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

Filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s films are a throwback to simpler, kinder times. In his world, there were no evil people. They were only real people with everyday problems which had easy resolutions. We all remember Dharmendra as Parimal Tripathi in Chupke Chupke, Rekha as Manju in Khubsoorat, Rajesh Khanna in Anand and Jaya Bachchan in Guddi. But in each of these films, it’s not just the leads, but even the characters with lesser screen time that stay with you. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Mrs. Srivastava of Gol Maal (1979)

Dina Pathak’s Mrs Srivastava in Gol Maal is like the fun, wild sister of the matriarch in Mukherjee’s Khubsoorat. In that film, Pathak is in a perennially bad mood – forbidding family members from doing anything remotely enjoyable. But as Mrs. Srivastava she’s a social worker who takes up bit roles in films as a hobby. Her biggest role is pretending to be Amol Palekar’s domesticated, widowed mother to protect him from a lie he’s told his boss Bhawani Shankar (Utpal Dutt). When she runs into Bhawani Shankar at a party dressed in a fancy sari and jewellery, she invents a twin sister to justify her drastically changed appearance. The highlight of the film is the scene in which she wriggles through a kitchen window and quickly changes into a white sari to save Palekar’s character from being found out.

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