Alok Khare, VP – IT, Jaypee Hospitals, and VP, JILIT, talks about his love affair with the movies. By Pooja Paryani
In the last 35 years, Alok Khare has held various leadership positions across IT infrastructure, healthcare, education, travel, transportation and logistics verticals. His five years in the healthcare industry have been quite eventful and he was recently awarded at the Hospitality and Healthcare Honours 2016 – Healthcare segment for achievements in Mobility. What many might not know is that Alok has nursed another passion for an even longer time—Bollywood films!
Alok’s love for the movies goes back to 1975, when Sholay first released while he was still in college. He’d go to watch movies with friends almost every weekend and his love affair with Bollywood continued to grow. “I still go for movies every weekend, with my wife and sometimes with family friends,” says Alok. “My parents and wife are also equally passionate about the movies and it’s always a hot topic of discussion among us. Older movies had a lot more interesting content and story lines and there was always lots to discuss. Over the last 30 years, my wife and I have become movie buddies. I mostly watch Bollywood movies and I’m connected to the movies or their music throughout the day in some way or the other. I especially love old Hindi movies and their songs. They lyrics are still fresh in my mind. The movies and songs nowadays aren’t really impactful and we generally forget about them in a few days. The movies aren’t star or story driven, they are more commercial ventures these days; so there’s nothing very powerful in them to remember or get inspired by.”
Movies that made an impact
“The first really good movie that I watched was Madhumati, the first multi-star movie I really liked was Waqt. Sholay also was a really good movie. During my college days there was a craze for Amithabh Bachchan and Raj Kumar. People never missed their movies.
“Earlier the movies were star driven and people used to fill theatres because of the stars. We did not know what was great acting; we just enjoyed what we saw. In time, when I was around 24-25years old, I realised that some of the movies had a message, they spoke about the problems in society, and they were quite impressive in their portrayal. I started following those types of movies then, those that highlighted issues. A great movie that did that was Sadma starring Sridevi and Kamal Hassan. It was a wonderful movie where Sridevi played a woman who’d regressed to her childhood after a car accident. She gets trapped in a brothel and gets abused. Kamal Hassan rescues her from the brothel and they fall in love.
“Lately I’ve started watching movies that are realistic portrayals of society. Though some of them might not show the solutions to the problems, at least they show the issues, and introduce people to them. Ardh Satya and Aakrosh are such movies. Lagaan was another great movie.”
A way to learn some harsh truths
“Movies aren’t just entertainment, they also teach you lessons. In Ek Ruka Hua Faisla one person tries to influence others and convince them of an idea he believes in. Even though people keep resisting him, he never loses hope. Ultimately in the end they all support him. So this teaches you that if you don’t give up you can definitely win in the end. We just need to be patient and keep trying.
“Another such movie is Water. It talks about the age-old belief that widows should live in ashrams after the death of their spouse. It shows the emotional pressure and trauma they have to go through and the problems they face in the ashrams. The movie also talks about religious conversion. It gives you an idea as to where society or a religion is going wrong and what needs to be corrected in the system. Earlier, people were threatened with heaven or hell while making certain decisions. But these days the young generation doesn’t think about it like that and they do what they feel is right. I think we should leave a few things in the past and move on with the flow.
“A lot of movie talk about solving problems by finding their root cause. These movies inspire me to do the same when solving a problem. Guide is another movie that I have seen several times and has a wonderful lesson. During its time it was a one-of-a-kind. It talked about what happens after a person dies. It made me think and believe that God may or may not be there but there is someone who is governing the world.”
“I have been following Amitabh since a very young age and have seen almost all his movies from the beginning of his career till his recent Piku. He has been phenomenal in every role he has played until now. I also really like Raj Kumar’s dialogues and remember several of them. Dev Anand was another really great actor.”
10 all-time favourite movies
“Waqt, Aakrosh, Lagaan, 3 Idiots, Guide, Ruka Hua Faisla, Sholay, Madhumati, Ardh Satya, Water, and PK. All these movies are still the best because some of them highlighted social issues, talked about solutions and tried to change people’s mindsets for the better.”