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To see Farhan's character in Toofan romance a woman half his age and using the sacrifice of her character to find his mojo and redeem himself is too much!
To see Farhan’s character in Toofan romance a woman half his age and using the sacrifice of her character to find his mojo and redeem himself is too much!
Dear Farhan Akhtar,
I for one am of the firm belief that the season of open letters is totally done! You see, no one really reads them (excepting the author suffering from a ‘profundity overloaded’!)
Yet here I am writing one.
You see, way back in palaeolithic times when you debuted with ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, you had this freshly minted graduate hooked. I followed your creations with a religious zeal, till a storm aka #Toofan came along.
I’m not going to waste words talking about this Bollywoodean Trope filled Slugfest. Too many have written too many words already.
But two nuggets stand out.
I want to start with the first nugget. You remember Sonali Kulkarni? She was one of the three heroines of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. Yes, the same lady with whom Saif Ali Khan walked into the sunset. In #Toofan she is the mother of your love interest. Of course, you never meet her in the flick because she is bumped off before she can grey. Two decades later you are still the lead serenading the lasses. Nitpicking? Ok, I give that to you!
The second nugget is mind-boggling, to say the least!
In which parallel universe does a qualified doctor with a killer smile settle for sorting the dreams of a wannabe boxer from the ghetto? That too after two meetings?
Ok, tempered by life, I might be cynical and oblivious to mechanisms of a chemical reaction called love. Love happens right? Doesn’t see class, caste, creed. That too I shall cede to you.
But to have the smart, educated lass who throws you out initially for your professional Bhaigiri then fall hook line and sinker for you, in the next scene, because you decide to lead a life of respect by punching across is difficult to stomach. Though the cheery doc doesn’t doubt her decision one bit for she has spotted a golden heart under that shiny shirt of yours!
Her life’s mantra now is to make you a champion and she calibrates her own dreams accordingly. Rather she has none.
The discussions you both have is all about YOU! We never know what drives her, what is her road map ahead. But we know the purpose of her character! To add sheen to you!
In reality, though, I hear the young ladies think differently. Having a personal goal/career is given. For them vibing with their partner is paramount and mutual respect for each other’s time and efforts is essential.
When did art imitate life, huh?
I speak as a selfish mom of PYT. To see a daughter, for whom I fought the world, give up on her goals, and make mentoring of her meandering mate her sole priority would be breaking. It would also reflect poorly on my parenting skills. I wouldn’t have raised her right then, would I?
Also, what if, Farhan, in your flick, the little miss sunshine were to be hospitalized with a few cracks here and there instead of dying? Wouldn’t that have been enough for you to get cracking? After each victorious bout of yours, she gets better miraculously – one crack healed per fight.
I’m bouncing ideas vainly here. Na, that wouldn’t be a Bollywood fare!.
The wastrel from bylanes, wasting away only to be redeemed by a PYT with enough cheerful syrup oozing through every single pore is bad enough.
To have this half his age damsel bumped off to bring out his inner MOJO and purpose in life is grating.
Sure it looks and feels aspirational but wouldn’t the reality bite?
waiting in eternal anticipation
Ek Dukyaari Ma
Anupama Jain is the author of:
* ’Kings Saviours & Scoundrels -Timeless Tales from Katha Sarita Sagara’, listed as one of the best books of 2022 by @Wordsopedia. Rooted in the traditional storytelling of Indian legends, warriors, read more...
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If her MIL had accepted her with some affection, wouldn't they have built a mutually happier relationship by now?
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