Badhaai Ho is a film about a matriarch in a middleclass Delhi family, with two grown-up sons, who suddenly discovers that she is pregnant. The film has swept the box office. Amit Ravindernath Sharma, the director, reveals that it was intimacy and not pregnancy in women beyond a certain age that concerned him and lead him to make the movie.
Says the director, “I am amazed at the response. I am getting calls from everywhere. A friend called from London while watching Badhaai Ho. He said he felt he was watching it in Lucknow. The response of the audience is so intense and deep, it almost feels as though every Indian has adopted the film.”
A debate has opened up about late pregnancy and Amit is quick to clarify, “What we wanted to say in Badhaai Ho had more to with intimacy among couples beyond the socially permissible age. Why do we presume that married couples with grown-up children never have sex? Well, the couple in my film did. It isn’t meant to be an endorsement of late pregnancy.”
It is interesting how Neena Gupta got the role of the impregnated mother. “We had gone to Tabuji for the role. At that time, we had a different script in mind and we wanted Tabu ma’am and Irrfan sir. When she heard the script, she suggested Neenaji’s name for the character. Tabu felt, perhaps rightly, that she looked like a woman who could still have a child. Ayushmann Khurrana, who was already on board, was a little wary of Neenaji’s casting. ‘Woh hot mummy wali feeling aati hai.’ But I am glad we went with Neenaji.”