Haisiyat (1984) Which Translates To “Status” Is A Classic Social Film That Educates The Audience On Work-Life Balance & Relationships

Haisiyat (1984) which translates to “Status” is a classic social film directed by Dasari Narayana Rao and stars the legendary actors and evergreen on-screen duo Jeetendra and Jaya Prada. Both ironically share the same birthday month as Jaya Prada’s is on April 3rd and Jeetendra’s is on April 7th. No wonder why their stars have aligned magically together and they have successfully captivated the audience with a plethora of films starting with Lok Parlok (1979), Takkar (1980), Mawaali (1983), Tohfa (1984), Maqsad (1984), Pataal Bhairavi (1985), Sanjog (1985), Hoshiyar (1985), Haqeeqat (1985), Mera Saathi (1985), Swarag Se Sundar (1986), Aisa Pyar Kahan (1986), Aulad (1987), Majaal (1987), Souten Ki Beti (1989), Majboor (1990), Thanedaar (1990), and many more.

The legendary and well-renowned filmmaker Satyajit Ray had once called Jaya Prada “the most beautiful face on the Indian screen” and there is absolutely no doubt about that since she shined with utmost grace and exuberance in all her author-backed roles and iconic dances. In addition, the debonair and stylish Jeetendra was always referred to as the “Jumping Jack of the Indian Film Industry” since he would add wonders to all the dances and songs he performed on.

Haisiyat also features seasoned veteran actors Pran, Kadar Khan, Shakti Kapoor, and Rohini Hattangadi. The film begins with the distinction of Ram (Jeetendra) being an ambitious young worker and Union leader in a factory and the wealthy daughter of the late owner of the factory is Sita (Jaya Prada). Both end up falling in love with each other without even realizing the contrast in their socioeconomic statuses. Back in the 1980s, India was never open to the concept of having a woman achieve a higher status than men and especially their husbands. Although times have progressed now, there are still many instances where a man will never tolerate his wife being more successful than him in her career. This has also been transmitted globally since insecurity and ego clashes tend to arise between a man and a woman.

The beatific harmonious song “Dheere Dheere Subah Huyi Jaag Uthi Zindagi” (Slowly Slowly Morning happened, Life has awakened) sung by Yesudas and picturized on Ram (Jeetendra) is the first song that plays and acts as the vehicle introducing Ram and Sita to each other. Sita happens to be in the same scenic ocean and instantly gets smitten by Ram’s verses he is singing. It is mesmerizing to observe how music works as the magic bullet uniting lost souls and giving them a shared destination.

This song is one of my personal favorites because it is very soothing and can calm an anxious mind. Here are the thought-provoking lyrics to this musical gem:

Dheere Dheere Subah Huyi Jaag Uthi Zindagi (Slowly Slowly Morning Happened, Life has Awakened)

Paanchi Chali Ambar Ambar Ko (Birds are flying in the sky)

Maaji Chali Sagar Sagar Ko (Sailor is sailing in the ocean)

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Pyaar Ka Naam Jeevan Hai (Love is the name of life)

Manzil Hai Ki Pritam Ki Gali (Destination is the lover’s route)

Dhoobti Gua Suraj Phir Nikhla (The setting sun rised again)

Saare Jahan Ko Noor Mila (The entire world received light)

Dil Ke Dware Tumko Pukaare (The corridors of the heart are calling your name)

 Ek Nayi Zindagi (A new life)

After Sita sings the song previously sung by Ram, Ram hears and is astonished by how beautifully she sings and memorized his lyrics. Their second meeting goes as follows:

Ram: “Aap toh bahut accha gaati hai.” (You sing really well).

Sita: “Geet toh aapka hai. Mein toh sirf gunguna rahi thi.” (The song is yours. I was just humming).

Ram: “Geet kisi ka bhi ho. Usse kiya hota hai. Geet ko sundar gala mil jaaye toh uski kismat chamak utthi hai.” (The song can be anyone’s. It does not matter. If the song receives a beautiful voice, then its destiny starts to shine).

Sita: “Ji nahi, bal ki geet accha ho toh behsure awaaz bhi acchi lagti hai.” (Absolutely not, but if the music is good then a soundless voice starts to sound good).

Ram: “Bhagwan ne ek saath kahi koobiyun ka maalik banaya hai aapko. Sundar banaya, sundar awaaz di, bholne ka itna accha andaaz diya, aur saath mein itni acchi yadassth bhi di. Ek baar mera geet suna aur yaad kar liya.” (God has bestowed upon you with so many qualities! He made you beautiful, gave you a beautiful voice, gave you a great speaking style, and a very good memory. You listened to my song once and remembered it!).

Sita: “Yaad nahi hua. Bal ki dil mein chaap kar rehe gaya hai. Mein lakh bhula neki koshish karo magar bhula nahi paati.” (I didn’t remember it. But it remained etched into my heart. I tried to forget it a thousand times but couldn’t).

Ram: “Kisse? Mujhe yeh mere geet ko.” (Who? Me or my song?)

Amidst their romantic rendezvous, there comes a time when they collide with their exchange of words while talking about their labor and management policies. Their first debate happens on the phone when both are unaware of their differing statuses. For example, their exchange of words goes as follows:

Ram: “Iss appointment ke liye joh appointment lena hoga uss appointment ke liye kab phone karo yeh to batadijye.” (Please tell me when to call you to schedule an appointment for this appointment?).

