Phillauri – A ghost bride in waiting

‘I see dead people’ is one of the cheesiest lines written by Hollywood writers for M.Night.Shyamalan’s 1998 movie – The Sixth sense. Do ghosts really exist? I won’t go further deep in theory about supernatural elements. Here Shashi Phillauri has decided to become my ghostly muse to free me from my writer’s block. She wanted to see her story featured in my upcoming article. Here I am now writing my exclusive article on Phillauri. After all, I can’t mess with a ghost, especially when the ghost is a hardcore Punjabi Kudi. Here you go baby!!

Kanan, a Canada based Punjabi Munda (played by Suraj Sharma the boy from Life of Pi) returns to his hometown to get hitched to his longtime girlfriend Anu. It is a fairy tale wedding going to happen for the couple. But Kanan can’t marry his sweet heart as he is ‘Manglik’ (according to horoscope a Manglik’s marriage is never prosperous). The only remedy for this astrological hurdle is to get the groom married to a tree. After much insistence, Kanan performs the ritual of getting married to a tree. The real trouble begins for Kanan when he realizes that unknowingly he is married off to a ghost who had made the tree her abode. The ghostly encounter of Kanan with the apparition makes him go crazy.

According to rituals, the tree is chopped off once the Manglik’s marriage is done with the tree. Since the tree is chopped off, the ghost loses her abode and now chases Kanan. The bride ghost ‘Shashi’ starts narrating her story to Kanan and the story moves to pre-independent era in 1919. The movie swings between two timelines – 1919 and 2017. Shashi, a lovely poet from a village called ‘Phillaur’ in Punjab publishes her poem under a pen name which is famous among the readers. (Shashi is Jane Austen of Punjab in this movie) 

Coincidentally, Rooplal a street singer with a heart of Casanova sings the lyrics and poems penned by Shashi little realizing that she is the same girl he has fallen in love with. When he discovers her identity, he promises to return back on Baisakhi festival when he has enough money to get married to her. But destiny has different plans for Shashi. Rooplal never returns. In a fit of depression, Shashi commits suicide by hanging from a tree. Her untimely death turns her into a ghostly bride in waiting (This bride has nothing to do with Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride). Now Shashi can’t get freed from the mortal world. Her quest for long lost love is unfulfilled. Will Shashi find her long lost love? Will Kanan help Shashi to find her long lost love? All these queries will be answered in the 2017 movie – Phillauri. Shashi had strictly ordered me to not write any spoilers about her story.

What fascinated me to watch ‘Phillauri’ was Anushka Sharma. Secondly the premise of story is set in Punjab. My fondness for Punjabi culture, food and beautiful gals was second reason why I wanted to watch it. In terms of storytelling, ‘Phillauri’ is a refreshing change from stereotyped Bollywood rom-coms. The story takes time to grow. It is a novel plot brought on screen. For those who love masala rom-coms won’t sit through the movie. The movie has a poetic feel and is slow paced. The slow-paced narration is the beauty of this story and here the viewer bonds with the tender love story of Shashi and Rooplal.

The look and feel of this movie is timeless. The visual presentation of the 1919 Punjab is breath taking. If you love your roots, you will connect with the story line. The story of this movie is connected with an actual historical incident happened in 1919 on eve of Baisakhi. The infamous incident changes the lives of both Shashi and Rooplal. After so much warning given by my ghostly muse Shashi, I am giving spoilers for this story. (She will literally kill me after reading this review). ‘Phillauri’ has drawn inspirations from several movies (Lovely Bones, If I stay, Invisible, Corpse Bride etc and even a Ruskin Bond short story). Actress Anushka Sharma has donned the hat of producer for her second production venture and hasn’t left any stone unturned to make Phillauri a delightful watch. Apart from Anushka Sharma, Suraj Sharma and Diljit Singh Dosanjh make their presence felt in their sincere performances. After Udta Punjab, Diljit is the new emerging talent in Bollywood. What attracted me in this movie was Mehreen Pirzada, the new fresh talent who shines in her first movie. She plays Anu, the love interest of Suraj Sharma.

Phillauri is a delightful and visually appealing rom-com that is winning the hearts of audience worldwide. This movie is far more entertaining than Paheli and Bhootnath.

If you love watching entertaining ghost movies, then watch the 1992 movie – Chamatkar and 1995 Hollywood movie – Casper. Apart from this recommendations, do watch Demi Moore’s movie – The Ghost which was a cult movie in 90’s.

I want to sincerely thank my ghostly muse Shashi for becoming my inspiration and guide to pen down this story. Inspiration comes in all forms even if it is ghostly. For now, I am freed from my writer’s block. I guess it is time for Shashi to return back to heaven. Hope I have justified her story and I strongly request her to share this review among her ghostly circles. I guess Mark Zuckerberg must have developed a social networking site for ghosts. No wonder it may be called ‘GhostBook’.

Do watch ‘Phillauri’ at theatres near you. You will fall in love with Shashi, the lovely ghost.


2 States – A light hearted take on intercommunity marriages

Novel Title : 2 States
Author : Chetan Bhagat
Year of publication : 2009
Genre : Romance

Poster of the movie - 2 States
Poster of the movie – 2 States

“Destiny connects people, feelings bring them together. If two people are destined to stay together, they will definitely meet no matter how far their worlds may be.” – Quote

There is a old saying that marriages are made in heaven. If soulmates are destined to be together even before they are born on earth then why the hell parents have so much problems on inter-case marriage. If William Shakespeare had read ‘2 states’ during his time then romeo and juliet’s climax would have been happy.

Phase 1 of intercommunity marriage : Falling in love
My world changed the moment when I saw my sweetheart ‘Ananya’ in IIM Ahmedabad. She was a tamil brahmin and I belonged to a punjabi community. Though we became fast friends, I had no interest in being her friend. (Honestly how can I resist my hormonal feelings with a girl who is perfect in every sense – her long straight hair, strawberry lips etc…  ) Though I was helping her in economics ( some economical theories called ‘utility curve) Seriously I was only interested in her curves  When you are in love, the greatest battle starts between your heart and mind because heart takes time to accept what mind already knows. So it was the time to ignore her and stay far away from her as much as I can.

“Pretty girls behave best when you ignore them. But they must know that you are ignoring them” otherwise they will never know that you ever existed”

My ignorance formula worked to woo ananya. We realized love for each other. We were committed. We were qualified. We were financially independent. Is it happy ending like a bollywood hindi movie?

2 stts

Phase 2 of intercommunity marriage – Now the really tough phase comes to convince your parents that you love your soulmate. Here is where the biggest challenge comes. When it comes to emotionally blackmailing their kids, mummies are always the best. They pretend to fall sick, pressurising you to change your decision. So it is up to us to either run away with our soulmate or quietly marry the kudi of our parents’ choice. For my mummy, ‘ananya’ was ‘anyay’ (an injustice) on her. Winning your love may be easy, but winning the love of your soulmate’s parents is totally a tough game. 99% of inter-caste love are always opposed by parents and my love story was not different from it. So how and I ananya succeed in winning the trust of our in-laws is best to be read in the novel – 2 states. If you have falled in love and about to fall in love, make sure that you get the full biodata of your in-laws.

Statuory warning : Falling in love is injurious to health. To avoid any heartbreaks, please follow your mummy’s advice and opt for a happy arranged marriage.

Krish Malhotra