Over the years, an increasing number of Hindi movies have begun incorporating realistic elements in their storylines. While some have evoked protests, others have garnered praise. Filmmaker Rohan Sippy is happy to fall into the second category. The promo of his forthcoming film, Dum Maaro Dum, has earned him considerable amount of applause from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Towards the end of the promo, Abhishek Bachchan, who plays Inspector Vishnu Kamath, tells his senior that he drinks when on duty. He explains saying, “Apne Muncipality bhaiyon se seekhon. Do-teen lagakar hi gutter mein ghuste hain (learn from our brethren in the Muncipality, who drink a couple of pegs before getting into the sewage lines.)”
The line caught the attention of the BMC workers. And some, who work in the locality of the Sippys’ office in Andheri, conveyed their gratitude to him for understanding the nature of their job and highlighting it.
An assistant working with Ramesh Sippy Entertainment recalls the workers’ opinions. “They feel that they’ve been portrayed in good light because considering the foul stench it’s impossible for anyone to get down the gutters in a sober state. Either they are shown as sewage cleaners or drunkards,” reveals the AD, adding that they told the director that for the first time, they felt that their hard work and grit is being saluted on screen. “With the central character of the film saying such lines, they felt it gave them more weightage. They just couldn’t stop thanking Rohan for understanding their plight.”
According to Rohan, the line was meant to be a metaphor, in context to the gritty cop who gets down in the muck to clean it up. “When we pass a place with a strong stench, we just turn up our noses. So we can imagine how tough it is for these BMC people who get into such filthy places to keep our surroundings clean. I must admit I’m very impressed with the perseverance with which the BMC staff works. Though I never expected them to come up and thank me,” says Rohan.