Though Anusha Rizvi’s Peepli Live, produced by Aamir Khan, was shot in an obscure village called Badwai in Bhopal, it has turned out to be a blessing for a village in another part of the country.
Located on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, in Aligarh district, a village called Peepli, which shares its name with the title of Rizvi’s debut directorial venture, has become a hotspot for property in the last 20 days.
At the same time, the number of marriage proposals for the eligible men and women of the village have seen a sharp increase.For the first week, the villagers of the 4500-strong rural area, were bewildered at the sudden interest of the world in their village. On enquiry, they learnt that Aamir Khan’s movie had brought on this phenomenon.
Says the town’s sarpanch, Giriraj Singh, "We were surprised at what was happening, because people from cities as far as Mumbai were buying property in our village. We thought it was because there is an expressway near Peepli. We later found out that there was a movie based on our village, which spiked people’s interest." Singh reveals that the property prices in Peepli have now doubled.
He also adds that because people are under the impression that the movie was shot there, they want to marry their sons and daughters to Peepli’s singletons.
“We have more proposals than bachelors and spinsters in our village now,” Singh says. The villagers from Peepli have now sent an invitation to the man responsible for this “miracle” – Aamir Khan. “We will give him a warm welcome, sings songs in his honour and put up skits for his entertainment if he comes,” Singh reveals.
“But he hasn’t replied yet.” Whether or not he comes, the villagers plan to travel together 10 kilometres away to cinemas in Aligarh or Faridabad to watch the movie that releases on Friday. “We have seen Lagaan and we know Peepli Live will be as good as that too,” Singh says.
Khan was unavailable for comment but his official spokesperson confirmed that he received the invitation, and will respond to it soon.