What does Bollywood have against the Punjabis?
Does Bollywood have a Punjab fixation?
If Bollywood is to be believed, Punjabis are rich, loud, arrogant, showy spendthrifts or a combination of either or both.
Recycling these personality traits over and over again, scripts continue to bait a Punju prototype with every other community from our ethnically/regionally diverse platter.
Does Bollywood have a Punjab fixation?
Beyond the mandatory bhangra and balles, almost every single romance comedy dealing with inter-community marriage pits a Punjabi boy or girl against a Maharashtrian/Tamilian/Bengali partner.
Here’s a look at some fun instances of this Punju versus everyone else typecasting.
'Hai, yeh toh Madrasi hai.'
'Typical Punjabi. Uncultured people.'
And you know what to expect from Dharma Productions’ upcoming adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s biographical novel 2 States starring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in the proverbial tussle of North versus South triggered by their community-confined parents.
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Image: Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in 2 States
Not too many films humour such mathi-mishti relationships like Vicky Donor.
While his supercool grand mom is more than happy to attend his wedding donning a Ritu Kumar, Ayushmann Khurana’s screen mom squeals at the prospect of her son marrying a Bong divorcee.
'Ek hi beta hai mera. Woh bhi Bengali bahu le aaye? Morning, evening, night -- machli, machli, machli!'
The girl in question doesn’t have it any better.
Here’s what Yami Gautam screen dad have to say about his to-be son-in-law’s community, 'Bloody money-minded business class. Balle-balle, balle-balle? And you want to do that monkey dance?'
Image: Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam in Vicky Donor
Shah Rukh Khan’s Rahul and Deepika Padukone’s Meenamma engage in Rohit Shetty's brand of conflicting cultures and ridiculous accents in Chennai Express.
Bokwas or not, there’s talk of a sequel in the works.
Guess what it’s called? Punjab Express, of course!
Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express
So Emraan Hashmi’s henpecked Maharashtrian husband is urged by Vidya Balan’s over-the-top Punjabi housewife to rob a bank.
But in a freak accident, he loses the money and his memory.
Considering the tamasha he is subjected to at home, it comes as no surprise.
Image: Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan in Ghanchakkar
Yash Chopra doesn’t care for easily attained romance.
If Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta’s cross-border love story is the cause of all mayhem in Veer Zaara, the closeness between Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini aspires to broadcast how true love can dodge a possible 'I don’t know what you say' situation of a 'Punjab da puttar' meets 'Madrasan' union.
Image: Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan in Veer Zaara
Pyaar Ke Side Effects
Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat do the Bengali guy meets Punjabi girl with some difference.
Whether he’s from Asansol and she’s from Amritsar doesn’t come in the way of their lovey-dovey equation as obviously as it does in Bollywood’s contrived portrayals.
Having said that, Mallika’s stern-faced, stern-voiced, stern-mannered Punju 'Papa' doesn’t leave any opportunity to highlight all the signature (Read stereotypical) traits.
Image: Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose in Pyaar Ke Side Effects
Kal Ho Naa Ho
G.U.J.J.U. Gujju! You remember?
Nikhil Advani pokes fun at the NRI Gujarati community and the ‘hall-hole’ pronunciation with wicked pleasure while promoting Punjabi showmanship and swagger like Dharma and Yash Raj are often guilty of during the colourful engagement ceremony of a Gujarati choro (Saif Ali Khan) and Punjab’s soni kudi (Preity Zinta).
Image: Saif Ali Khan and Preity Zinta in Kal Ho Naa Ho
Gori Tere Pyaar Mein
The North versus South debate pops up yet again when Tam Brahm Imran Khan trips head over heels for Kareena Kapoor’s Made in Punjab allure.
And because it harbors notions like 'Idli sirf sambhar ke saath acchi lagti hain, chholey ke saath nahin' in circa 2013, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein bombed badly at the box office.
Image: Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein
Obviously mid-1950s faced its share of protests against such marital mergers. Kishore Kumar and Vyjayanthimala comically depicts the plight of a liberal in such a fanatically regionalistic mindset in the 1956 comedy, New Delhi.
When the rebellious son of a quintessentially snobbish Punjabi father finds it difficult to find accommodation unless he belongs to a certain community, he masquerades as a South Indian boy who falls for a Tamilian girl.
Only to learn, 'Pranth ka label laga dene se koi acha bura nahi hota. Insaan acha bura hota hai apne salukh se, apne karmon se.'
Image: Kishore Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in New Delhi