Friday, April 12, 2013

Cast in the same mould

Sayesha Smitten Showbiz Kitten has landed yet another internship, this time with the Bhatts. One might wonder why someone who is the ahem, star reporter of the Akh-bar needs to do internships. Let's just say that the Akh-bar, just like the drinks at the bar where it is distributed, is on the house and SSSK has bills to pay. So she makes her way to her first day of work. It's the banquet hall of a fancy hotel. There is a sign outside that says 'Aashiqui 2 casting'. She is excited at the prospect. Not that she was a fan of Aashiqui the original, but going by her previous experience, casting is always fun.

There is a bouncer at the door. Why, she doesn't know, but he eyes her with suspicion. He is large of frame and SSSK is chicken of heart.

"Yes?" He says.

"Err.. I'm a reporter."

He puts a large hand in front of her.

"No media allowed."

SSSK is at first flattered that someone actually referred to her as media, but she quickly recovers. "No, I mean, I am not a reporter today. I'm here... on an assignment..."

"You're not a reporter but you're here on an assignment?"

"I mean... errr, I am not here in the capacity of a reporter. I'm here to moonwalk for Bhatt Sir."

"Moonwalk? Moonwalk for Bhatt sir?" He glares coldly.

"Yes."

"Do you mean moonlight?"

"Oh! Right! Moonlight. Not moonwalk. Definitely not moonwalk. No moonwalking for Mahesh Bhatt." SSSK is red in the face.

He checks her pass and lets her in. She breathes in relief and looks around. The hall has been neatly partitioned and labelled. The casting team is near the big stage. At the two far corners of the hall are two sections -- one to cast the male lead and the other for the female lead. SSSK proceeds to find Mahesh Bhatt and pass on her salutations. He couldn't bother less. In fact, he does not remember who she is. He asks her to sit down and take notes. She beams. She loves taking notes. Especially when perched on trees, but no tree is to be seen in the vicinity. She perches on its closest relative, a wooden chair.

Suddenly there is a commotion at the entrance. A rather nasal shout is heard. Everyone looks up. It is Kumar Sanu! What is he doing here?

"Where is Mahesh Bhatt??" He pushes his way in. The bouncer has been rendered helpless by the high frequency of the voice. He staggers back. Kumar Sanu walks in.

Mahesh Bhatt looks up. "Yes, who are you?"

"Who am I?? I am Kumar Sanu. I am the one who made your first Aashiqui what it was. And now I hear you're getting some unheard-of singers for the sequel??"

Mahesh Bhatt buries his head in his hands. "How many times do I have to tell people??? THIS IS NOT A SEQUEL!"

"Whatever. I demand to be the lead singer. How can there be an Aashiqui without Kumar Sanu??"

Suddenly there is another commotion at the entrance. A more nasal shout is heard. It is none other than Himesh Reshammiya! The bouncer is now on the floor, cupping his ears and writhing in pain. Himesh walks in.

"Mahesh Bhai! Kya Mahesh Bhai! Main auto mein Kumar Sanu ka peechha karte karte yahan aaya aur pata chala ki Aashiqui 2 ban rahi hai?"

"Ban rahi hai but I'll be singing the songs, okay?" Kumar Sanu says.

"Kya Mahesh Bhai! Aap isko le rahe ho?? Contemporary movie hai, contemporary voice chahiye. But still keeping the nasal touch, hai na?" Himesh grins proudly.

"Himeshbhai, please. Koi aur director nahin mila?? Mere hi peechhe kyun padey ho yaar???" Mahesh Bhatt asks.

"Because", Himesh starts singing loudly, "Aashiqui banayaaaa, Aashiqui banayaaaa, Aashiqui banayaaaa aapne!" He concludes his "song", looking very pleased with himself. Mahesh Bhatt is not amused.

"Hello! Listen, the movie's album is done. I know you're probably deaf from rehearsing that... that thing that you just sang, but if you try hard, you can already hear the soundtrack of Aashiqui 2 in the background. And it is perfect. You heard that? PERFECT. I am not changing anything about the album."

Himesh is crestfallen. He sinks into a chair next to SSSK and keenly listens to the songs.

"Solid album hai sala. Sahi bola, perfect. Koi flaw, koi weakness hai is album mein? Main kis muh se bolun ki mujhse gawao?"

"Muh se??? You mean naak se?" SSSK asks cheekily.

Himesh glares.

"Sorry sorry. You were asking about flaws in the songs. Hai na flaws, Himeshbhai. Ek bataaun?" SSSK quips.

