So I've made a film called 'Lagaan 2'. The story is this — some boys are playing a tennis ball cricket match on the Indian side of the Line of Control. (The actual LoC is marked as the boundary). Obviously, in the course of this tense encounter, a player hits a six. As one of the reserves pops over to the other side to gather the ball, he is kidnapped by terrorists.
The ransom terms — a match will be played between an Under 19 Indian team and an Under 19 Pak team made up of members the PTL — the Pakistan Terrorist League — comprising teams like the Hizbul Heroes and the Lashkar-e-Troubadours.
If India wins, the boy comes back safe. If the other side wins, well let me not spoil the 'kahaani mein' twist.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the film is ready for release, but suddenly there's a mob outside my door accusing me of being anti-national.
Accuser 1 : India and Pakistan don't play cricket against each other, why have you broken the rules?
Me : I haven't, the film was made in 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sending peace buses to Lahore. I couldn't find a distributor all these years, now I have.
Accuser 2 : We don't care, you have to change the cricket match to a kabaddi game.
Me : But that'll mean re-shooting the entire film. I might as well then call the film 'Hu Tu Tu 2'
Accuser 3: You have to pay Rs 1508 crore to the Army Fund for this!
Me : The army has flatly refused any extortion money!
Accuser 4 : Okay, forget the army, you can donate to the navy, they need to buy a second INS Arihant
Me : But '1508 crore is the Gross Domestic Product of Uttarkhand, Tripura, Meghalaya and Estonia combined. How will I raise the money?
Accuser 1: Mukesh Ambani is wealthier than all these places put together, ask him. Anyway, enough talk, please cough up the money
Me : Okay, I'd like a bill please, I need a breakdown to show my Chartered Accountant in March.
Accuser 3 : Fair enough, so it's Rs 10 crore per player, equalling Rs 110 crore.
Me : Arrey, for Fawad Khan, Karanji paid '5 crore, why are you doubling the amount, that, too, for non-stars?
Accuser 1 : Kashmir rate is different from Maharashtra.
Accuser 5 : Plus coach, assistant coach, umpires, third umpires, DRS umpires, (now that India accepts it), the stadium full of people – totals Rs 1,000 crore.
Me : Okay what's the additional Rs 508 crore for?
Accuser 4: You have shown a poster of Imran Khan in one shot
Me : Rs 500 crores for a poster?
Accuser 3 : No, Rs 8 crore for the poster. Rs 500 for Sania Mirza who makes a guest appearance
Me : But, Sania is Indian!
Accuser : But she's married to a Pakistani. You show Indian star married to Pakistani cricketer, rate five times more.
Dear reader, I've met all the terms and conditions — the film opens Diwali day. The name of my magnum opus is now 'Ae Film Banaana Hai Mushkil'.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com
The views expressed in these columns are the individual's and don't represent those of the paper.
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