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Animal - Human Friendship in Bollywood Movies

Comments  Comments [ 0 ]    By Shreya S. | 27 July 2016 | 11:55pm



Friendship is such a mysterious and powerful emotion, for which, even species holds no barrier. Is it possible for humans to feel more compassion towards animals than our fellow human beings? Scientifically, yes. A 2013 study by Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, suggested that people felt more empathy towards a hurt dog or puppy than for an adult human. Pretty shocking, isn't it? Well, not if you observe carefully. Animals don't judge, they don't scheme and they don't talk ceaselessly. You can even serve them the same meal every day and they will still love you. Be it Marley from the American coming-of-age movie, Marley and Me (2008) or Hachiko from Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009), animal-human friendships have inspired movies all around the globe.
 
Bollywood has its own share of furry and feathery friends. From Dhanno, the mare in Sholay (1975) to Bajrangi, the monkey in Aankhen (1993), our movies have portrayed some special animal-human bonding, and we at BollyCurry feel extremely honoured to leaf through them.
 
When it comes to animals in Bollywood movies, dogs certainly get the lion's share - they do everything from beating up the bad guys to re-uniting lovers. Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) would have been insufficient without the Indian Spitz named Tuffy. He successfully played the best cupid ever. Prem (Salman Khan) would have ended up calling his ladylove, Nisha (Madhuri Dixitbhabhi, if Tuffy had not intervened. A dog can't help to see his friend heartbroken, can it?
 
Teri Meherbaniyan (1985), a revenge saga, tells the tale of Ram (Jackie Shroff) and his friendship with Moti, a black Labrador. Their friendship hits off when Ram saves a young Moti. Later, when Ram is brutally murdered by the villains, Moti makes it his life's mission to avenge his best friend's death. While Teri Meherbaniyan has a dog fighting for his deceased master, the national award winning movie, Chillar Party (2011) has a bunch of kids battling against a politician Shashikant Bhide (Shashank Shende) to save their canine friend Bhidu, a stray dog. They do everything from a Chaddi march to a live interview to save their friend's life. These movies portray that you can go to any extent for your friends, irrespective of your genetic makeup.
 
Bollywood's dog love doesn't end there. Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) had a dog taking a bullet to its chest, thus saving Aarti's (Rekha) life. Entertainment (2014) saw Akhil (Akshay Kumar) play second fiddle to the wealthy dog, Entertainment. Entertainment touches your heart when he saves Akhil from the sea ice break, thereby falling into it himself. The latest addition to Bollywood's top dogs is Pluto from Dil Dhadakne Do, who speaks in Aamir Khan's voice. Pluto, Ayesha's (Priyanka Chopra) pet dog, observes the dysfunctional family from afar, keeps the audience locked in with the tale through his chilled out narrative. If any of the Mehra's could have understood animal tongue, then Pluto could have easily sorted out their emotional issues, as he is one of the best philosophers produced by Bollywood.
 
Haathi Mere Saathi, the highest grossing movie of 1971, captures the heart-warming friendship of Raju (Rajesh Khanna), an orphaned boy with four elephants. Raju's father, on his deathbed, asked Raju to never leave the elephants and consider him as his "saathi" (companions). After growing up, Raju is fond of the elephants like ever but fate strikes when his wife Tanu (Tanuja) asks him to choose between his friends and his family. Raju, an epitome of loyalty, picks his lifelong friends over his wife. When time allots, make sure to catch a re-run of this movie, because it appeals to basic human emotions and spreads the message love and harmony. Safed Haathi (1978) is yet another national award-winning film revolving around the chronicles of friendship between Shibu, an orphan boy and Airawat, an elephant.
 
When it comes to bonding with Homo sapiens, the feathery friends don't lack behind. Sheroo, the pet eagle from Dharam Veer (1977) saves Prince Veer (Jeetendra) from his malicious Uncle (Ranjeet). Whereas, the pigeon named Handsome in Maine Pyaar Kiya (1989) acts as a messenger to lovers Prem (Salman Khan) and Suman (Bhagyashree) every time they were separated from each other.
 
Animal friendships in Bollywood movies have essentially stayed the same in essence, but the condition of animal actors on sets has improved tremendously thanks to organisations including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI). In addition, many B-Town celebrities have come out in support for such organisations by raising their voices towards more cordial treatment of animals. We sincerely hope these animal superstars get the respect they deserve because sometimes, it's an animal that teaches us to be more human.

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Author: Dhanya S.
Editors: Sonia R. and Mohini N.
Graphics: Nidhi D.

Copyright  BollyCurry

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