9 YearsNine years ago, on this day, when actors Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham portrayed the role of a pretentious gay couple on-screen in Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana, the audience was up for a pleasant surprise. The film touted to be the first of its kind in Bollywood, showed two men pretending to be gay to share an apartment with a girl (a character played by Priyanka Chopra) and both end up falling for her. Though it’s been nine years since the movie released, the song Maa Da Laadla Bigad Gaya — with its hook step — still remains a favourite among fans. Actor Kirron Kher, who played the role of Abhishek Bachchan’s mother in the film, goes down memory lane and recalls how much fun it was to shoot for the film in Miami and Mumbai.
“Since I knew Priyanka, John and Abhishek, it was like working within the family. Though I don’t think it was the first time a film showed gay people, the beauty of it was the mother’s acceptance of it. And that, I think, was new in Indian cinema and it made the film so interesting,” says Kirron, adding that it wasn’t a “serious film” on homosexuality rather a “comic take” on the subject.
Though Kirron admits she doesn’t have any vivid memories of the time when they shot for the film, she particularly remembers her dialogue where she blesses her son (Abhishek) and gives her kangan to John. “The funniest part was when I said my dialogue ‘jeete raho… phoolo phalo’, Tarun, our director, suddenly came to me and said ‘khair chhodo, yeh to ho nahi sakta’ (anyway, it can’t happen, so, leave it). So, that ‘Khair chhodo’ was something that wasn’t in the script and was added pronto. And it literally brought the house down in the theatre and even on set when we shot the scene.”
In 2012, reports did rounds that makers were planning a sequel to the film with additional cast members. On this, an excited Kirron says, “Yes, Tarun had come to be with the script and they had written a couple of versions of the sequel, but apparently, were not satisfied with it. I read it and heard the narration too and it was quite interesting but I don’t know what happened after that, as it didn’t materialise.”
Divulging a bit more on the sequel that didn’t eventually take place, Kirron reveals, “In the sequel, my character goes on to join politics and is running something of her own and had turned into a gay rights activist. So, it was quite interesting that way. Let’s see if that happens in future, as nothing has come up in all these years, so I can’t say.”