With Avengers: Endgame released this week, we have seen an ensemble of superheroes of the Marvel cinematic universe. all of the Marvel fans are by now aware of the Marvel cinematic universe and how the movies have crossed paths through all these 22 movies and 11 years. it has been an exhilarating journey right from the start of Ironman to the Avengers endgame with a very satisfying conclusion. 

Although few people would be aware of the Indian cinematic universe, that exists, where the characters from different Indian film have crossed paths or have been referenced in different context across different times and films within so many decades. Probably only a die-hard fan of Indian cinema would have noticed these connections. However, most of these are used only for comic effect in Indian films. Here is presenting some of the references to the different film within other films across Indian cinema. although I am not much aware of regional cinema so I have focused my article particularly for Hindi cinema.

  • Starting the list with the cult classic Andaz Apna Apna (1994) directed by Rajkumar Santoshi is a film that is filled with filmy references. Some of the prominent references are of the character named Johnny played by actor Mehmood who is having a film studio named Wah Wah productions. This is a reference to the 1966 film Pyar kiye Jaa where a younger Mahmood is an aspiring director and has started a film production company named “Wah Waah Production”.





In another scene, a character asks “aap logo ne Sholay dekhi hai?” (Have you guys seen Sholay?)  to which the character of Salman Khan replies: “haan 10 Baar!!” (Yes…10 times). The character of Aamir Khan ridicules him saying “haan iske baap ne likhi hai.” (Yes as if his father has written it).

This is a real-life reference to the actual father of Salman Khan, Mr. Salim Khan, who has actually scripted the film Sholay.

  • In Hum Aapke Hai Kaun (1994) where the character played by Salman Khan and Laxmikant Berde is protecting the groom’s shoes so that at the bride’s friends won’t steal it from them. To distract them one of the characters calls Salman’s character over a phone call. They say the call is from someone named Suman. Salman’s character says the following lines:
  • “Suman..Kon suman?? Maine pyaar kia Tha? kab?? Pichle Janam Mei??” (Suman?? Who?? I fell in love with her?? When? In my last birth!!)

This is the reference to Salman Khan’s previous film Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) where the lead characters name was Suman with whom Salman’s character Prem is in love. although both these films were produced by Rajshri production and directed by Sooraj Barjatiya.

  • In Priyadarshan’s movie Hungama (2003), two characters, who have an affair, have the names Anil and Madhuri. This was a clear reference to the hit pair of the 80s and 90s actors Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit.

  • In David Dhawan’s Deewana Mastana (1997), at one point where the characters played by Govinda and Anil Kapoor at peak of their confrontation, they say the following lines to each other:

“dekh rajababu, ek jhapad lagaunga seedha Coolie bann jayega coolie….

Mr. India, tezab phenk k Marunga na toh pakka loafer lagega” (look Raja Babu I will slap you so hurt that you will become a porter…..

Listen Mr. India I will throw acid on you do you will start looking like a goon)

These are references of films in which Govinda (Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995)) and  Anil Kapoor (Mr. India (1987), Tezaab (1988), Loafer (1996)) had a the lead role and had these names associated with their characters. Raja Babu, Coolie no. 1 and Loafer directed by David Dhawan, while Mr. India was directed by Shekhar Kapur and Tezaab by N. Chandra.

  • In David Dhawan film Jodi No. 1 (2001), the character of the aspiring film director played by Ashok Saraf, on seeing the characters of actors Govinda and Sanjay Dutt says: “Mai tum dono Ko leke film banaunga…2 qaidi” (I will make a film with you to as lead actors I will call it…2 Qaidi). This is a reference to a 1989 film  Do Qaidi which had Govinda and Sanjay Dutt as its lead actors.

  • In another David Dhawan film Hero No. 1 (1997), the character of Govinda comes to a house as a servant. Upon asking him why he left his last job from Subhash Ghai’s house he says “kya batau Trimurti release hui Sara gussa mujh par nikal Diya!” (don’t know but after the release of Trimurti he showed all the anger on me).

This was the reference for the 1995 film Trimurti which was produced by Subhash Ghai and was his first big flop at the box office.

  • In Kunal Kohli’s movie Hum Tum (2004), the character played by actor Rishi Kapoor meets the character played by actor Kirron Kher for the first time, where she says:

“Mera naam Parminder Parkas hai…par sab log mujhe pyaar see Bobby bolte Hai….it is my pet name. To which he comments….BOBBY, Mei aapko DIMPLE na bulau” (my name is Parminder Prakas. But my pet name is Bobby. To which he replies: Bobby!! I would better call you Dimple)







This is a reference to Rishi Kapoor first film Bobby (1973) directed by Raj Kapoor in which his heroine was actor Dimple Kapadia and her name in the film was Bobby.

