My Camera & My Chai: The Copycat Syndrome….


When I was a kid, they had made an iconic movie called ‘Sholay’. You can loosely translate it as burning embers.

It’s a story of revenge, and has a bit of everything in it for everyone. It also launched the career of a marvellous actor called Amjad Khan. His character, Gabbar Singh, the dacoit was legendary. In that role, he was Gabbar.

In this scene, Gabbar and his fellow dacoits are sitting by the fire, while a nautch girl dances to a song called “Mehbooba, Mehooba”. Mehboob is the person you love

This was a classic song, and the dancer is a famous old lady called Helen.

We grew up on the movie, Gabbar, and the song.


Then, two days ago, I discovered that the song, “Mehbooba, Mehbooba” was inspired by the Demis Roussos number called “Say You Love Me”, which is also a superb song.

Demis had a voice. What a voice! And, he was evidence of the fact that you don’t need to be slim, trim and sexy to be a brilliant singer

So yeah, one of the iconic songs of Indian – Bollywood – cinema, is a victim of the copycat syndrome!

But, what the hell…Both versions are lovely, and the enjoyment of one does not detract from the other!

All the dancers – Helen, as well as the ladies in the Semis video are fantastic!

So, enjoy ’em both!


  1. I’m so glad you posted those! I enjoyed them immensely, Raj!
    I’d like to see the whole movie….the problem is, I wouldn’t understand what they were saying.

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