Friday, March 06, 2009

Yes, I loved Delhi 6. So sue me!

I once bumped into Prasoon Joshi. This was long ago, when Vivek Oberoi was upcoming and attractive, when Urmila Matondkar was still sought after by Ram Gopal Verma, when I had just started my journalism career as an intern with Mid Day.

I was covering an anti-cigarette smoking event at the Taj Hotel. Being a newbie, I hadn't yet mastered the technique of elbowing through the throngs of cameramen and news-channel reporters that surrounded the stars. Instead, I dawdled at the sidelines with a politeness totally unworthy of a Pg3 intern and waited for my turn to arrive. Joshi was there standing beside me. At the time, he wasn't someone who mediapeople thrust their questions and microphones at. So we both whiled time looking at the circus in front of us.

In a bit, we introduced ourselves to each other and he inquired if I knew him or his work, a question which under normal circumstances implies that his work is something I should have been aware of. But, he hadn't asked high-handedly or in a full-of-himself way, so I easily admitted ignorance. Turned out, the unassuming thin man was behind the Thanda Matlab Coca Cola campaign. Impressive!, thought I.

But those days Pg3 was pickier about whom it quoted, which meant anyone who needed to disclose his name/qualification to be recognised was a no-no. Besides, Vivek Oberoi's face started becoming visible to the naked eye, so I had to excuse myself to go and get a quote from that beaming teen heart throb.

Yes, how things change.

Anyway, I recall this useless little episode everytime Joshi steps up the ladder, which as it happens, is a very regular occurence. I thought Rang De Basanti had fabulous dialogue, and turned out it was Joshi's debut handiwork. He's written quite a few songs I love [Shobha Mudgal's ab ke saawan and man ke manjeere]. And, even though the world seems to disagree, I believe Delhi 6 is another feather in his cap.

The characters in the movie are so Delhi - and their dialogues are so spot on. Where else do people rattle off the names of their shops when they introduce themselves? Where else do they spend hours in supernatural discussions?

Okay, okay, Delhiites don't give pravachans when surrounded by a mob, but c'mon, it's Bollywood fare which by law requires some fairy tale parts.

And really, the Kala Bandar is NOT overdone. I remember visiting my extended family in Dilli 6 during those days - and I can tell you that the discussion of the monkey's identity overtook recipe talk amongst the women. sigh, it was such a welcome change.


Anonymous said...

Haven't seen the movie. Should I? The music is wonderful, though. JD

Anonymous said...

I too believe that kal bandar was not overdone and was a good theme to weave the story around. I just wish that AB senior had not spoilt it.


Anuja byotra said...

JD, not sure about our compatibility when it comes to movies, but what the heck, have a look!

Priyanka - totally agree - don't understand why the Bachchans work on this buy-one-get-one-free package!

Gypsy Girl said...

Hey I'm not a delhitie and have been there exactly four times in my life. The hubby and i loved the movie. Most people i know, didn't. And yeah.. rehna tu is stuck in my head.. i loved the part that it was an ode to a city rather than just a love song. :)