So, I turn 32 today! It’s one of those rare birthdays that I am getting to celebrate with my entire family, including my far flung sister. But, then for the last two years, Elementum Money has felt a part of my family as well and I realised that my birthday would feel incomplete unless I celebrated it bullet-point style.
I have grown up on a healthy dose of Bollywood movie. While I have enough English movies in the mix today, they still have not managed to make the filmy impact that Hindi movies have. In person, for a few situations, I often end up bursting into some moment-appropriate dialogues. So, today, I thought why not share some Bollywood movie dialogues that I believe in, with an English translation and a commentary for context. Considering I am talking about 32 movie dialogues, I hereby solemnly vow to keep the-said commentaries short and succinct.
1. Main apni favourite hoon (Jab We Met)
English translation: I am my favourite person
In the movie, the female lead, Geet proclaims it to anyone willing to listen to her constant jabber. To me, it made sense. If you don’t like yourself, why expect anyone else to?
2. Mere paas gaadi hai, bangla hai paisa hai, tumhare paas kya hai?
Mere paas maa hai (Deewaar)
English translation: I have a car, a bungalow and money. What do you have?
I have a mother
This is one of those epic dialogues of Hindi cinema from the 1970s that even novice aficionados know about. In a gist, these two brothers, lost in childhood, meet after years. One brother goes on to show off his material acquisitions while the other brother comes back with the value of relationships, which is meant to trump everything material. While I have never been one for material acquisitions or even understood the halo around luxury brands, the importance of relationships has only become stronger in mind with the years.
3. Senorita, bade bade sheheron mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge)
English translation: Senorita, such small things are common place in such big cities
One of the highest raking romance movies of all time, I still remember the craze about the movie as a school kid. This dialogue, one that I like to frequently say in person as well, is used by the male lead Raj, while trying to woo the female lead, Simran. Wondering where does Senorita make it into the dialogue? Watch the movie to know more! As for the dialogue, I always think of it as a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff.
4. Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, uske baad toh main khud ki bhi nahi sunta (Wanted)
English translation – Once I make a commitment, I don’t listen to myself either
Any contemporary Bollywood movie list is incomplete without Salman Khan making an entrance. Funnily enough, I have not seen the movie but this is still one of my favourite dialogues. The thing is, we often come in our own way, even when it comes to fulfilling a commitment. That insight is pretty well tapped and used in a fun way with this dialogue.
5. Bachcha kabil bano, kabil … kamyabi toh saali jhak maarke peeche bhagegi (3 Idiots)
English translation – Child, become capable… success will then automatically follow
Another super successful Hindi movie that strived to break quite a few stereotypes of the Indian society. What do you work on? Just becoming successful or actually honing your skill? As the protagonist Raju puts it in the movie, success is usually a by product on working on honing your skill.
6. Kehte hain, agar kissi cheez ko dil se chaho, toh puri ki puri qayanaat tumhe usse milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai (Om Shanti Om)
English translation – It is said that if you truly want something, then the world conspires to get you to it
If your idea of Hindi movies is unreal crazy occurrences shown in a fun way, this movie falls right into that definition. I remember this one was a Diwali release while I was in college, and also marked the debut of one of the current leading ladies Deepika Padukone. At that time, I pretty much laughed at this dialogue and shook my head at the naivety. But, about a decade down the line, I truly believe in this.
7. Tension lene ka nahi sirf dene ka (Munnabhai MBBS)
English translation – Don’t take tension yourself, only give it.
One of the best Hindi comedies about a large-hearted gangster joining a medical school, I like this mantra when I seem to be under the potential of taking tension for random things.
8. Risk toh spider man ko bhi lena padta hai, main toh sirf ek salesman hoon (Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year)
English translation – Even Spiderman needs to take risk, I am just a salesman
Another favourite movie, this one shows an enterprising hard working chap who ends up making a breakaway outfit from the small computer company that he joins as a fresher. This is one of those dialogues I have often spoken out loud but only gotten vague scowls in response, considering the movie was more of a sleeper hit. But, when your risk averse side tells you to not do something, try saying the first part of the dialogue to yourself. Trust me, it’s a huge confidence booster.
9. Pehle apni game baaki logon se unchi karo. Phir apni aawaz unchi karna (Chak De India)
English translation – Raise your game before you raise your voice
My favourite sports movie ever which also made me wish I could have been a part of it. As for this dialogue, once you are confident of your game (your skill or your profession), you will realize the need to raise your voice usually gets eliminated.
