(L-R) Ajab Gazabb Love director Sanjay Gadhvi with Nidhi Subbaiah and Jackky Bhagnani at Veda. Pictures by Rashbehari Das
During a whirlwind trip to Calcutta for pre-release promotions, team Ajab Gazabb Love — director Sanjay Gadhvi and co-stars Jackky Bhagnani and Nidhi Subbaiah — chatted with t2 about love, mishti doi and of course bananas! All this in between a sumptuous meal at Veda on Tuesday afternoon. Produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky’s father, AGL releases on October 24.
t2:The title Ajab Gazabb Love sounds like a frothy romcom...
Jackky: Actually to make it frothy we took some Rin powder and put it in water!
Nidhi: And we sell kelas (bananas)! We get kelas wherever we go because there’s a kela scene which has become famous (in the promo, Jackky’s billionaire father, played by Darshan Jariwala, becomes a banana seller to help his son win over Nidhi)!
Sanjay: The story is an ajab gazab love story. Jackky’s character is a very rich boy whose family is into the business of making cars. He meets Nidhi who plays Madhuri Singh. But Madhuri hates rich people. So he acts as a poor mechanic and one lie leads to another and when she wants to meet his family, he convinces his family members to act poor and his father becomes a kela seller. So we are using the banana as a marketing gimmick in the film!
Jackky: We are a mad team, basically. I hope the audience sees the madness in the film.
Nidhi:We don’t give straight answers!
Sanjay: The good thing about Ajab Gazabb Love is that it’s a clean, family film...
Nidhi: (Interrupts) So Jackky tell them how you got your eight packs!
Sanjay: He got it while shopping in London, actually!
Nidhi: Oops! Jackky, in real life to what extent can you go to get the girl of your dreams?
Jackky: If I love someone, then I would do whatever it takes to make her fall in love with me. I would do anything.
Nidhi: Even if that means stalking her and kidnapping?
Jackky: Why will I kidnap her? She will hate me. Nidhi, would you fall in love with a guy who would pretend to be someone else, in real life?
Nidhi: Yes, I would really love all the attention. Like my character Madhuri, I too would have believed the guy. In the film her friends call her Maddy because she is mad. She has very strong likes and dislikes, works for an NGO and she hates the rich and then Rajveer (Jackky) falls in love with her.... And throughout the shoot Sanjay would beat us up with a stick!
Jackky: (Whispers into her ear) Listen he has promised us the next film!
Nidhi: Oh he was so nice, the best director ever!
Jackky: It’s an important film for me because my first film Kal Kissne Dekha didn’t work and F.A.L.T.U. did moderately well, so I am banking on this film a lot.
Sanjay: And in real life, this film has affected Nidhi so much that she is looking for a poor boy to get married!
Nidhi: No, not marriage. I will go out on a date with him.
Sanjay: Not one date yaar! You have to go steady for six months at least!
Jackky: Actually there’s a guy in Jhumri Talaiyya who is very poor and his name is Nandalal and Nidhi will tie the knot with him!
Sanjay: Pyaar se hum usko Nandu bolte hain!
Jackky: Yes Nandu sabka bandhu!
Sanjay: Not bandhu. This is Calcutta, so it’s bondhu!
Jackky: Amaar janmosthan Calcutta (he was born and brought up in Rowland Road) and that’s why I weighed 130kg, because I would gorge on chicken roll and mishti doi.
t2: How did you lose weight?
Jackky: Actually I live in Bombay now and I went to the peak of Mahabaleshwar and meditated for four years. I think I have lost the plot! I actually worked out and worked out. I maintained a diet. See everyone else has ordered dal roti and butter chicken and I am having chicken tikka which is prepared with no salt and no butter so basically uncooked chicken! I couldn’t eat phuchka, jhaalmuri, sandesh, chicken roll, mishti doi! My most favourite dessert is the Kalighat ka peda. I used to have that for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
t2: Nidhi, this is your debut Hindi film, what are your expectations? Nidhi: We all worked very hard and I have a lot of expectations.
t2: Tell us a little more about yourself...
Nidhi: My name is Nidhi Subbaiah. I was born on February 16....
t2: We meant what have you been doing before this and how did this film happen? Nidhi: Oh-oh, okay-okay! (Laughs) Basically I am from the south Indian film industry. I’m from Bangalore. I came to know that they were casting for this film. So I met them and Sanjay thought I fit the role of Madhuri, though Jackky didn’t want me. He was against me becoming the heroine of the film! I don’t know why! Sanjay: Because he was scared that you would overpower him! Nidhi: Aaha. Okay now the secret is out!
Sanjay: But being the director I came in between and told them to do their jobs! Jackky: Actually I am so thin na so I thought she will overpower me!
Sanjay: Do you know Jackky’s waist is thinner than hers?! Jackky: No no no!
Nidhi: I am 28 and he is 32!
Jackky: Nobody asked you your age.
t2: Sanjay, after Dhoom and Dhoom:2 what made you choose a romcom like Ajab Gazabb Love?
Sanjay: See, as a director I am always looking for new and exciting things. When I heard the story from my producer Vashu Bhagnani, I thought there’s scope for comedy. I think any director will not let go of the opportunity of a fantastic story. I am a big torchbearer of commercial, popular cinema. Yash Chopra has made a Deewaar and a Trishul and then Chandni, so everyone makes different kinds of films.…
Sanjay’s signoff: Calcutta tomader shobaike pujor onek subhechha! I wanted to say this because I picked up Bengali from Bipasha Basu. She is my hot language teacher!
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