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Bollywood Intelligence: Learning listening skills from movies Sholay and Munnabhai MBBS

By   /  August 21, 2016  /  Comments Off on Bollywood Intelligence: Learning listening skills from movies Sholay and Munnabhai MBBS

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By Prashant Sawant, Mumbai:  A manager should possess a host of skills to speed up and execute business goals of the organization. Listening skills are a one of the important skills sets that must be possessed by the leaders or managers.  God has given us two ears  and one mouth, hence we should follow the same pattern of listening double and talking half. Most of the time, people get into sticky situation by the pearls of wisdom they spew from their mouth.

Let’s learn listening skills from the two bollywood movies Sholay and  Munnabhai MBBS, which reflect the same thing how active listening enhances personality and complement leadership qualities.   In the Sholay movie, the blockbuster of all times, Amitabh Bachchan’s character “Jai” was the classic lesson on “listening skills”.  In the movie  Munnabhai MBBS, a scene why Arshad Warsi and his goons kidnapped a Doctor and his father and forced the Doctor to appear for medical entrance test on behalf of Sanjay Dutt (Munna Bhai).

In Sholay movie, Jai  (Amitabh Bachchan) is always listening not just “hearing”  and is always shown as a person who is not only listening to what is said but who is always trying to listen to what isn’t said. Ordinary guys hear or at best listen, to what is being said. But a hallmark of a true professional is, he listens to the unsaid also.

In a particular scene at the movie “ Sholay “ , Sanjeev Kumar’s character “Thakur”, offers lot of money for the capture of Gabbar. On Dharmendra’s query of what will happen to the prize money by police, Thakur offers that prize money also, to Jai-Veeru.

Jai senses some trouble and instead of becoming happy and jumping to the decision of accepting the offer of nabbing Gabbar, asks a very pertinent question.“ Aap kin azar mein hum bhi toh chor badmash hai, phir aapne iss kaam ke liye hamehe quo chuna ? “ (In your eyes, even we are crooks , then why have you chosen us for this assignment ?). Hats off to the character development process of salim-Javed.

In the movie ” Munnabhai MMBS”, very well directed by Raju Hirani, in one of the scenes where Sanjay Dutt along with Arshad Warsi and few goons, go to the medical college to take admission for Sanjay’s medical degree dream.

They are told by one young parsi doctor that one has to get good percentage in XIIth exam and also one needs to clear the medical entrance test to get admission in medical college.

Arshad asks him , ” Tumne yeh exam diya tha?”

The doctor ideally should have said “YES” only , but the motor mouth adds saying ” meine toh isme top kiya tha”.

This extra pearl of information puts the Dr in trouble as the goons kidnap his father and ask him to appear for medical entrance test on behalf of Sanjay Dutt.

Hence talk less. Talk only when you can better the silence. This is known as listening skills. Every successful manager and leader must possess listening skills, which will help them to solve many complex business decision.

Listening is different from hearing. In hearing, your ears come to know about the words uttered but in “Listening” your soul comes to know about the meaning of the words uttered. The best way of giving respect to someone is to “Listen”. Most people think that the definition of “Listening ” is ” waiting for my turn to talk “.

Amitabh Bachchan had once said that you don’t need to worry about acting . If you focus and listen to what the other character is saying , your subconscious mind will control your body in such a responsive way that audience will clap for good acting. When people fight they say he doesn’t listen to me.


About the Author:  Mr. Prashant Sawant is heading  Global Training Group (GTG) training and consulting firm based in Navi Mumbai. He has in-depth experience in corporate business management in India’s leading companies  Godrej, Motorola, MetLife and many more.  His literature masterpiece, a book titled “Business lessons from Bollywood” has been a best seller which talks about business learnings from Bollywood masterpieces.


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