There’s a common saying about India.
You do not only come to discover India when you come visiting this country; you come to discover yourself.
In that regard, when you get married in India, it isn’t you alone who gets married. It may not be incorrect to state that an entire clan- involving immediate family members, cousins, relatives, friends and relatives- become an even closer part of your life. A realisation strikes you that, in the end, your life is about as much yours as it is ‘theirs.’
It’s a self-attributed right that your loved-ones begin to exploit, rather funnily and absurdly.
Specifically, when you happen to be a young couple, you undergo some strange challenges in your married life.
“When are you planning to have a child?”
This isn’t a question alone; it’s a direct breach of one’s private life; a query posed in the veil of ‘concern.’ Surely, it can make one whine endlessly. Not that a lot can be done to change people’s mindsets, one accepts the fate and allows the most mind-boggling questions to be raised.
Life moves on.
But while whiny young couples learn to take things in their stride, eventually, what happens when one poses questions at an adult’s sex life? For starters, is it even considered that adults in India too can have their ‘private lives?’
Does it even occur to the younger lot that there may be desires and feelings among adults that they may wish to explore and live, despite having peaked beyond years of blossoming youth?
Everyone focuses on the main focal point: the life of a young couple. That our elders, in fact, our own family members may still be carrying desires is neither considered normal nor attributed as a plausible reality of life.
Chances are, if you, at this point in time, went to an elder and asked him or her whether have they kissed anyone off late, you might return with either of your cheek swollen like a tomato.
You won’t dare do such a thing; for there’s no place for any of that in our society, isn’t it? Giving a fresh lease of life to a subject that is, at best, a non-existing issue for may in India, despite being a natural phenomenon Badhaai Ho is here.
Badhaai Ho attempts to spin humour and a ripple of mad-hat events around the story of a woman beyond 50 who gets pregnant, thus leaving the family in a state of shock and about what follows thereafter? Starring Neena Gupta, as you’ve never seen her before, playing the mother to one of Bollywood’s well-admired young dude- Ayushmann Khurrana- with Sanya Malhotra playing Khurrana’s love-interest, love interestto the film than just rib-tickling humour.
While the 11 million and counting hits (so far) on the film’s trailer may certainly envelop it into a bracket of being a must-watch, it clearly appears that a fresh storyline has been charged with a refreshing array of characters to cater to an audience that may not quiver with anger after all, as long as a sensitive subject is explored with madcap humour.
Even as the premise of the film is about a shockingly unexpected occurrence in a family, and how the members of that family deal with the ‘unexpected arrival,’ the film seems to raise a pertinent question, if not challenge the patriarchal view concerning the private life of an adult female. While surely, the arrival of a baby puts the family on the brink of ecstatic smiles and endless fun, Badhaai Ho, just reverses the roles, with a married mother to a son in labour!
Directed by Amit Sharma and written by Akshat Ghildial, it seems the age of humorous films posing questions at myopic beliefs and lesser debated aspects of us and our lives are here. The film releases October 18.