Kolkata’s trams are the oldest operating electric trams in Asia (running since 1902). And now, they have a Bollywood connection too. To promote her upcoming biggie, The Dirty Picture, Vidya Balan travelled on the much-revered tram.
“Trams are an important part of Kolkata and have always been part of the city’s mystique. So, we wanted to capture the magic of trams along with Vidya,” says Tanuj Garg, CEO of Balaji Motion Pictures, producer of The Dirty Picture.
Apparently, the Calcutta Tramways Company Limited — that runs trams in Kolkata — is very particular about giving permissions for such events. But Balaji had acquired all the permissions much in advance.
“Thankfully, we managed to get all the necessary approvals in time,” adds Tanuj. “Vidya also always had a great love for Kolkata. She speaks fluent Bengali despite not being from the state. So, she was very excited.”
Vidya, for the uninitiated, recently shot for Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahani extensively in Kolkata. “But I don’t think she travelled on the tram for a long time. So, she was happy to experience the magic all over again,” says Tanuj, adding that the experience was a nice break from the usual press conferences: “It wasn’t any one person’s idea. Everyone in the Balaji marketing team brainstorms on such ideas.
We wanted to break the clutter and reach out to the unique cultural aspect of a particular city while promoting the film there.”
Later, Vidya along with Bappi Lahiri, Tusshar Kapoor and Mika also performed for a Bangla TV show.