Hyderabad Blues

When this movie released, we got to know through word of mouth. Watching it was impossible because I don't think it released in the theatres then. And if it did, I wouldn't allowed to watch a movie like this at that age.

You know a movie is simply great when even 16 years after it's release you identify with it and it's relevant. Or it's just that we, Indians, have not evolved much since then.

What is remarkable about the movie is that Nagesh Kukunoor was an engineer in the USA and he shot this movie in 17 days on a shoe string budget which were his savings. It was sold to DD which showed it in 3 parts and the movie started doing the rounds of the international film festival circuits. That's how Nagesh Kukunoor's career started. I admire this man. His movies are superb. They maybe low on production because of low budget but never low on ideas. 

The movie stars Nagesh Kukunoor and Rajshri Nair in lead roles. 
It is a mix of English, Hindi and Telugu but there are subtitles. 
Varun, played by Nagesh, comes to Hyderabad after 12 years in USA. He is working with Coca Cola there and earning quite a lot. He is 28 years and his parents started harping on marriage while he is in India for a month. Like any NRI of those days and the current Indian youth today, he does not understand the concept of 'arranged marriage' and resists all attempts of emotional blackmail. He comes across a doctor- Ashwini, played by Rajshri, and befriends her. They start dating. But since this isn't the USA the sword of 'marriage' is hanging on their heads and they decide.. soon.

There is so much in this flick which I identify with:

- Varun wipes the dirt off a glass before having the tea. His friends laugh at him because he has grown up having tea in that glass. NRIs who do that are so ridiculous

- When Varun and Ashwini kiss for the first time, he goes a little too far and she does not like it. They fight. But then both realize that they are trying and compromising for each other. Like for Varun to just date without sex is a compromise and for Ashwini to let him hold her hand in public and kiss before marriage is a compromise. 

- Varun is a NRI so he will fetch a very high market price (dowry) for marriage. Even though his parents claim they don't care about dowry, when an aunt offers them dowry for marriage with her daughter they readily agree. That is Indian society. Show me one Indian wedding where dowry is not given or taken in the guise of tradition. It's all bull shit and that's why I avoid attending weddings. The waste of all this money and time is a bore. Like, I will always regret an Arya samaj wedding instead of a court one. But that is a story for another blog. 

- I could completely understand what was going on in Varun's head. He didn't feel at home in USA but couldn't identify with anything back in Hyderabad. Which was his home? Where did he belong? This is so true for so many of us. I don't know where home is... is it in the city I was born in but don't visit anymore and didn't spend much time in anyway... or is it a'bad where I spent my teenage years... or is it in the boarding school which I haven't visited in more than 10 years... or is it where I am living now... where it has been only 1.5 years? What is home exactly? And where is it? 

I found the end too Bollywoodish but am willing to ignore that. The dialogues are real... that's who we talk... and how our parents talk to us... 

Please watch this flick if you haven't seen. And now I need to go take a bath though I don't know why. Oh wait, yes, I oiled my hair and I cannot walk out of the house with oil. 

Btw, there is a part 2 as well. I'll watch it tonight. 


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