DOSTANA MEMORIES WITH KIRRON KHER
It’s the ninth anniversary of Dostana today, and Bollywood veteran Kirron Kher says that the beauty of the film was a mother’s acceptance of her son being gay
Nine years ago, on this day, when Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham played a pretentious gay couple in Tarun Mansukhani’s Dostana, the audience was up for a pleasant surprise. The film, hailed as first of its kind in Bollywood, showed two men pretending to be gay to share an apartment with a girl (played by Priyanka Chopra) and both end up falling for her. Its song Maa Da Laadla Bigad Gaya — with its hook step — remains a favourite among fans. We go down memory lane with Kirron Kher, who played Abhishek Bachchan’s mother. The film is special for her, not just for its script but also because she shared a great bond with her co-stars. “Since I already 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, its beauty was the mother’s acceptance of [her son being gay]. That, I think, was new in Indian cinema and made the film interesting,” she says, adding that it wasn’t a serious film on homosexuality and rather a “comic take” on the subject. Kirron recalls a scene she found the funniest — the part where she blesses Abhishek and lovingly gives her kanga (bangle) to John to bless him as his son’s life partner. “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 toh ho nahi sakta’. So, that ‘Khair chhodo’ was something that wasn’t in the script and was added impromptu. And it literally brought the house down in the theatres and even on set while shooting.” In 2012, reports did the rounds that the film’s makers were planning a sequel with additional cast members. On this, an excited Kirron says, “Yes, Tarun had come to me with the script and they had written a couple of versions of the sequel, but apparently, [they] 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.” Asked what her role in the sequel was shaping up like, Kirron says, “My character goes on to join politics and is running something of her own and had turned into a gay rights activist. It was quite interesting. Let’s see if that happens in future, as nothing has come up in all these years, so I can’t say,” she signs off.
Kirron Kher’s character was hilarious. Here, she is seen with her onscreen son, Abhishek Bachchan (far left) and his ‘boyfriend’ in the film, John Abraham. The movie was shot in Mumbai and Miami