15 years of Khosla Ka Ghosla: A film that lives on
An underrated comedy, the 2006 Khosla Ka Ghosla, is a feel-good film that also relatable. A commentary on social issues and generation gap, the Dibakar Banerjee’s debut film highlighted property scams. Written by Jaideep Sahni, the comedy-drama starred Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Ranvir Shorey, Vinay Pathak, Parvin Dabas, Tara Sharma, Kiran Juneja among others. Kher played Kamal Kishore Khosla, a middle-class Delhite, who alongwith this family tries to reclaim their land which has been seized by a builder, Khurana, essayed by Irani. The cast shares their memories of working on the film which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi.
This film holds a very special place in my heart. To play a Punjabi character was a leap of faith for me. I thought I was miscast. Jaideep Sahni (writer) wanted to cast me but I wasn’t keen on playing the role as it was a daunting task. Today, I am grateful to him for having faith in me. He persisted and I was convinced. I prepared by hanging out with property dealers and chatting with them. You can get physicality, accent and body language right but the intention of the character is what matters the most. I worked on it. To play a Punjabi character was a leap of faith for me. Dibakar Banerjee and Jaideep hand-held me through the dubbing process which was a year after shoot as the film was stuck for a while. Anupam Kher saab was a huge support system as an actor. When an actor of his stature finds joy in your performance, it makes a huge difference. His support mattered a lot. When we saw the film for the first time, he was excited about my entry, which was unbelievable. I will be always be indebted to Kher saab for his love and support. The film helped people cast me in roles outside my comfort zone without trepidation. It had a huge impact on my career.
I was starting out at that time and was auditioning a lot. It was a difficult decision for Dibakar to cast me but he trusted me with the role. Playing the Punjabi, Delhi ka launda was familiar to me. I remember reading the script and thinking how perfect it is. It was impeccable. The making was great fun with all credit to Anupam Kher who led the cast in every way. He inspired and entertained us. I struck a great friendship with him. It was frustrating to wait for the release, especially as the film was important for my career. I knew people would love it. The cast would meet and talk about release and say, ‘Kismet dekho, achi film stuck hai’. KGK and Pyaar Ke Side Effects released one week apart and both were huge hits. That week put me on the map as an actor. I remember, it was the first time I exposed onscreen as my butt crack is shown! Doing justice to the line is what I aimed for.
What struck me was the simplicity of the script. It was not your regular film. I remember meeting Dibakar for the role but he was cocky for a first time director and wanted me to audition immediately. I told him, ‘do you want a good audition or a quick audition?’ I came the next day and improvised on scenes from the film and when I was finished, he offered me the role. The film faced hurdles but was a hit when it released. Anupam Kher kept the unit together and our spirits up. The delay in the release did affect us all. People thought that no one was buying the film which was not the case. There was a legal issue regarding rights which the producer Savita Mathur handled well. The song Chak de Phatte became a huge hit. People loved the film. It grew due to word of mouth. Whoever saw it, loved it.
The film cuts across all age groups. It created awareness about loopholes while dealing with property. It is timeless film that still lives on. Often I get messages about the film from audiences all over the world. It was a well written script which became a cult classic. It doesn’t feel like 15 years but just yesterday that we were shooting for it. We made some wonderful friends. As it was a small budget film, we all shared a vanity van and played many games. We were living the film in many ways. Anupam ji would lead some game or the other. The film created gave awareness about loopholes in deals and I am glad that people didn’t give up on it.