Between Vicky Donor and Piku, two vital aspects of my life have been neatly covered.
I am a Bong girl married to a Punjabi boy. (I use the word "girl" and 'boy' here quite loosely, considering I've completed 10 years of marriage). Everything you need to know about my wedding has been covered in the movie Vicky Donor, with a few exceptions - one, sperm donation did not figure in my life, and, two, my father is nothing like the film's Bengali dad who refuses to drink alcohol at the wedding. My father's drinking skills are legendary. He can down more pegs than a tribe of Punjabis sprinting through the mustard fields. Also, in my wedding we kind of skipped the part where the mama lifts the bride, not because I don't have a mama who could do the needful, but due to far weightier problems. As one of my friends said, to execute that move, both my mama and I would need to crunch weights at the gym on a regular basis.
I thought I'd seen it all, but yesterday I went to watch Piku, and another phase of my life got captured on screen.
"As a former resident of CR Park with elderly parents I know exactly how Piku feels as she juggles the household, work and a cantankerous father obsessed with his constipation."
As a former resident of CR Park with elderly parents I know exactly how Piku feels as she juggles the household, work and a cantankerous father obsessed with his constipation. Throw in a maid unjustly accused of pilfering Phenyl, and you have the whole picture. By the way, the maid pitches a valid point- why would she steal bottles of cleaning liquid when more valuable items like the laptop lie at hand?
I took my 78-year-old father along to see the movie, mainly to warn him never to become a miserable old bat like Bhaskor Bannerji. When I told my sister the purpose of taking him for the movie, she said, "But he's already annoying like that!"
We do not discuss bathroom habits in our household, but the scene where Piku's father sends her an unpalatable message in her office speaks to me, as does his "Huh?" when he's plugged in his hearing aid. My father doesn't have a hearing aid, and I often threaten to stick one in his ear, because with him, the "Huh?" goes on all day long.
As for the topics that should be discussed in private and not in the confines of a cushy office, here's what my mother called me to ask: "What is that treatment which women do when they can't conceive and then they have triplets like Farah Khan?"
Picture me standing in a field of cubicles and yelling into my phone, "Do you mean IVF?"
And she says, "Ah! That's the one!"
Apart from some other differences with Piku (my height clocks in at a miserable 5'5" compared to Padukone's towering 5'9"), one point struck a jarring note. Piku sounds like a nickname (or adaak-naam as we Bongs call it), and the character doesn't seem to have a "good name". My mother demanded to know: Ore kono bhalo naam nei? Doesn't she have a proper name outside the house?
I do have a pet name, but I'm damned if I'm going to reveal it here. Only my relatives and a few choice friends know this name, and they've been threatened with violent deaths if they ever disclose it.
On an unrelated note, am I the only woman who wished Piku's date with the handsome bearded dude would go on a bit longer?
Now I am waiting for a sequel to Vicky Donor, wherein the Bong wife and her Punjabi husband have kids and teach them to appreciate both rasgulla and pinni in the same breath.
Shoojit Sircar and Juhi Chaturvedi, are you listening?