Juhi Chaturvedi, writer of Gulabo Sitabo : Mirza is an amalgam of our society as a whole

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Written by Priyanka Sharma
| Mumbai |

Updated the 14/06/2020 at 08:47:19





Gulabo Sitabo of Juhi Chaturvedi is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. (Photo Express by Amit Chakravarty)
Juhi Chaturvedi, who wrote the story, screenplay and dialogues of Amitabh Bachchan-Ayushmann Khurrana starr Gulabo Sitabo, speaking of the origins of Gulabo Sitabo, his fascination for the house and the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb that she paid an ode to the scene Shoojit Sircar.

That happened first ? Mirza, Baanke or Lucknow ?

The beginning is, of course, Mirza. The absolute, ultimate twisted Mirza. Why the character is it like that ? Where is he ? Can it be elsewhere ? These are the secondary issues.

You are in Lucknow. You understand his world on a personal level. Have you met people like Mirza in your time there that he may have become the amalgamation of all?

Mirza is not only an amalgamation of people I’ve met in Lucknow. It is an amalgam of our society as a whole. This is not a single man. Mirza represents a certain characteristic type, a characteristic of our society irrespective of the strata. These people will be anywhere. When you see the film, you’ll know what I mean. The thought behind the film, the satire is a space much more large. Yes, it takes place in Lucknow, in his galli mohala and chowk because the story must be set somewhere, and it felt more genuine here.

But Mirza is not a single man. It is a very large part of the people that we have met at a given moment of our lives. Baankey and all of the world. I would like to be able to tell you everything. But remember the point that the film tries to do. Mirza and Baankey are only a few characters here, but the node is greater than this.

You said in an interview that Gulabo Sitabo is your writing, the more natural this day. Why is this is it ? Because of the familiarity with his world, or is there something more to it?

When I say natural, I mean we’ve all met this kind of people in various forms throughout our life. You will encounter a variety of people who make you think: “rey, what kind of man is he? Forget-me. When you watch the film, you’ll know what I’m saying.

And this is natural also because, as you have rightly said, this environment is in me. I’ve interacted with her at a level very different.

The idea of paying tribute to the art of the puppet glove Gulabo Sitabo of Uttar Pradesh with the title is there since the beginning ?

The title of the film at the beginning was very different. This was not it. It was more towards the whole essence of the film. Usually, I do it. For me, the whole film needs to have a title to point to it and in no time, I vacillate. There was, therefore, a working title, but when Shoojit went through the folk songs, the videos, and I showed him the language of Lucknow, then I showed him this (Gulabo Sitabo art of puppets).

Since I grew up with it, I have not taken the trouble to talk about it because you just know. As a foreigner, I could show interest for something and discover it, and that is exactly what happened with Shoojit. He found it so hilarious, and he couldn’t stop laughing. He discovered that it was an art to dying. For me, it was like, ” Ghar ke saamne gali, mohalle mei katputli wale nikalte hain Gulabo Sitabo ka gaana gaate hue.

When something is so natural to me, it intrigues me not. The puppets gulabo Sitabo were the two wives of a man who is acting up still. These two could be anyone, sisters, friends. Then, Shoojit we suggested to keep this title, and I said to myself: “Are you serious???

When a man writes the world of a man against a woman who does the same thing, I believe that things are changing. How do you see the creation of the world of Mirza and Baankey ?

While I was writing, of course, I did not say : “Oh, I’m a woman who writes about men. “I write about my expectations of a man, my observations on a man and my feelings of being disappointed by a man. I write according to my understanding of this species, which is very difficult to understand. I don’t think I observe as a woman. I write from my spirit. The spirit observes. I can’t see across the genre. Gulabo Sitabo is written by a woman, but it is led by a man and played by two men. Therefore, they must be agree with me!

The science says that men and women have the same spirit. Of course, this comes into play later, it is the packaging. So, I think that what separates one person from another, it is the spirit, not the sex.

Is it easy to separate the genre of what you are creating?

I believe that this is the ac I think that that creates is not a man or a woman. It is the spirit, the spirit of a person exquisitely sensitive. I’ll give you the example of Paatal Lok. Hathoda Tyagi decides not to kill Sanjeev Mehra when he realizes that he is a dog lover. Now that the thought came from the mind of a man (Sudip Sharma). Or Masaan, which has been directed by Neeraj Ghaywan. Do you think that a woman would not have shown this scene where Devi (Richa Chadha) goes to the hotel to meet her boyfriend, thinking: “Oh I’m a woman, I can not show a woman in such a scene? Therefore, I do not think this to be like that. Zoya Akhtar has written the Gully Boy and Luck By Chance, but can you tell that a woman wrote it?

The current climate makes it impossible not to notice that your two characters that still fight with one another are of different faiths.

I know that there is a reality that our country sees today. There are things happening and that is the truth. But what is also true is that there are a lot of pockets in the same country, where you do not know when the hindi ends and the urdu begins. It is called Ganga-Jamuni. I have lived this reality which is very different from what happens today. Where Kathak, a form of dance courtesan becomes in the framework of the celebration of the love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Where ghazal ends and thumri begins.

Of course, there’s the packaging. Different things are taught to people at home. To lead a company, we have created these situations, these amenities as ” Hum comfortable hain, aur who comfortable hain “. But I experienced something else.

Was it a conscious decision to have the religion of Baankey different?

no. It didn’t come at the time that it was a faith separate, because it is so natural for me. It is in me. This is the world in which I lived.

Even if subtly, do you have a comment on how the two religions can co-exist, they may bicker, but share the same roof?

If this is your takeaway from the movie, I will be more than happy. But as I said Mirza and Baankey are only characters. The ethos of the film is bigger.

Read also ~ Gulabo Sitabo review: A dramedy middling

To Piku, that was the ancestral home of Kolkata with which Bhashkor did not want to separate. Here, it is Fatima Mahal that Mirza can’t let go. What is it with you and the love for the house ?

Also, if you remember, in Vicky Donor, Vicky leaves her house after marriage and will stay with Ashima, which was his status before getting married. And it is extremely uncomfortable. And then his Biji tells him wonderfully that they can take care of themselves. In October, we did not have the intention of show much, but Dan’s sharing his space with strangers, and he has to make adjustments and going through changes. Therefore, the house is valuable for me.

Especially in the time COVID current, the home is our refuge! (laughter) You would not like to be elsewhere. In this sense, Gulabo Sitabo is quite timely!

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