In a typical college in a typical Indian city, the hostel boys Madan Sharma (Aamir Khan) and his friend are a rowdy lot. The teaching staff suffer from the common apathy of most teachers in... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ranjeet Prakash
Madan Sharma (as Aamir Hussain)
Rahul Ranade
Sanjeev Gandhi
Manoj Pandya
Amol Khanna
Professor Singh ( Special Appearance)
Principal Pandey
Chairman of college (as Dr. Shreeram Lagoo)
Professor Sehgal
Mohan Gokhale
Raju Barot
Deepak Kejriwal
Benjamin Gilani


In a typical college in a typical Indian city, the hostel boys Madan Sharma (Aamir Khan) and his friend are a rowdy lot. The teaching staff suffer from the common apathy of most teachers in similar colleges. The administration has the usual problems, with ill-paid employees periodically going on strike. On the whole, the college is a very normal place. But on this particular day, when Madan and his friends rise from their slumber, some with the customary hangover, they are not so perturbed to find no water in the taps again, as when they hear that it is not going to be a holiday after all. Instead there will be a lecture in the auditorium by the Chairman of the Board (Dr. Shriram Lagoo), on the day of the festival of fire, Holi, and the boys decide not to attend the classes. The hostel superintendent Professor Singh (Naseeruddin Shah), the only lecturer with some human links with the students, watches with apprehension their growing restlessness. A notice announcing a further ... Written by <>

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Plot Keywords:

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Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

8 April 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Festival of Fire  »

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Did You Know?


Pink Floyd's song "Is There Anybody Out There" is used in the film. It's in the beginning when one of the students plays it on a guitar. See more »

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User Reviews

One day in an Indian College
15 August 2013 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Events of this film occur in the span of one day, the day of Holi. One day in which we get to know the lives and thoughts of the characters and the many turns it takes due to the events which were in nobody's control that we fail to remember that it was the same day until we see Holi celebrations on the road. Filmmaker portrays the college life of 1980's India with a personal touch. A place which hadn't changed very considerably since then and retains screaming Graffiti on washroom walls, Che Guevara, guitar, booze, sex and that peculiar aimlessness and itch for meaning that we develop in these days. College for the students as they say is a factory where slaves are manufactured or a jail that imprisons youth or a mental hospital to brainwash people or a place about which they have no clue as to why it exists and what they are doing there. Also the business aspect of education, nepotism, social problems and prevailing air of hopelessness is still strong in Indian colleges. Some things I couldn't digest like students breaking into chorus singing, clapping and whistling, the kind of jokes they make and most importantly the one which pisses off two friends so much that they get ready to slice each other off. Worth mentioning is Nasser's performance as an influential teacher, wish I had one such. The film itself looked aimless for most of the part like its characters but the final moments which had a hopefully energizing arson, an impulsive and rather harsh punishment, a sad poem, a shocking and nauseating suicide, a revealing arrest and a touching final scene, saved it. In the last scene we are silent, in a way cut-off like the characters and in contrast to the festivities outside, the drums, the dance, the happiness and the colors. It is here I believe that we are totally connected to the students, their emptiness, tragedy and silence, even when we cannot clearly see their faces through the small caged police van windows.

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