Why ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ Remains an Evergreen Favourite
10 years of the magic of Dibakar Banerjee’s ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’
(Celebrating 10 years of Khosla Ka Ghosla. The film released on 22 September 2006)
Some time ago in the November of 2008, I was sitting inside the Matunga office of Dibakar Banerjee coaxing him to take me as an assistant director in his next film LSD after the release of Oye Lucky Oye. He asked me why should he hire me? I told him I’m a big fan of Khosla Ka Ghosla and have seen it over a 100 times. (Okay I was exaggerating, just like Bunty aka Balwinder Khosla would. I actually don’t have a count of the number of times I’ve seen the movie) I want to make movies I told him and would love to learn from him. He smiled. I could never get the meaning of that smile until later in life when I stumbled upon the quote of William Goldman:
Nobody knows anything.
A stark reality of the movie business, its each man for himself. No human is going to teach you anything, time will and I have learnt my lessons by now.
Why Is Khosla Ka Ghosla So Special?
I come from a small town called Bareilly, which is an exact replica of Karol Bagh, Dehi in spirit. I have a father who is much like Kamal Kishore Khosla, a mother like Sudha and a brother like Chiraunji Lal Khosla. Only difference being that Chiraunji in my family is elder to me by 3 years. Sadly I don’t have an outspoken sister like Cherry and Bunty did but that was more than made up by the numerous cousins I have. We were the family which LOVED Rajma Chawal. Roohafza used to be the staple drink (I like to call it wine of the middle class) and we never really talked with each other about our feelings. We kept making fun of each other just like the Khoslas. And no the similarities don’t end here.
KKG was about a man trying to get his plot back from an evil Real Estate Shark who illegally took over it. We as a family went through hell to sell our house back in Bareilly in 2003. And trust me when I say this, selling your house at the right price in a small town is as tough as getting your own back from the Real Estate Shark. In fact the first screenplay I ever wrote is called In My Aangan (my tribute to KKG) about the same incident. I vividly remember coming out of cinemas after watching KKG and telling my brother ‘aisi picchar bana sakte hai yaar..kamaal ho gaya’.
Until this moment in my life, I was a closet storyteller but KKG gave me the courage to believe that I can also tell stories because it was by-far the first middle-class movie made after the golden era of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee came to a halt. And it took a Dilliwala Bengali to do revive the genre.
Aap Ke Saath Baithna Padega
I’m a doer like Bunty Khosla. I do first and think later. I have a friend named ‘Chiku’ who used to crib about his name. An estate agent back in Faridabad (my current hometown) is called Dr Manchanda and he gives me the Kishan Khurana feels whenever I see him. He also dresses as loud as Khurana and his favorite line is ‘aapke saath baithna padega’.
I have encountered many Vijenders from Wolrd Famous Properties through my life and trust me, they suck. We too had our friendly neighbor like Mr Sahani who would be there for us through thick and thin. Till date me and my father have never had a drink together, hell he does not even know that I’m an occasional drinker like Cherry probably was but he did not want to drink with his father. When the movie came out I was Bunty but now I’m Cherry.
Yaha Peshaab Karna Mana Hai!
The middle-class in this country is like the wall which has ‘yaha peshaab karna mana hai’ written on it. Everyone knows that we are sensitive yet they take us for a ride. The movie was 10 years back and till today any middle-class person shrinks from the thought of approaching the police, politicians and the establishment.
If I was to rewrite the film for today’s time I would probably write a sequence in which Cherry (a computer engineer) uses the social media to get back on Khurana. That move would probably backfire, as Khurana would use his power to win over that situation also. Other than that, it’s a classic screenplay. Untouchable.
If you show what Anupam Kher’s character went through after Khurana took over his plot to a citizen of any other country they’ll say it is a fantasy. Our reality is their fantasy.
Aap Party Hai Ya Broker?
The screenplay written by the maverick Jaideep Sahani is a David V/s Goliath turned on its head. Inspired by a true story the film has some great dialogues that have caught the fancy of the nation ever since the movie came out. My favorite is ‘Aap party hai ya broker?’
The film also had some inspired casting in it. Ranging from Anupam Kher to Late Navin Nishchol to Boman Irani to Tara Sharma.
Even Tara Sharma (ex-lyril ice girl #nostalgia #win) acted well in this albeit the only time. Another actor who was discovered thanks to this movie was Rajesh Sharma, who is now a regular in almost every second film made in the industry.
Impact of KKG on B-town
Underdog story. Had no love-story. No item number. Had a character actor in the lead role. All the no no’s for making a commercial Hindi film.
Legend goes that Dibakar Banerjee had a horrid time making the film and releasing it but yet when it came out it was a sleeper hit and the middle-class genre was reborn. In the year it released, the other big movies that came out were Rang De Basanti , Lage Raho Munnabhai and Omakara yet KKG won the National Award (the only award which is of some repute).
The fact that KKG was a film that no producer/exhibitor believed and yet it got critical acclaim and made money, had a huge impact on the mindset of people putting money in films, as this was a case where the film was completely the baby of the core creative team without any creative interference from Suits in the making of the film. Studios started trusting filmmakers with a story to tell . Most importantly the industry got a great unique voice in the form of Dibakar Banerjee and strengthened the position of Jaideep Sahni as prolific writer.
I did almost get the job of an assistant director on LSD, only to be rejected by the first AD of the movie who is now a celebrated director. I’m infact thankful to him for rejecting me, else I would have been just another assistant director wanting to make a movie while now I’m a somewhat known writer trying to write and direct movies. In My Aangan continues to be one of my favorite scripts and I’m hoping that some suit reads this and gives me a call to hear it because now they have a reference for the kind of movie it will turn out to be. A classic like Khosla Ka Ghosla ;) #orsoihope
(Navjot Gulati is the screenwriter of the soon to be released Running Shaadi.com.)
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