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All about Bonny and Koushani’s new film Daal Baati Churma Chacchari

The movie explores India’s cultural diversity through a love story

Priyanka A. Roy Published 16.02.23, 02:43 PM

Pictures: Rashbehari Das

Set to release tomorrow (February 17), Bonny Sengupta and Koushani Mukherjee’s new film, Daal Baati Churma Chacchari, is a love story. Produced by Ravi Bhalotia and Bonny Koushani’s new production house BK Entertainment, the film explores the concept of inter-caste marriage and whether love triumphs transcending all boundaries or not. As the story of this family drama unfolds, the film explores the two cultures and their people. The Telegraph caught up with the actor-producer duo to find out more about the culture, food and fashion that intrinsically became a part of the story…

Daal Baati Churma Chacchari explores two Indian cultures. What kind of cultural research did you have to do for your characters?


Koushani: Since my character is a Bengali person, I did not have to research much. Bonny: For my character, I had to explore the Rajasthani-Marwari culture. I had to learn a few words from the language. My friend and the film’s co-producer, Ravi Bhalotia, helped me. It becomes very difficult when you hear the word ‘action’ and then you have to speak like them. That was something we researched on. The way I had to speak half Bengali and Hindi was obviously challenging.

The film was shot both in Calcutta and Rajasthan. Did you get to explore Rajasthan while shooting there?

Koushani: We explored Rajasthan while shooting. We shot in various locations. There was food and sweets made of ghee, Leheria fabric and the colourful culture that they have... it was amazing to see that. We explored a hidden place called Kishangarh where we shot the song Duniyaa. A lot of people were curious about where we shot this. It looked like somewhere abroad but it was actually in Rajasthan. Bonny: We shot there many times before, but this was the first time that Koushani and I explored a few hidden places.

When did you have Daal baati churma for the first time? It was there on the set too...

Koushani: I had my first Daal baati churma in Rajasthan only and I loved it. It was a filling dish like we have Biryani.

Bonny: I had Daal baati churma at a friend’s place. A Marwari guy from school had told me how to eat it but then I had completely forgotten that. This time, Rajatava Dutta, who is playing my father’s character in the film, and I had the first scene where we are eating Dal baati churma. We actually searched for it on YouTube to know how to have it. It is a very tasty and wholesome dish. I loved it.

Did you get the scope to try other specialities of Rajasthan?

Koushani: I did try the mithai of Rajasthan made of pure ghee…it was quite rich. The lassi was quite heavy.

Bonny: This time, we were producers as well, and we had to go through a lot for the entire day. At the end of the day, we used to go to the hotel, chill a bit and again sit for the meetings of what we were going to do the next day. But as we have been there before, it was a nice experience.

While exploring the Rajasthani culture, what did you like best about it?

Koushani: What I loved about Rajasthan was the colour. Every city is named after a colour and it is quite colourful.

Bonny: We are all Indians. Cultures are different but people are all the same. We have that dialogue in the movie, too. They are as welcoming as Bengalis and they like to feed people.

The trailer shows a story of whether or not love gets to transcend all boundaries. After exploring the two cultures and doing the film, what was your takeaway from this film?

Koushani: I feel this strongly, when you love someone you cannot think what caste that person is or whether they are rich or poor. Love actually transcends all boundaries because it just happens, when it happens. And when it happens, you have nothing else to do but go ahead in your relationship. The cultural difference doesn’t matter.

Bonny: In the movie, we are showing we are all human beings. There are people who are conservative about different-caste marriage. We are ahead of that now. We don’t think so much about it now. It is a message for people who think only Bengalis will marry Bengalis. These things don’t matter any more. At the end of the day, it is love. If you love someone, you just love that person.

Rajasthan’s fashion aesthetic is very colourful. Koushani, you have quite a few colourful looks as well. Do you have a favourite from the handcrafted specialities of Rajasthan?

Koushani: I liked the blue Leheria sari that I wore and it was taken from there. Also, the song Tumi amar hoye jao had the salwars which were colourful and I wore a ghunghat with that also because there the women do follow these rules and we tried to maintain the same thing in the film because we were representing the Rajasthani culture throughout. There’s a climax scene also where I am completely in Rajasthani look. The audience can see the difference between the two cultures.

And there’s the Bengali bride look as well...

Koushani: I have lost count of the number of films I did in the Bengali bride look! I am just done with this Bengali bride look. I won’t do it for my wedding either! (Laughs) My favourite look will be the looks I did for the song Duniyaa.

Bonny, did you get to deck up as a Bengali groom too or were you just in your sherwanis?

Bonny: I liked the Rajasthani printed shirts and sherwani and pagri during the wedding scene. I couldn’t hear due to the pagri! We didn’t want people to complain that we haven’t got the looks right. With the sherwani, I had to carry the sword, ornaments and pagri. We had to go through all the minute details.

What plans did you have for V-day this year amidst the busy promotion schedule? Do you believe in such celebrations?

Koushani: Yes, I strongly believe in the V-day celebration because I believe you love a person all your life but there are certain days of the year when you actually want to celebrate that love and show your love by making that person feel special and pampered. I am very filmy in real life, too. So, I enjoy including the small thoughts related to these dates. Like, I like wearing red on V-day. We took off only on this day to spend quality time with each other. We stayed out somewhere and had a private dinner.

Bonny: Yes, I had planned a surprise dinner for us.

The film is all about taking the next step in the journey of love. Any plans of taking the next step in real life, too?

Koushani: Yes, every person who loves us has this question in mind. Since I have always been a one-man woman and believe in the institution of marriage, I believe, marriage is something where once I am in it I cannot come back from it and I don’t want to. So, I am taking time before I get into it because I have a very dreamy plan for my marriage, which involves a lot of planning and involvement from both ends. We are really busy establishing our own production house right now and all the work commitments. So, once we are a little relieved, we will announce when we want to take the next step.

Bonny: I knew this question was coming at the end! It is not that we are not planning, we are planning but we don’t want to rush it. We are taking it slow because it is a big step and I hope we get married soon. People are getting married, I also want to get married. (Laughs) Like Sidharth and Kiara got married, I also want to have a dream destination wedding. We need a lot of money for that. We are settling things slowly. Let everything settle down a bit and be in the right place. I am sure when it is the right time, it will fall into place.

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