  • In Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Na (2004) there are two references to earlier classic films. The first reference is the name of the character played by actor Naseeruddin Shah. The name of the character is Shekhar Sharma. This is a direct reference to Shekhar Kapoor first film Masoom (1983), where the lead actor was also played by Naseeruddin Shah and his name was Shekhar Sharma. There also he had a son born of an affair outside marriage. In Main Hoon Na as well he has a son born outside marriage played by the actor Shahrukh Khan.





The second reference Main Hoon Na is the name of the characters Ram Prasad Sharma and Laxman Prasad Sharma. This is a direct reference to Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s classic film Golmaal (1979) where the character played by actor Amol Palekar played double roles in the film and had the names Ram Prasad Sharma and Laxman Prasad Sharma.

  • In the end scene of Abhishek Dogra’s Dolly Ki Doli (2015) the character played by actor Sonam Kapoor asks why are we not going to Mumbai?? In Mumbai lives India’s most eligible bachelor….Salman Khan (showing his picture). One character says “Salman Bhai (Salman brother)”, to which Sonam replies “Bhai hoga tera….ye to Mera PREM RATAN  Hai” (he would be your brother’s…mine is my heartthrob”. Then her next was Sooraj Barjatiya’s Prem Ratan Dhan PayPal (2015) with actor Salman Khan. Also, Dolly ki doli was produced by Arbaaz Khan, brother of Salman Khan.
  • Farah Khan’s 2007 film Om Shanti Om is filled with cinematic references from across different classic films. The story of this film is set around the shooting of Subhash Ghai’s Karz (1980), that means around 1978-79. In one of the scene the lead character played by Shahrukh Khan utters the following lines:

“Dosti ka ek usool hai madam no sorry no thank you” (friendship has its rules….no sorry no thank you).

On which the other character inquires, “yeh koi film ka dialogue hai?” (This is a dialogue from a film?). To which the character of Shahrukh Khan replies “abhi tak to nahin….kyunki Om Apne dialogue khud likhta hai.” (Not yet!! as Om writes his own dialogues).

After this we see a young boy copying these dialogues in his notebook. He is wearing a “Friend” cap (wore by the lead character in his movie Maine Pyaar Kia) and is summoned by his father that what are you doing here our set is on that side. This young boy is none other than Sooraj Barjatiya, the director of Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) who is seen copying the dialogues which were then used as a key dialogue between the characters of Maine pyar Kiya.

  • In 2004 movie Run, directed by Jeeva, the character of Vijay Raaz after being thrown into a gutter goes to a lady to clean himself. He is fully covered with mud. Attach the line: “Nayak film ka Anil Kapoor Bana diya hai!” (They have made me like Anil Kapoor from movie Nayak). This was a reference to a scene from the 2001 film Nayak: the real Hero, directed by Shankar, where the character of Anil Kapoor is beaten up by the goons in a mud pool.

  • In Shankar film Shivaji: the Boss (2007) in a very small scene we see the lead character of Rajnikanth getting off of a bus, to which he is uncle says: “Bilkul conductor k style mei utarte ho Shiivaji!” (you get off just like a bus conductor). This is a reference to the job which Rajnikant had before becoming an actor. Rajinikanth used to be a bus conductor.

  • In Nikhil Advani’s Chandni Chowk to China (2009), the character of actor Akshay Kumar, after hearing the song “churake Dil Mera…..goriya chali” says to Ranvir Shorey “Guruji….Ye gaane ka master toh Mai hu” (heyy I am the master of the song). This song is from Akshay Kumar’s earlier film Mai Khiladi Tu Anari (1994).

  • In one scene of Rajkumar Hirani’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006) the character of Circuit takes Munna to a library to read about Mahatma Gandhi. Munna is reluctant to enter the library and asks if there is some other way. Since Munna had decided to read about Mahatma Gandhi based on his affection towards a radio jockey who talks about Mahatma Gandhi only because of her grandfather and his friends, circuits suggest changing the radio jockey to another radio jockey on another radio station named Anupama Chopra. Circuit adds that she is a fan of Shahrukh Khan and thus ‘concludes’ that her grandfather and his friends would definitely be fans of yesteryears actor Dilip Kumar. That would be an easy one!!

This is a reference to the wife of the producer of the film Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Anupama Chopra and is a big fan of actor Shahrukh Khan.

  • In one of the scenes of Gautham Menon’s Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein (2001), the character of actor R Madhavan refers to the character of Diya Mirza that: “Bhav na do to bilkul maniben….aur bhav dete Hai ban jaati Hai Miss India Asia Pacific” (if we don’t give importance to then they are very petite, the moment we start giving importance they start behaving as if Miss India Asia Pacific”). this is a reference to the achievement of the actor Diya Mirza who has won the Miss India Asia Pacific title in the year 2000.

-Bhushan Kankal

(These are some of the references about Indian cinematic universe. I would like to thank my younger brother Nishant Kankal for helping me out in the compilation of these scenes. Hope you have found it entertaining and useful. Please let me know if you have any other such connections which I have missed.)



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