Rahul Da Cunha: Yeh Life Hai Awesome, Bro

By  Rahul Da Cunha | Posted  11-Dec-2016

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

So I’m always a bit flummoxed with Hindi films that have English words in their title.

You see, I never know what kind of movie to expect. Who will the characters be, what will they do in their daily lives, how will they speak, what is the world they inhabit.

I mean, titles like Highway, Bodyguard, Houseful and Welcome, koi problem nahin — these are universal Hindi words.

(I mean Bodyguard can’t really be about a doctor, hai na bro?)

But, take the complex, Love You Hamesha… that’s when I get fully psyched, boss. Because, in life no one says a dialogue like that. Does any kid write to his mom from boarding school, “…Please mom, send lots of tuck, see you soon, love you hamesha.”

I’m told, I’m out of touch… this is supposedly cool lingo. Cool lingo…where I wonder, Lower Bhandup? Upper Vasant Vihar?

See, back in the seventies, it was simple, Hindi films had Hindi titles — Deewar, Kaalia, Sholay, Abhimaan.

No one tried to call their masterpieces, Amar Love or Kati Kite or Cut Patang.

Even parallel cinema kept its titles in the national bhasha. Saeed Mirzas Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyo Aata Hai? wasn’t Why Does Albert Pinto Feel Gussa.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m fully into Hinglish as a language. Like, I love saying “Hello dude, kya haal hai? Or Wassup dost?”

But, when I first encountered Jab We Met, I was maha blown. Mathlab, does anyone say, “Jab we met, it was pyaar at first sight”?

That’s why I respect Karan Johar so much — There’s no Kabhi Happy Kabhi Sad or Don’t Ever Say Alvida or This Dil is Mushkil. Though I believe a sequel for the latter, is being planned, titled — ‘Jab You Pay Rs 5 Crores For A
Pakistani Actor Jo Screen Pe Hai For 5 Minutes’.

Which brings me to one of last week’s releases — Dear Zindagi. I would have titled the film Zindagi Ka Suffer.

When Sallu Khan plays a wrestler, it’s an easy fit. But in this film, Shah Rukh Khan plays a psychiatrist, uhm… yes…a head doctor.

There’s an old Bollywood axiom. When a star wants to look wise and intense he/she puts on glasses. SRK promptly does this and then proceeds to do everything a real shrink would never do in the real world of manic depression:

1. Carries a clipboard (like nurses in hospitals).
2. Arrives late for appointment, sometimes never at all.
3. Talks more than his patients.
4. Every word he utters is accompanied by an identical hand gesture.
5. Never takes money from his patient.
6. Gives advice like, “Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. Once you put all the pieces together, you’ll be fine”.

Moving on, many movies will be launched in early 2017 with Hindi cum Angrezi titles.

Shoojit Sarkar’s sequel to Pink is titled What ya, they’re Pink!, about two bank robbers who find themselves with hundreds of Rs 2000 notes unable to get change.

Farhan Akhtar’s remake of Amar Akbar Anthony, called Anand Tahir Mascarenhas (ATM), about three long lost brothers who meet in front of a cash vending machine.

And, finally, a film about two terrorists in Kashmir, trying unsucessfully to counterfeit Indian notes, called Cashfree Ki Kali.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com