been looking for this movie.

Anonymous said...

Have you found a subtitled version yet