"What?? Tell me!"

"Inconsistency hai. Banda pehle gata hai 'Hum tere bin ab reh nahin sakte', phir kehta hai 'tere bina kya wajood mera'?? Go ahead, point it out to Mahesh Bhatt. Maybe he will redo the song with you?"

"Oh wow. I will. At once. But... why are you helping me? Aren't you Mahesh Bhatt's assistant?"

"I am," says SSSK with a wink, "but I'm also Narad muni's assistant on the side. Heh heh!"

Himesh confronts Mahesh with the aforementioned information. Mahesh Bhatt looks around helplessly.

SSSK springs into action. And dialogue. "But Himeshbhai... your most famous song 'Aashiq banaya aapne' also had 'Tere bin raat katti nahin hai'!"

Mahesh Bhatt looks at her approvingly.

Himesh glares at SSSK.

"Told you I'm Narad Muni's assistant too." SSSK leans over and whispers with a shrug.

"Mahesh bhai, please. You know that song 'Sun raha hai na tu, ro raha hoon main'? It sounds so like me. Please let me sing it? I promise my rendition of 'ro raha hoon main' audience ko bhi rula degi." Himesh is not giving up.

"I am sure. I am sure. Mujhe toh abhi se rona aa raha hai yeh baat sunkar." Mahesh sighs.

"Please please Mahesh bhai, let me do an unplugged version of the song?"

"Unplugged? Ha! The only thing I want unplugged right now is YOU. Unplug yourself off my couch with immediate effect!"

Meanwhile, Kumar Sanu is getting irritated at all this undue attention towards Himesh.

"Suna nahin Mahesh Bhai ne kya bola? Get out of here, you nosey-parker!" He says.

"Look who's talking!" laughs Himesh.

"Both of you get out of here, I don't want any nasal voices going ooooon-aaaannnn in my Aashiqui 2!" Mahesh Bhatt is losing it now.

Hearing that, suddenly Kumar Sanu and Himesh are united like long-lost brothers.

"Nasal kisko bola re? Ooooon-aaaannnn kisko bola re?" Himesh says.

"That's right! Don't naak it till you have tried it!" says Kumar Sanu. The khatar-naak duo high-five each other and guffaw helplessly.

Mahesh Bhatt looks at SSSK helplessly. "Get these two jokers out. I can't stand their naak-naak jokes anymore."

SSSK turns to both and says, "Hey! You two, naak it off." She bursts into peals of laughter.

Mahesh Bhatt glares at SSSK.

"Sorry sir, but ek last wala toh banta tha na?" SSSK says, turning red.

The bouncer is finally up and about. He has borrowed ear defenders from the construction workers outside. He drags Kumar Sanu and Himesh away.

"Finally we can get to work." Says Mahesh Bhatt. "You, intern, go walk around and see what kind of actors are here for the audition."

SSSK hops down from her chair and walks around with her notebook and pencil.

The section for the girls is teeming with actress-wannabes. As SSSK starts counting them, she spots Shakti Kapoor walk in with his daughter Shraddha. Shraddha looks at the sea of faces, many of them prettier than hers, and has a panic attack.

"Papa, let's go back. I can't do this."

"Relax, beta. You will do fine. Mogambo ki grand-niece hai, role toh lekar jaayegi. Now go and fix your hair and make-up. I'll wait here."

Shraddha is off to powder her nose.

Shakti Kapoor advances towards the group of waiting girls.

"Auuuuu!!! So many of you... Audition mein maza aane wala hai..." He bellows loudly. A few of them look up and gasp in horror at the thought of being auditioned by him.

Shakti Kapoor claps his hands and says, "Okay girls, let's get started. I'm going to be sitting on this chair here. All of you queue up and say to me one by one, 'Ballll-mah!' With feeling, okay?"

Shrill shrieks invade the room as all the girls run helter skelter. SSSK also runs back towards the stage. Mahesh Bhatt looks up. He is surprised to see that not a single girl is present for the audition. Then the restroom door opens and Shraddha Kapoor walks in, looking confused.

"Ek hi hai, sir." SSSK says, panting.

Mahesh Bhatt shakes his head.

"Tsk tsk! I knew this could happen. After watching Sunny Leone in Jism, no one wants to do a debut with us anymore. Sigh. Theek hai, yeh jo bhi hai, isko sign kar lo."

"Okay, sir."

"Ladkon ka kya haal hai? Any good ones?"

Sayesha looks at the sea of boys and starts counting.

