Welcome back - Mowgli and his Friends !
The other day, I was spending quality time with my kids ( which generally means watching cartoons wth my five years old ) when a familiar tune grabbed my attention . I looked at the T.V. and saw “ The Jungle Book " Movie commercial streaming on screen .My eyes lit up specially so because they had retained the iconic song “Jungle Jungle baat chali hai ,pata chala hai … Arre ! Chaddi pehen ke phool khila hai , phool khila hai !” the title song of the old indianised Jungle Book series .
Would you believe that these iconic and yet so childishly innocent lyrics were by the great Gulzaar Saáb and the music score was given by Vishal Bhardwaj in his early days !
The Original “Jungle Book “ was an American animated film by Walt Disney productions and was released in 1967 in America .We Indian kids could watch it much later in 1990s when it was dubbed in Hindi and aired on national television.
I think I was studying in ninth standard when the animated series “Jungle book “based on the book bearing the same title and authored by journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist Joseph Rudyard Kipling was aired on our very own Doordarshan channel every Sunday.Jungle Book transformed my Sundays .
It was wake up early and finish your morning chores and homework before “The Jungle Book “ was to be telecasted and then it was one hour of pure bliss.We would get lost in the world of Mowgli- the Jungle boy and his wild friends from the jungle.It was the story of a human baby ,who was brought up by a family of wolves .The baby gradually made friends with the other animals and the series then goes on to narrate the tales of their joint adventures and trepidations in the Jungle .
Mowgli’s arch enemy was Sher Khan, the Tiger ,whose strong and booming voice over was provided by the un-imitable Nana Patekar .He was a delight to watch as the menacing Tiger and we would often repeat his dialogues later after the show was over.Tabaqui ,the hyena who lived on left overs from Sher Khan ,was also a source of great fun for us specially when he got lashings from Sher Khan after a foiled attack on Mowgli .
Mowgli had the wise black panther – Bagheera as his teacher who taught him the art of surviving in the jungle .The adorable boy wonder was also helped by the friendly and fumbling bear Baloo and the great Python Kaa, besides his adopted family of wolves .
My favorite character was Baloo , the bear .He was a gentle giant –friendly and caring .But the moment Mowgli was in trouble , his passion would be awake and he turned into a brave and strong warrior .I loved this cuddly and fatherly bear and he will be the reason I will go to watch this iconic movie when it releases (of course on the pretext of giving my son company !).