Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui

Can you imagine the feeling of liberation in that moment when we made our first trip to GV theatres to catch a movie over the weekend after almost two years of being homebound? The pleasant surprise – the mall was flooded with patrons reminding of a bygone era, one where we knew nothing of pandemics and endless rounds of vaccines. The not so pleasant surprise – with plenty of people come plenty of long queues outside cafes and restaurants! Queues that coerce one into thinking food is All The Way Home instead of No Way Home (yes, I am a SpiderMan fan too).

So, coming to the newly released Bollywood movie – Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. A refreshing take on transgender as opposed to years of disservice done to these individuals by movies and the community at large. I may have recently started reading about the broader gender palette – LGBTQ and an ever increasing list of shades that lie repressed in between the more acceptable and stereotyped M and F. But the media has quickly started milking the subject, now that they know the world is moving beyond equality merely for women; that covid has equalised religions and commute to workplaces and so on and so forth. 

Which makes me think, why do we not stop using this whole gender brigade? Why do we need to know whether the person applying to a certain school or college, for that job or visa, or intending to get married or even finding a date on Tinder is a male, a female or wants to keep their gender undisclosed? Does that change one’s capabilities or the right to do something? Or does it make one’s chances better or worse? Isn’t it enough to just know that the person in question is human, and not a robot? Quick check on check who you are – try using your thumb to touch your pinky, then middle finger and finally the pointer. If you can repeat this 5 times in under a minute with your eyes wide shut, you are indeed AI. Stop reading now.

I know I keep digressing, out of habit, but let’s come back to the movie. For starters, Abhishek Kapoor managed to nail it, given that he competes for your attention with how long the pop corn can last or that next notification vibrates your phone and lights up the theatre making an impression it is interval already or challenges your ability to think about the reals issues faced by humans who feel trapped in a body that represents another gender.

so if we assumed this movie was a burger, I think it was a darn good one. The family and love and romance formed the buns. There was the subject with a sizzle making the lean patty played by Vaani Kapoor (who slaps you with fitness goals in every frame). There is comedy making it juicy with the rest of the cast. And finally, just like melted cheese that gives the burger its edge is our very own Jatt – Ayushman. The perfect recipe to kill.

Just one confusion, who was the hero (oops am I being gender biased here) or protagonist – the one who accepts themselves and is out in the open or the other, who takes the time to absorb and process this information and accepts true love?

Overall, It’s a Thumbs Up from me. Coke and Pepsi could never level up. 

Just one thing to beware of – let’s call it a pre-requisite. Sign up for lessons in Spoken Punjabi before you even think of purchasing the tickets. You may be vaccinated or even tested negative in the 24 hours before the movie screening, but if you never once flipped pages on the English to Punjabi dictionary, you will come out drooling over the hot bods on display, without having a clue about the subject of the movie. Cos those Punjabi words fly out of mouth at the speed of 150 miles a second. And between watching the actors versus reading subtitles, you might just lose out on your pupils which will refuse to comply with the brain.

All in all, get your gender facts straight, oops right, get a hang of Punjabi – no, not samosas or Dal Makhni, but like I mentioned, the language itself and then order a packet of Pop Corn – ‘makkhan mar ke’ (buttery) before you enjoy this Ashiqui (romance).

P.S. I was so influenced by the character of Ayushman and his sisters, they sent me in a trance – we ended up having a full blown Punjabi meal for dinner. Whatever happened to fitness goals?

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