"Sir, there are 187 boys here today. 186 of them have long rebonded hair, with a very silky lock falling over one eye."

Mahesh Bhatt does a facepalm. "Sheesh. Why do they think we will cast a Rahul Roy look-alike??"

"Sir, this is Aashiqui 2. Obviously, it is expected to follow up on the original, isn't it? Leap and all that. Hai na?"

"Leap??? LEAP?? Mujhe Ekta Kapoor samjha hai??"

"Oh, sorry. Is it a remake then??"

"Remake?? Mujhe Sajid Khan samjha hai??"

"Sir, why is it called Aashiqui 2, sir? Sequel hai na?"

"SIGH. Was Jism 2 the sequel of Jism 1? Was Murder 2 the sequel of Murder 1???"

"Hmmm... point taken. But sir, what is with these numbers? Why Jism 1/2, Murder 1/2/3, Zeher 1/2...? Why not totally fresh titles??"

"Tum nahin samjhogi. All this is just in the interim. I am about to start on my masterpiece soon. It will not have any 1, 2, 3. It will be the grandest project of my life, with the biggest superstar and the freshest title, my biggest blockbuster, the ultimate Bhatt Productions' movie..."

Mahesh Bhatt zones out, staring blankly into space.

"Sir? Sir!"

"Huh? Haan haan... I'm here. Achha this 187th chap, what's he like? I mean what's his hair like?"

"Afro hai, sir."

"Afro hai???"

"Yes, sir."

"Very good! As different from straight silky hair as... err... an Afro. Any other details about him?"

"Sir, main abhi baat karke aaya hoon. SRK ka bhai hai, sir." One of the other assistants says.

"WHAT?!!" Mahesh Bhatt is stunned.

"Sir, I think he's lying. SRK does not have a brother." SSSK says, outraged.

"Arre you don't know, all these Khans have brothers. Aamir ka bhi hai aur Salman ka bhi. SRK must also have one then." says the assistant.

"Naam kya hai is ladke ka?" Mahesh Bhatt asks.

"Koi Kapoor hai, sir." The assistant says.

"Kapoor??! Ha! I knew it. How can SRK's brother be a Kapoor???" SSSK says indignantly.

"Arre, actors change names all the time. Akshay Kumar is actually Rajeev Bhatia. Mallika Sherawat is Reema Lamba. Kapoor is trending right now, isne bhi naam change kar liya hoga. Ya ho sakta hai koi cousin hoga SRK ka?"

"Sir, don't be hasty. Let me find out more..." SSSK says.

"Nothing doing. He does not have Rahul Roy type of hair, and he's related to SRK. Aur kya chahiye? Finally my dream project will be launched. With SRK on board." Mahesh Bhatt starts zoning again.

"You want to do a film with SRK?" SSSK asks.

"Since forever! But he has no time for me. Well, now he will. Because I will make a star out of his kid brother. He will have to repay me by playing the lead in my mega venture."

"The mega venture you mentioned earlier?" SSSK asks.

"Yes. This movie will be an amalgamation of everything Bhatt Productions stands for."

"Sir, title kya hai? You said it will not have any numbers and will be the freshest title ever."

"Correct. The title is 'Paapi Jism ke Zeher se Murder ke Woh Lamhe'.

SSSK's jaw drops. She shakes her head in disbelief.

"Quick. Go, sign him." says Mahesh Bhatt.

SSSK walks over to the boy with the Afro. He looks strangely familiar.

As he signs the contract and hands it over to her, she says, "Errr... I need to check on a few things in your portfolio."

"Yes?"

"You are SRK's brother? Like, really?"

"That's right. I am not only SRK's brother, I'm also a brother to KRK."

"KRK? That loony bin KRK??"

"Oh no, not that. I meant Kunaal Roy Kapoor. Woh Delhi Belly wala?"

"WAIT A MINUTE! So by SRK, you mean..."

"Sidharth Roy Kapoor, CEO, UTV. Mr. Vidya Balan. Why, what did you think?"



4 comments:

Kanan said...

GOLD!!

SRK ? SRK ? lolling away..

SSSK naak'ed it out of the ball park! ;)

Arun said...

LOL! SSSK definitely has a naak for these pieces.

Not to naak her, but one thing did not ring true, that "chicken of heart". Maybe this is SSSK 2, who avoids the khatarnaak?

Cinderella said...

Paapi Jism ke Zeher se Murder ke Woh "Lamhe"!!! God

Highlight of this awesome report :)

humblog said...

Anuradhaji aur Gulshan Kumar (jr) kahan the?