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Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron to Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa: Kundan Shah’s best works to watch

Kundan Shah, known for his works like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, died on Saturday. Here’re somethings to watch over the weekend and remember him by.

bollywood Updated: Oct 07, 2017 15:17 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron,Kundan Shah,Kundan Shah Movies
Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, Naseeruddin Shah and Shah Rukh Khan in Kundan Shah’s Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa.

Director Kundan Shah died in Mumbai on Saturday. He was 69 years old and known for his short but interesting filmography in Hindi cinema.

Shah, even with all the critical acclaim that he earned, could never really deliver a commercially successful film. Nonetheless, he was considered one of the most intelligent directors in Bollywood after his 1983 debut, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. With Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in 1994, he delivered a sweet romantic story of a ‘loser’, which star Shah Rukh Khan considers to be one of the best films of his career.

He also directed some of the best TV series to ever be telecast on Indian television like Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, Nukkad and Wagle Ki Duniya. The mild flavour of these shows and the warmth that emanated from them could never be recreated by any other show in the years that followed.

However, with films like Kya Kehna, Dil Hai Tumhara and Hum Toh Mohobbat Karega, the critical acclaim that he proudly carried with him, also started to wane. His last film, P Se PM Tak, was about a prostitute who became the Prime Minister.

Here, we bring you a list of some of his best works. Watch these over the weekend and remember Kundan Shah like he should be remembered.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

Before filmmakers learned to talk about about corruption and misuse of power through their films, Shah took the bull by the horns, with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. In this not-so-subtle satire, he brought to the screen a story so tragic but still so hilarious, it made you feel ashamed about laughing at the clear misery of the characters. Naseeruddin Shah and Ravi Baswani as two photographers, hired by a magazine to unmask the corrupt ways of a real estate mogul and a municipal head. But a series of disastrous events later, the good guys are sacrificed at the altar of opportunism by selfish men with power in one of the darkest endings ever to a Hindi comedy.

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

The casting was just right for Kabhi Ha Kabhi Na. Suchitra seemed like the perfect girl next door, Shah Rukh in his typical ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’ role and of course, every main hero’s best friend of the 90s, Deepak Tijori. Shah Rukh has called the film his favourite.

But among so many things, what we do remember about Kabhi Ha Kabhi Na is the surprise ending, when our loser hero, who has been ditched by Suchitra, is sitting moping on a pavement. And in walks Juhi Chawla, who is lost and asking for directions and they walk away together. A sweet, hopeful ending to a sweet, hopeful film.

Ye Jo Hai Zindagi

Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi, starring Shafi Inamdar, Swaroop Sampat, Rakesh Bedi and Satish Shah, was written by acclaimed writer Sharad Joshi and directed by Kundan Shah, Manjul Sinha and Raman Kumar. The show went on to become so popular that it even started affecting the business of films, as it used to be aired late on Friday nights. It started in 1984, and was on the air for 61 episodes. The serial revolved around a married couple, Ranjit Verma (Shafi) and Renu Verma (Swaroop), who had the latter’s unemployed annoying younger brother, Raja (Rakesh) living with them. Satish played a different character in every episode, and was always the highlight of each one.


Nukkad (Street Corner) was an immensely popular TV serial aired on Doordarshan between 1986-87, co-directed by Saeed Mirza and Kundan Shah. A slice of Mumbai chawl life, the plot revolved around the lives of characters drawn from the humdrum of urban Indian life. Ask any person in their 40s and see how they fondly recall characters like Khopdi, Kaderbhai and Ghanshu Bhikari. The serial’s a warm humanism and humour was endearing to many generations of TV viewers of that era.

Written by Prabodh Joshi, it dealt with the everyday issues of lower middle class people and often revolved around one or two specific characters. The simplicity and realism of the serial are its most endearing legacies.

Wagle Ki Duniya

Yet another popular TV serial, again aired on Doordarshan, was Wagle Ki Duniya (1988 to 1990). Starring veteran actors Anjan Srivastav and Bharati Achrekar as his wife, the serial was a charming account of a bumbling sales clerk working in a multinational firm. Modelled on RK Narayan’s famous ‘common man’ cartoon strip, and characters often seen in them, the serial gave a peek into the lives of a middle class Indian family. The serial was directed by Kundan Shah and produced by character actor of the 70s and 80s, Durga Khote. Like actors from Nukkad, Anjan Srivastav won much acclaim and would soon become a household name.

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First Published: Oct 07, 2017 14:25 IST