With nothing to do last weekend, my folks and I decided to watch a movie, although there were not many inviting options in the movie guide. Mother had seen some trailers of Mausam starring the kapoor kids; Shahid and Sonam. We also caught a glimpse of the film when the stars made feeble attempts to propagate their lousy new venture on entertainment shows.
I had received a heads-up about the movie. Many of my friends had told me that it was not just bad, but also boring. As I tore a piece of roti and dunked it into paneer curry, I thought to myself, “ Bura toh hoga; par kitna bura hoga? ” I thought we could think about it. Mother is the decision maker in my house and without further ado or contemplation we booked the matinee show tickets for Mausam. Little did we know what we were in for.
There are several questions one needs to verify before planning to watch this one:
#1. Mausam of one year or 10?
#2. Do telephones work around the world?
#3. Can I catch up on the world news I missed for 10 years?
#4. Is there no down payment to be made when renting a house in Scotland?
#5. Does an air-force officer need to grow a moustache in case he can’t grow in height?
#6. Can people migrate like birds?
#7. (The most important one) How confident must one be to release stuff like this?
The three hour ordeal begins in Mallukot, a village in Punjab, where the inhabitants laugh to earn a living. Every sentence is followed by a plethora of unnecessary laughter, blatantly involved to prompt the viewers to laugh. They certainly missed the point that it takes wit to crack laughter.
Shahid plays Harrindar. Harrindar Singh is a young, lively and predictably the only dashing eligible bachelor in the village, who loves to wait for posts and race with Punjab Express on a cycle during the day. At dusk, he loves to flirt with an annoying woman smitten by him for free puri and sabzi to satiate himself and his equally jobless friends, in short; the ugly ones.
Harrindar; completely self-absorbed, thinks he can never be smitten by an average girl. Average girl reminds me. Enter Sonam!
Sonam: Aayat (meaning “a verse” seems more of a sonnet with regard to the movie) is a girl from Kashmir who is shamelessly escorted in her twenties by her fat aunt to live in Mallukot, because her father fancies opening a franchise of his unpopular boutique “ Kashmir Home” in every corner of the world. Making us wonder if Kashmiris are exempted from paying taxes.
As expected, Harrindar displays bad taste by falling for Aayat minutes after her arrival. All she had to do was flash her teeth for him to stop racing with trains on a cycle. If only his mother knew the secret, Harrindar would grow up to be productive for the family. Freshly in love, Harrindar composes the only song that makes up for the money we pay for the ticket. It is a pity the makers exhausted the only admirable segment ‘ Rabba main toh mar gaya oye’ in the first thirty minutes of the movie, saving the song for later would have the audience glued to their seats until intermission.
Harrindar has newer interest now; he follows Aayat to school and hopelessly waits in paddy fields for her to return with her friends. Bearing in mind the sensitivity of stature between the lead actors, Aayat wears no footwear in the movie but still is apparently taller.
After an hour of desperate wooing, bad music with ridiculous lyrics, a wedding that lasts an eternity, and some nauseating romance, Harrindar decides to tell Aayat how he feels. Aayat; posing in rain and seeming to have forgotten her lines, does not answer until one can finish a bucket of popcorn. After an eternity she says “ Kal subeh saath baje milna” in a subdued voice. The next morning Harrindar wakes up, wears his brand new sweater and lands outside Aayat’s house to find it shut by a gigantic lock (weighing enough to pull down the door). Harrindar rushes to the station to catch a glimpse of her set of 32 teeth for the last time; however, he misses her because he was too lazy to ride faster but reaches the station to find the post he was joblessly waiting for. An invitation to join the Indian Air Force. Worries the viewers of their safety in the hands of such nincompoops.
The couple is separated for seven years. It is surprising because they meet as frequently as the opposite ends of a magnet in the latter. The separations works well for Harrindar, he now has an esteemed, productive, faster than a train profession as an Air Force Officer. Aayat however, is still as ridiculous and inarticulate as she was seven years ago. Old habits die hard.
Aayat’s family has opened their nth store in Scotland. With no ambitions or talents in life, Aayat understands her disgraceful intellect and resorts to sell tickets to operas in Scotland’s public square to earn a living. One day amidst her “work”, she spots Harrindar. It was easy to do so because Harriandar never grew in height or size in seven years. All he could grow was a vague moustache to prove his masculinity. They finally spot each other and meet over lunch to learn that they are still single and incorrigibly in love with each other. Now arrives the time for supper to convince Aayat’s family to marry their black sheep to the stunted lead. This is when the movie takes its most hilarious turn, this time Harrindar takes revenge by absconding for four years!!
For four years they do not meet but ironically travel around the world simultaneously defying time, space, sense and gravity. The makers refresh our memory by showing in the movie the Kashmir issues, Mumbai blasts, Kargil war, attack on the world trade centres and the Ahmadabad riots. All the news we need to know from 1992-2002. It made up for all the years I didn’t read the newspaper.
Eleven years after they first met, they meet in the Ahmadabad riots homeless, insane, pathetic and shamefully unaware of technology. They wonder about how much they lost in eleven years. (A realisation that should have triggered much earlier. ) Aayat, now in her forties is nearing menopause and fears dying a virgin. Harrindar may have similar apprehensions. Harrindar and Aayat are the only miraculous survivors; their kith and kin have passed away in the timeframe of unfortunate events. They decide to finally live together as a family along with an orphaned child and an abandoned horse they befriend at the riots. A year later, Aayat also defies medicine through a conception, and the legacy of morons continues. Thus ends the most horrible script ever written in Indian cinema.
A notch of advice, watch this only if you can’t possibly think of anything better to do.