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25 Years Of Border EXCLUSIVE: “The seats of the cinema hall were BROKEN because people were jumping on them while the war was being won on screen

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25 Years Of Border EXCLUSIVE: “The seats of the cinema hall were BROKEN because people were jumping on them while the war was being won on screen

Suniel Shetty believes Border is probably the only film he’s done where every actor can claim to be “the lead of the film.” He isn’t wrong. He was part of a remarkable ensemble cast including Sunny Deol, Akshaye Khanna, Jackie Shroff, and others, in the war drama. They all had their moments, their heart-pumping dialogues and their back stories. “If people remember Suniel Shetty for any film, it is definitely Bhairav Singh of Border,” Suniel said.

According to Pooja Bhatt, “JP Dutta has given us a film that’s going to be mentioned in all our obituaries.” She believes that the film “enriches us all and sends us home having added something to our lives.”

Border released in 1997. It was based on the experiences of director JP Dutta’s own brother, late Squadron Leader Deepak Dutta who served in the Indian Air Force. JP picked Deepak’s battlefield tales, keeping the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 as the backdrop. But can Border be bracketed into just being an epic war film?

Lyricist Javed Akhtar had a similar doubt when JP Dutta approached him to write its songs. But when the Bollywood legend heard the script, he realised there was a lot of scope around every character’s emotional graph. Take for instance “Sandese Aate Hai”. Battlefield brotherhood was at full display in it that went on to become one of Bollywood’s most iconic songs of longing. Sung by Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathore, composed by Anu Malik and written by Javed Akhtar, the track has melancholy riding on the individual sentiments of its soldiers.

“The song required a lot of words. That’s why I got reminded of that tune, because I needed one where I got space to insert so many lyrics. There are small lines, but a lot of them. You can write in strokes there,” Akhtar said in the past.

Interestingly, Javed Akhtar also ended up writing an extra prose “Aye guzarne waali hawa bata” which did not match with the original tune. But, to everyone’s surprise Anu composed it in one go, ensuring the recording of the song did not get delayed. The complete tune of the more than ten-minute-long song got finalised in 7-10 minutes.

JP Dutta added that the lyrics of Javed Akhtar were so beautiful, that they automatically kept flowing into visuals, making its filming easy for him as a director. Border was one of its kind film with an incredible sound track, also including songs like “Toh Chaloon”, “Hamein Jabse Mohabbat” and “Mere Dushman Mere Bhai”.

Border opened flood gates for the new age war films. It was also the first time that Pakistan was shown as the national enemy full throttle, with jingoistic sentiments. However, it is remembered, among dozens of reasons, for imparting the message of futility of war too.

As for “Sandese Aate Hai”, it’s going to remain our patriotic anthem for many more generations.

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