Sholay Unplugged Version : 2014

Gopalan Cinema Matinee Show, Bannerghatta Road

After Chatti, Annaprasan, Mundan, First Birthday, one more ritual an Indian toddler celebrate and its equal to achieving a milestone...their brief brush with Bollywood. Very much part of our lives and be of your little one too, sooner or later. When she will grow up to question us, looks that time is not very far, she will taunt, why we chose this movie (almost 39 years old). As her friends would have made a debut in Bollywood with not such an oldie.

But on reading this post, she will understand why we the visionaries did it. And like her nana-nani I will also take her to movies only on one condition, like, we were supposed to answer during our movie outing...what were the lessons learnt ? Her nana ji is quite adamant on having this discussion after every flick. Even now, we discuss all this movie stuff on phone. They watch movies latest by Saturday but i am not that fast particularly these days.

Getting three generations of Sinhas together for a movie was a difficult task, has it not been Sholay - a classic from 1975.

The exponential growth curve of age went up and up like...sanvi, her chachu, mummy, papa, dadi and dada, respectively. There is no quizzing atleast with this set of family. The movie is actually a todu one, with entertainment quotient for anybody between a toddler and senior citizen, such is its charisma. We stepped in to a house full theatre brimming with movie buffs, cruised to our aisle seats, grabbed our popcorns and colas, little scared of the toddler accompanying us than the Gabbar.

Thakur Baldev Singh - CEO
Gabbar - National Sales Head (FMCG) business vertical
Jai & Viru - On Site Management Consultants
Radha - Executive Assistant to CEO
Basanti - Executive MarCom (Marketing and Communications) Department

Mausi - IT executive
Ramlaal - Finance Manager
Jailor - Head HR

Sambha /Kalia (Gabbar Side Kick)- Area Sales Manager (ASM)
Hariram (Jailor Side Kick)- HR Executive
Mehbooba -Helen- Guest Dancer at Annual Sales Retreat

As the movie rolled in, your chachu could easily relate to the first scene with his first job. The scene was : Thakur - akin to a CEO of a company wishes to hire two on-site consultant via lateral placement for his new project. He shares the vacancy, its role, core competencies and job description to the Inspector - played as a human capital firm contracted for RPO (recruitment process outsourcing). Inspector is doing the screening, field visit, background check, CTC (current term of criminalization), notice period (jail term), openness to relocate, schedule an interview , follow up etc. 

Lesson # 1 : Networking - How Thakur remember Jai and Veeru from their first meeting.

If Thakur hadn't remember his first meeting with Jai and Veeru, even now, four decades later he and Gabbar would be sending hate e-mails from the high speed broad band BSNL server or tata DoCoMo dongle from Ramgarh (on the way to Mysore, precisely 40 kms from our home). There would be thriving 'I hate Gabbar" or "I hate Thakur" types facebook communities, unsolicited tweets or may be they would have formed political parties by now, contesting for the seat of Ramgarh. Quite possible in Indian politics.

The most important reason, why Sholay should be taught in management schools is its ability to test your panache for a business development or  sales or  a fund raising profile. Top B schools should think about role plays of the most famous scene, "Kitne Aadami The".

Close your eyes and step in the shoes of Kaalia. If you have balls or in desi language, how Cheddi Singh puts it in Dabang "Dekhen, kiske batashe kitney gol hain !" get ready  to rehearse the scene where Gabbar (National Head Sales - your boss) will be questioning your pedigree more than your MBA degree, with "Soowar ke Bachon" for not minting quarter on quarter numbers in full public view. Smitten, sweating, scared  Kaalia is presenting his achieved sales number against the forecasted one and heading for an adventurous massacre. "Gabbar ke taap se tumhe ek hi aadmi bacha sakta hai, ek hi aadmi, khud Gabbar" !
As Gabbar alias Gabby  (as he is popularly known in corporate circles) finishes off his business with three non-performing feet on street sales officers; he asked Sambha about projectons of quarter 4 as  "Holi Kab hai! Kab hai holi". Close to Q3 & Q4, get ready to live life with the mantra "Jao harmazado, peecha karo in dono ka, aur khaali haath wapis yaha mat aana". As appraisals were close and so is financial year, Gabby was tensed over his promotion to VP -  eyeing the corner glass office & penthouse of Thakur - a trip to Maldives - 30% raise on fixed and variables linked to target figure.

Don't think that being Sambha you would have saved your ass. Despite being favourite side kick, remember how the onsite consultant (Jay) fired him within no time during recession, dhisshkaauann...just like that, like a mosquito with no entitlement of gratuity,  in one scene for never reaching his numbers. So, anytime its wiser to be Kalia than Sambha.

Lesson # 2 : Excellence - Be the best in what ever you do like, my darling Gabby. No one can imagine Sholay without his marvelous presence.

Still sales on your mind. Congratulations. One level is through. Now you can proceed to watching "In Pursuit of Happyness" and dream of becoming Chris Gardner selling bone density scanners. So technically, Gabby was not aggressive or abusive or impulsive.  Given his excellent sales record he was exempted from the formal office attire and language conduct. For what he was, in todays time, corporate companies would have doled out six figure salary on him to reach the numbers and he would have won "Employee of the Year" awards with overseas trip as perks, consistently.

The beauty of Sholay lies in its balanced approach. It has also highlighted the fun part of being in Sales, like the party where the sultry guest dancer Helen do her performance. After all, there is life beyond your DSR (daily sales record) and projection and billed amount and sales pipeline, isin't ?

The song mehbooba or mehbooba aptly depicts the quarterly retreat parties at the pool side in suburban resort, deadly combo of shabaab, kebab and daru. Its the time when sambha n kalias, if survived by a shark like boss, gets to do chiggi wiggi with glamorous MarCom and HR birdies and the lion, Gabby enjoys the music and tandoori nites, "bahut katili nachaniyaan hai" ! 

Not to mention the onsite consultants, Jay and Veeru hooked up with the other on payroll employees. Jay - Radha and Veeru - Basanti , both the affairs made for a salacious gossip at tea / lunch time, mausi as gossip monger for each cubicle of office but like always never blossomed into a respectable relationship.

Only to be labelled as time pass with their love e-mails going public on office communicator and FB "Dekho, Mujhe befuzool baat karne ki aadat to hai nahin...Kitna Pyari baatein karti hai...pyaari nahi bahut saari baatein karti hai ". and the admin dept got bugged for over utilization of office assets like "Dhannoo" for going on date on pretext of attending sponsored workshop.

Lesson # 3: Integrity - Never mix business with pleasure. Affair of Veeru-Basanti led to killing of Jay.

With omission of Basanti, climax would have been different. No affair between Veeru-Basanti, no hostage of Basanti by Gabby, no taking her back to Ramgarh, Jay not running out of kartoos...Because when Veeru come back after leaving Basanti, you see he has changed his torn vest and put a new Jacket, probably on insistence of his lady love. Had this not been the case, he would have reached in time and both of them fought to victory without any loss.

In short it was a total paisa vasool with 3D glasses.

*Image courtesy Google.com

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