Bollywood's new bedfellow is Delhi. Started with Monsoon Wedding. Raw silk and pent-up sexuality inundated the terrain of plush green lawns, and yawning phirang-returns. Laid-back old money generated a nervous guffaw at the pace of Mumbai and eagerness of Bangalore. Then came Dilli 6. A haveli hidden in a maze of galis. Nostalgia bathed love. A lanky twinkly-eyed one switched from shimmery tight kurta to halter between Chandni Chowk and Rajiv Chowk. The spectre of brutal patriarchy that would marry a daughter off in the name of family honour, at the cost of her Indian Idol fantasies, pervades the film. Invariably, a brutal daddy awaits at home with an angry moustache. Girls' wings are always clipped here weaving a terrible tale of agony. Its vernacular chapter of dilli this time. Struggling in obsolescence, Islamic ruins, pan-stains and good-old warmth.The introduction of moronic man-beast figure in jagran gatherings of right-wing political blessing derailed the movie. And punctured the career of a very un-dilli lanky boy forever. Band Baaja Baaraat meanders the Dilli boat to Janakpuri - connected to the centre by the metro, and home to the trading middle class biradari. Shruti and Bittu start out as Janakpuri wedding planners, Sainik Farms is their ultimate goal. Chanda Rangan, the classy upper-class wedding planner feverishly articulates the dilli shame of being seen by the world as too loud, too shiny. The nouveau riche of Sainik Farms must now earn cultural capital. So Chanda recommends an aesthetics that rejects one's inner un-gentry affinities. Shruti and Bittu turn this inner conflict of the dilli rich on its own head. Some are tired of playing classy, and want their pampered kids to have the most enjoyably bling wedding possible. The Monsoon Wedding snobs hence came around to Janakpuri style band-baaja-revelry. Shamed too long and too harshly for its greed, its brutality, its jugaad-ethics, its go-getterness, its unflinching libidinality and its taste for the obvious, Delhi makes for excellent cinematic visuality and a weird knot deep down in the stomach.


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