Sita: “Shut up! Tumhe baat karne ki taamiz hai yah nahi.” (Shut up! Do you have the manners to talk or no?)

Ram: “Ji nahi, hum mazdoor ke paas taamiz kaha se aa sakti hai. Humari taamiz toh humari pasine ke saath behe kar machine mein gir jaati hai. Taamiz toh sirf aap jaiso ke paas hoti hai. Kyun ki air-conditioned car, air-conditioned ghar, aur air-conditioned office mein baith ti hai na aap. Pasina behe nahi pata aur taamiz khatam hone nahi pati.” (Absolutely not, how can we workers have manners? Our manners get washed by our sweat and fall into the machines. You are the ones who have manners. Because you sit in an air-conditioned car, air-conditioned house, and air-conditioned office! You cannot sweat and your manners cannot end).

Sita: “Tumhe kuch hosh hai, kya bakwaas kar rehe ho tum? (Are you in your senses, what rubbish are you speaking?)

Ram: “Ji haa madam. Mein bilkhul hosh mein hoon aur acchi tara samaj raha hoon ke mein kya keh raha hoon. Aur wahi aap ko samjhana chaatha hoon. Ke mazdoor aur maalik ka Rishta aisa hota hai jaisa aatma ka sharir se. Agar aatma aur sharir ke beech appointment ki deewar kari kar diye gayi, toh zindagi ko disappointment ka mooh dekhna par jayega.” (Yes madam. I’m absolutely in my senses and am well-aware of what I’m saying. And this is what I want to explain to you. The relationship between a worker and its owner is like a body to its soul. If there is something called an “appointment” between the body and soul, then life will have to see the face of “disappointment”).

When a worker gets injured, Sita arrives to visit the worker in the hospital and sees Ram. This is the turning point where both realize their social class difference and how Ram is an employee in Sita’s factory. Again, a hegemonic discord is evident but that does not stop them from getting into the sacred institution of marriage. In fact, this is what forms the major crux behind the plot and how the married couple balance their relationship keeping this in mind is the ultimate challenge and whether their perspectives coalesce in the end!

Ram is a man of principles and is determined to fight against any form of injustice. For instance, he attends a congratulatory event celebrating his wife’s achievement of being appointed the new president of the Chamber of Commerce and ends up refuting a song sung titled: “Duniya daulatwalo ki” which translates to “The world belongs to the wealthy.” As a talented singer himself, he joins and sings “Duniya mehnatwalo ki” which translates to “The world belongs to the hard-working people” shocking Sita and all the guests.

Feeling embarrassed due to her husband’s abrupt action, she ends up heading straight to her house weeping. Eventually, both cannot bear the thought of living apart from each other and end up calling each other to reconcile.

Apparently, Sita is unable to balance both her professional and personal career since she tends to get emotional and biased toward Ram. When Ram requests for an increased salary, she agrees only for him and not for the rest of the workers. To this Ram vehemently objects as he believes in receiving equal treatment as the Union leader. Just like him, the rest of the workers are the breadwinners of their family and have multiple responsibilities. He even mentions how there are senior workers who deserve a promotion and not him. Alas, Sita remains adamant on her decision to not reward the workers with the promotion.

Dejected and left with no other resort, Ram decides to go on a worker’s strike to fight for everyone’s right to receive a long-awaited bonus. He ends up going on a brutal hunger strike further hurting Sita and his mother. Simultaneously, Sita ends up going on a hunger strike too since her love and devotion towards Ram is enormous.

Sita is faced with a dilemma between her Suhaag (husband)’s life and her Abhimaan (pride). Jaya Prada was known to portray the quintessential Indian Woman in most of her films as well as showcase her vivacious personality. Truly an example of versatility and passion at its finest!

Here is a link to one of their peppy songs: “Uttar Mein Dekhoon Toh Surat Teri, Dakshin Mein Dekhoon Toh Surat Teri” sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle.

Haisiyat is an eye-opening film because it teaches the audience to never harbor discriminating views regarding the relationship between the boss and workers. Workers are the glue that works diligently to keep the workplace together. This is something Jaya Prada’s character Sita kept on arguing and disagreeing upon. Ram (Jeetendra) demonstrated that the factory workers are not the enemies and will never think ill for their owner and workplace. While both Ram and Sita were engrossed in their debates on equality in the workplace, both have somehow forgotten to view each other as both husband and wife occasionally leading to several misunderstandings along the way. One instance was near the end of the film when Sita (Jaya Prada) exclaims to Ram (Jeetendra) that he could have tried to explain some things to her as a husband and not as Union Leader/Worker Ram.

All in all, this film is an incredible film to watch because you learn so many different things that will always be applicable as a working woman or a spouse. Even the soundtrack is amazing, and you can view these vibrant songs using this link!

Finally, the magnetic on-screen presence of both legendary actors is a result of their strong artistic caliber and organic chemistry. Both Jaya Prada and Jeetendra have remained close friends over the years and that explains why they have successfully entertained the diverse audience for many decades. Their impeccable dialogue delivery, their ability to spark life into any character they are given, and their rhythmic dance movements have all added to their long-lasting recognition.

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Erikka Chowdhury

A scientist who has an immense appreciation for the arts and enjoys creating innovative content designed to engage the audience from all spectrums of life. read more...

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