Remember that old Ajit joke?
‘Isse liquid oxygen mein daal do. Liquid isse jeene nahi dega. Oxygen isse marne nahi dega.’
The idea of punishment is so exciting to film-makers, they have come up with novel ways of torture in our movies.
Sometimes it’s grisly to bear, but often the creativity is much too amusing to sense the terror in it.
Ever since coronavirus entered our lives, a constant feeling of dread plays on our minds. But as the saying goes, loha hi lohe ko kaat-ta hai.
Ritu Nandal offers some diversion in in the form of Bollywood’s typical torture tactics.
Any attempt to crucify the hero dependably results in his extraordinary resurrection and retaliation until the villain is buried in the dust.
Barb Barb Dekho
Bollywood hero ko dard nahi hota. Especially if he’s the patriotic kind.
Dho Daalo Saale Ko!
If the heroine is bound to emerge from the beach in a two piece, the hero’s duty is to withstand severe water pressure and never, ever do as the bad guys say.
You’ll be astonished by the sheer variety of Bollywood’s wet torture.
Along with the flooding stream of water, the villain’s lair has an entire setup of electric current passing through it to force the hero into submission.
The latter will not only not cave in, but also boast about his capacity for third degree in the scene to follow.
Pran Jaaye Par Pose Na Jaaye!
How impressive is Shah Rukh Khan’s consistency? The man won’t forget his classic spread arms pose in the middle of torture as well.
The haughty Hindi film heroine’s favourite pastime is to incite the macho hero into taking on wild animals.
Bull, buffalo, lion or horse, count on him to tame them all without as much as a single scratch.
Don’t rat on me
Of course, if he is a wicked deceiver like Saif Ali Khan in Ek Hasina Thi, his fate is to stay tied up in a dark, desolate cave inhabited by an army of hungry, creepy rodents.
Of hungry crocodiles and delicious humans
A state-of-the-art lair where the antagonist has to press just one button and activate a spinning round table and floor that opens up into a crocodile tank, torture games of retro day Bollywood are something else.
Back when loved ones could be held hostages in cool, colourful enclosures, whose walls progress to crush its occupant, one wrong move from the hero on that meticulously put together checkerboard by the villain and it’s Game Over.
Between the devil and the deep sea
The Bollywood villain is so regularly outwitted he needs to ensure his torture technique is fool proof.
Enter the multiple features of Parvarish, you’ve got spiky things protruding through the walls while the ground is filled in quicksand.
The State versus Six Pack
‘Jo tera torture hai woh mera warmup hai,’ coos Tiger Shroff during a standard lockup thrashing.
One look at his rippling torso and you nod in agreement.
Weapon of the bully, nightmare of the weak — the deadly hunter/chabuk/whip has left its mark on many a silky, smooth backsides.
Dance, dance, dance
Threatening the heroine to song and dance, barefoot on glass and stone, in the hot sun, while her sweetheart is tied to a stand, is the ultimate in musical torture.
Pass the acid test
Amrish Puri’s go-to torture device — think the bubbling acid tank in Mr India or the custom-made chemical pool in Ghayal.
Feed them to the lions
Gone are the days when the villain’s henchmen would tie the heroes and leave them hanging by the tree in the company of hungry lions.
Aankhen nikal ke gotiyan kheloonga
Threatening them with scorching hot, pointy skewers, Bollywood’s inner Crimemaster Gogo surfaces every now and then.
The hero’s might and the villain’s fear surfaces in the latter’s eagerness to confine them.
Tie them up to a chair or planks, restrict their movement in heavy metal chains, force is the foundation of Bollywood torture.
And to escape it is the privilege of every Hindi film hero and heroine.