iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Parmita Uniyal, Hindustantimes.com
New Delhi, September 19, 2013
The Lunchbox, directed by debutant Ritesh Batra has some quirky moments that have a unique flavour. Instead of the usual Bollywood masala fare, the film offers its own recipe for humour. We present you the ingredients:

Extra-salty meal, a bland reply, a spicy revenge
Irrfan Khan plays a middle-aged accountant Saajan Fernandez in the film who's about to retire. He's a man of few words. So when, Nimrat Kaur, a housewife accidentally sends him a dabba (lunchbox) instead of her husband and finds that the receiver has actually relished her food, she places a note in the next day's dabba thanking him for the same. All Irrfan Khan has to say in a written note is - "Khane mein aaj namak zyaada tha". That surely killed all the enthusiasm the lady was filled with while cooking the food for the anonymous man. She takes her own sweet (or spicy) revenge though!

A plateful of humour
Interestingly the character of Deshpande aunty (Bharti Achrekar) is conspicious by its absence on screen, but still makes a mark with her voice (Achrekar has dubbed for the film). While our female protagonist Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is going about her chores in the kitchen, Deshpande aunty merrily tells her - "Pata hai, aaj maine chalte hue pankhe ko saaf kiya." (You know, I cleaned a running fan today) It would surely leave audiences in peals of laughter.

Just parathas
Ila's dad dies. She reaches home. A lot of people have gathered. And the first thing her mom (Lillette Dubey) says is - "Mujhe parathe khane ka bahut man kar raha hai (I feel like having parathe)." She goes on to explain how she never imagined her life without her husband, and now when he's gone all she's feeling is hunger. There might be a deep meaning in the dialogue, but it makes people laugh momentarily.

A dash of tadka

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays Shaikh, the man who replaces Irrfan after he retires. He's trying hard to strike an equation with him, but Irrfan always gives him a cold shoulder. In an attempt to break the ice with him, he asks: "Sir, office mein log kahte hain ki aapne ek billi ke bachche ke oopar gaadi chadha di thi aur mudke bhi nahi dekha." (My colleagues in the office say you hit a kitten with your car and ran away) Irrfan says - "Billi ka bachcha nahi wo aadmi tha...you better be careful" (Not a kitten, it was a man, you better be careful)

Salad anyone?
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is learning the ropes of his new job. Irrfan Khan shares some very important files with him. Nawaz not only makes some terrible calculation mistakes, he also decides to make a very interesting use of them. The boss calls up Irrfan and Nawaz to give them his piece of mind and wonders "why the files are smelling of onions, garlic and veggies". Guess what? Nawaz had been cutting his vegetables on the very crucial files.

Note to surfers: The dialogues mentioned in the article are not word-by-word