10. Mere hisaab se toh dharam ek hi kaam karta hai, ya toh woh insaan ko bebas banata hai ya antakwadi (Oh my God)
English translation – In my opinion religion achieves only one thing, either it makes a person helpless or a terrorist
In a religion obsessed country, this movie was quite bold with an attempt to bring down a fair number of religious myths. This dialogue happily feeds into the organized religion cynic in me.
11. Seize the day my friend. Pehle iss din ko poori tarah se jiyo. Phir chalees ke baare mein socho (Zindagi na milegi dobara)
English translation – Seize the day my friend. First live this day completely. Then think about your life @ 40.
This road trip movie is well-remembered my most urban youth. In this dialogue, the very hot Katrina Kaif is trying to enlighten one of the male leads Kabir who is work obsessed with the idea of taking life easy after 40. While milestones in life are important, they become pretty redundant if in it’s pursuit we stop living the current moment completely.
12. Agar hum apni zindagi ka steering wheel apne haath mein nahi lenge na… Toh koi doosra driver seat par baith jayega (Dear Zindagi)
English translation – If we don’t control the steering wheel of our life, someone else will take control
One of the current crop of movies which was one of the few to handle mental health in a very real, sensitive manner. As for the dialogue, I see it all around me where most of us choose to walk around like zombies, not giving much thought to where we would want to see our lives going. This dialogue sure sets the record straight in that context.
13. Dil se faisla karo tumhe kya karna hai. Dimaag tarkeeb nikalega (Dil Dhadakne do)
English translation – Decide from your heart what you want to do. The brain will find a way out
To me, this dialogue talked about passion. In my experience, when we are passionate about doing something, it keeps brewing in the head and the focus is all around there and somehow or the other, the brain really does figure a way out.
14. Roti ke bina insaan chaar hafte jee sakta hai, pani ke bina chaar din aur hawa ke bina shayad chaar minute … lekin umeed ke bina insaan chaar second bhi nahi jee sakta hai (Happy New Year)
English translation – Without food humans can live for four weeks, without water four days, without air four minutes… but without hope not even for four seconds
Like a lot of hindi movie dialogues, this one is overly dramatic and roundabout. In fact, I often use another variant of this dialogue in real life – umeed pe duniya kayam hai meaning life hangs on hope. Finally, when things don’t seem to go our way, it is hope that saves the day.
15. Sahi direction mein utha har kadam … apne aap mein ek manzil hai … after all life is all about the next step (ABCD)
English translation – Every step in the right direction is a milestone in itself… after all life is all about the next step
While this was a dance movie, I thought this pearl of wisdom was quite something. When we look at any lofty, overwhelming goal, just thinking of it as one tiny step at a time makes it seem far more doable. Also, looking at every step as an achievement helps in trying to achieve a long drawn out goal as well.
16. Tumhare paas joh hai tumhare hisaab se kam hai … lekin kisi doosre ke nazar se dekho … toh tumhare paas bahut kuch hai (Kal ho na ho)
English translation – You might think you have very little. But, if you look at it from someone else’s view point, then you have a lot.
One of the easiest pitfalls is to try and keep up with the joneses where we will always fall short. Gratitude can work wonders in our lives.
17. Bade se bada business paise se nahi, ek bade idea se bada hota hai (Badmaash company)
English translation – The biggest businesses are built not on capital but a great idea
As you can see, Bollywood often gives great entrepreneurship lessons as well.
18. Sometimes even the wrong train takes us to the right station. (Lunch box)
Again, life’s experiences have made me wise enough to agree with this dialogue. Never say never and who knows what life has in store for you.
19. Main udna chahta hoon, daudna chahta hoon, girna bhi chahta hoon… Bas rukna nahi chahta (Yeh jawani hai deewani)
English translation – I want to fly, run and even fall…. But not stop
In this coming-of-age movie, this dialogue is uttered by an utterly restless character Bunny. While I may not have his impatience, I agree with him. I would rather keep trying something, even at the cost of stumbling than just let life pass by.
20. Koi tumhe tab tak nahi hara sakta, jab tak tum khud se na haar jao (Sultan)
English translation – No one can defeat you till the time you accept defeat yourself
Another so-called sports movie, I agree with the dialogue. Only once you have accepted defeat, will anyone else be able to defeat you.
