Watch and munch for jamai 

For Jamai Sashthi today, The Telegraph Salt Lake draws up a list of vintage films that puts the jamai under the spotlight and provide rip-roaring entertainment

  • Published 10.06.16

Sriman Prithwiraj 

1972, black & white
Director: Tarun Majumdar

If you are in Utpal Dutt’s shoes, you will certainly not want a gharjamai like Rasik, played by Ayan Banerjee. Unless you want to see your stocks with your boss plummet, your relation with your beyai soured, your daughter put on house arrest by you for eloping with him in your fancy car which gets reduced to junk, thanks to a crazy ride steered by hands that have never touched a wheel before.  But there is no malice on either side. Dutt snarls or collapses in bed or at worst gives chase while Ayan, whenever his ego is pricked or sense of justice piqued, swings into action with his gang of cronies or by himself but never raises his voice or badmouths his elders. 


1963, black & white
Director: Manu Sen

Sandhya Roy’s jamaibabu and Sabitri Chatterjee’s husband Uttam Kumar is unaware that he has a twin. To add to the confusion, they have servants who are twins too (Bhanu Banerjee in a double role). The story, based on Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar’s play of the same name, takes off when one Uttam-Bhanu pair reaches the town where the other pair stays. While Vidyasagar was influenced by Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, the Bengali film inspired two Hindi remakes — Do Dooni Char, starring Kishore Kumar and Asit Sen (1968) and Gulzar’s Angoor (1982) with Sanjeev Kumar (with sister-in-law Deepti Naval in a still from the film in picture above) and Deven Varma.

Suborno Golok

1981, black & white
Director: Manu Sen

Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay’s comic fantasy veers round a golden ball that even the gods are scared to keep  with themselves because of its magical power. Whenever a person physically hands it over to someone else, they start behaving like each other. When it accidentally reaches earth, the first person to find it is Dipankar Dey, en route to his in-laws’ place. Like a typical babu, he gives it to his servant Rabi Ghosh to carry with the rest of his luggage. Thus on reaching Utpal Dutt’s house, the servant starts demanding privileges due to the son-in-law and the son-in-law cringes on being dragged to “boudimoni’s” room. And things can only take more hilarious turns from here on.

Hirak Rajar Deshe

1980, colour
Director: Satyajit Ray

How can you ignore a film which starts with the protagonists singing “Mora dujonai rajar jamai”? Upendrakishore Roychowdhury’s immortal characters Goopi Gyne and Bagha Byne get married to the daughters of brothers who rule neighbouring states Halla and Shundi at the end of the first film. Grandson Ray’s sequel takes off when one of their rulers, on seeing the sons-in-law getting bored sitting at the palace, send them as his representatives to the court of Hirak Raja for his anniversary celebrations.


An eye on the market
Jamai Sashthi has sent prices of fish and fruits soaring. 

At CK Market, the price of hilsa has jumped by Rs 200 while that of prawn and bekti have risen by Rs 100 each. “I’m selling hilsa for Rs 1,600 now, prawns for Rs 600 and bekti for Rs 550. All prices have got hiked since Tuesday,” said fish monger Dhiren Debnath, who has been selling here for 25 years. “Then again, many people go to bigger markets of Maniktala and Ultadanga to shop for such occasions.”

At the market opposite Karunamoyee, fish monger Dipankar Patra said even the prices of fish like rohu, pabda and parse have risen by around Rs 100. “Shoppers are requesting for good quality fish to serve their sons-in-law and we are asking them to pay a premium,” said Patra on Wednesday. Sales, he added, rise by around 10 per cent every Jamai Sashthi. 

Fruits like Mangoes and Litchis also make it to the jamai’s plate. “Sales usually peak a day before Jamai Sashthi but the price of litchis has risen from Rs 80 to Rs 100 a kilo from Tuesday itself,” said Kamala Ghosh, who sells fruits outside the GSI building opposite DL Block. “The price of Himsagar mangoes has risen slightly, to Rs 65 a kilo, but I suspect they will rise further on Friday.”



and in literature...

Nutan Jamai
Author: Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar

The opening story in Dadamoshai-er Thole, a classic compilation of children’s stories, is an account of a boy’s first trip to his in-laws. His mother tutors him to buy something (kichumichu), sit on elevated places, talk in a cuckoo’s voice and say no to offers of delicacies. Things take a hilarious turn as the foolish boy takes the advice literally, and ends up doing things like refusing a mat to sit on and walking out to the garden to sit on a termite hill (illustration above). All this leads to such a loss of face for him that in the end he escapes home.

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