Filmmaker Manmohan Desai was an integral part of Bollywood from the mid 1970’s to the 80s. He holds the rare distinction of being the only filmmaker to have four films running simultaneously in the theatres! Manji, as he was popularly known, directed and wrote plots with bizarre twists and yet the viewers never questioned his unflinching madness. On his 23rd death anniversary, here are 5 such instances from his films that stand true to the strength of his conviction.

Three brothers donate blood to a woman they don’t know is their mother
Lost and found was a popular theme in Manji’s films, and Amar Akbar Anthony starring Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna was really the most successful of them all. In the opening credits, the three brothers donate blood to a hit-and-run victim. But here’s the twist – the three men don’t know that the victim is actually their mother, and they also don’t know that they are all brothers! To find out how this happens, you’ll have to watch the movie.

A blind Nirupa Roy gets her eyesight back miraculously
There are more gems in Amar Akbar Anthony. Nirupa Roy who has lost her eyesight lands up at Sai Baba mandir while being chased by goons. Now it’s hard to explain what happens next, but Nirupa Roy gets her eyesight back by just staring at the Sai Baba idol. All we see are light flames being transferred from the idol’s eyes to hers. This one needs to be seen to be believed!

When Dara Singh stopped a plane with a lasso

In Desai’s film Mard (1998), Dara Singh who plays Raja Azad Singh chases the British plane carrying the plundered wealth of his castle on his horse. He then ties the airplane with his lasso and prevents it from taking off by tying the rope to a pole with his muscular hands. Don’t believe it? Watch it here

When Bachchan knocks out all of Amrish Puri’s teeth in one punch

In the 1988 film, Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswathi, Amitabh Bachchan who plays Gangaa, tells his enemy Thakur Hansraj (Amrish Puri) about how he once swore to break all his teeth. He then goes on to punch him, and his teeth fall to the ground in a single punch! Don’t miss the shot of his mother cheering in the background.

A baby tossed out of the window is saved by a bird
In Dharam Veer, King Satpal Singh (played by Jeevan) is told in a prophecy that he will be killed by his eldest nephew, Dharam (played by Dharmendra). To prevent this, he moves in with his sister Meenakshi. The princess gives birth to a baby boy (Dharam) who Satpal tosses out of a window, minutes after his birth. Instead of falling to death, the baby is caught by Sheroo, a wonder bird who safely flies the infant to a childless couple.

All this month, Film Companion will celebrate the works of Manmohan Desai. You can follow our series FC Flashback which aims to reintroduce legendary actors, filmmakers and technicians to a young audience.

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