21. It is very good to be important … but it is more important to be good (Chennai Express)
Funny play of words in this slapstick humoured romantic movie. But, this dialogue talked to me. We all want to feel important in life. The good thing is that the dialogue does not play that down. However, being “good” generally yields far better results.
22. Mauke milte nahi, banaye jaate hain… kaamyabi hum tak nahi aati, hume kamyaabi tak jaana hota hai (Luck By Chance)
English translation – Opportunities don’t just come, they are made… Success doesn’t come automatically, we need to go towards it
How many times have we envied the success of someone and thought they are way too lucky to get to that pinnacle without having done much? I do believe we make our own opportunities and this dialogue seems to encapsulate that thought perfectly.
23. Sache dil se ki gai har koshish … kisi bhi haar jeet se badi hoti hai (ABCD2)
English translation – A well-done passionate attempt is bigger than any victory
This is a dialogue I have grown up to and in some ways it has helped me cope with many failures in life. Today, a crisper English translation that I stick to is also – “It’s about the shots you take”. Focus on your action and attempts which are more your actionable rather than worry about the result which finally has enough elements not under your controllable.
24. Guzarta hua waqt bade se bade masle ko suljha deta hai (Gharwali baharwali)
English translation – Passing time resolves the biggest of problems
So many things seem really big and life changing at the time that they occur. But, as we allow time to pass and to heal our wounds, the biggest stresses are prone to heal.
25. Hum aaj joh faisla karte hai … wahi hamare kal ka faisla karega (Fanaa)
English translation – Our decisions today decide our tomorrow
I don’t think this dialogue even needs a commentary.
26. Maafi maange se koi chota bada nahi hota … aur joh maaf kar deta hai uska dil bahut bada hota hai
(Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham)
English translation – Apologising does not reduce your prestige, and the person who forgives is large-hearted
When I first heard it, I thought it was a very sappy dialogue. But, I have realised that so many people find the whole idea of apologizing or even forgiveness very difficult. I, for one, have vowed to apologise even when unsure of the ratio of my fault (if the relationship is important enough) and definitely to not hold on to grudges.
27. Baaghi bano, be a rebel … par kisi maqsad ke liye (Baaghi 2)
English translation – Be a rebel, but for a reason
Simply put, it’s okay to be rebellious but you gotta have a why. Being a rebel for the heck of it is pretty lame, which is what this dialogue epitomizes.
28. Meri zarooratein kam hai … is liye mere zameer mein dum hai (Singham)
English translation – My needs are less… That’s why my conscience is strong
I thought this was a very deep dialogue and much related to one of my Personal Finance mantras. The idea is that when you keep your needs low, it also means you have little to lose making your conscience strong and clear and easier to do the right thing.
29. Woh wish hi kya joh aasaan ho, jisse paane mein na ho todhi si ladai … mile toh lage kuch hai paaya, varna zindagi toh humne bus yun hi bitai (Anjaana Anjaani)
English translation – What’s the point of an easy wish, to fulfil which there is no struggle… when fulfilled it should feel like an achievement else life has been spent just like that
If I had to rephrase this dialogue in two words, it’s simply about – Dream Big. Sure, there might be some struggle to achieving it but it will atleast give a sense of achievement and a purpose in life.
30. Kal toh chala gaya, us pe koi control nahi … aur aane waala kal toh tabhi sambhalega … jab aaj kuch thik kar do (Bachna ae haseeno)
English translation – Yesterday is gone and we have no control over it… and tomorrow will be under control only if we do something right today
We need to forget the past and not let it define our present or future. As for our future, it is definitely defined by us doing the right thing.
31. Jo haarte hain, wohi jeetne ka matlab jaante hain (Jannat)
English translation – It’s only those who lose, who know the meaning of winning
Failure is an essential part of our lives. We truly don’t know the meaning of victory unless we have experienced failure.
32. Jab kisi aur ki barbaadi apni jeet jaisi lage… toh humse zyada barbaad aur koi nahi hai iss duniya mein (Kalank)
English translation – When someone else’s ruin seems like our victory, then there is no one worse off in the world than us
While the movie probably has this dialogue in a romantic setting, I like this for the simple idea that we should define our sense of achievement within our own sphere. The day we equate someone’s failure as our own victory, it is definitely a matter of concern.
So, that’s me and the 32 dialogues that I believe in, from Hindi Bollywood movies. Some I remember by heart, while quite a few I had to google.
What did you make of these dialogues? Do you talk in filmy dialogues? What are your favourite dialogues from movies of any language? Let me know in the comments below.