“Story…story…story” shout the little kids all sitting at the foot of old Daddu’s chair.
Daddu (wrapping the shawl tightly around him): Okay okay. Let me adjust my dentures….okay…..that’s done. Today I will tell you the story of Drona.
A long long time ago in a land far far away, a sage Bharadwaj had gone to the river to get rid of last night’s dinner holding two pots—-damn I forgot to take my Dabur Isabgol—-ooh ok coming back to the story…so there in the river he saw a beautiful lady, an apsara Ghritachi, taking a bath…
Small Boy 1 (very inquisitive): Daddu, what’s an apsara?
Daddu: It’s an item girl but who dance only for the Gods.
Small Boy 1: Is Rakhi Sawant an apsara?
Daddu: Yes something like that. Now be off now….I have to go feed the pigeons.
Kids shout: But Daddu….the story?
Daddu: What story? Ooh yes I had totally forgotten. So Bharadwaj on seeing this beautiful lady had a Shakti Kapoor moment and in his excitement, something of himself, a part of his very essence, fell into a pot that he was carrying. That thing that fell into the pot was a magical fluid from which….
Kids giggle and poke each other.
Girl1 (Bespectacled): That is not an age-appropriate story Daddu.
Daddu: Look here little Renuka Chowdhury. I did not make up this story. You have a problem you go and talk to Ved Vyas the author and Ganesha the publisher. Geez. You will turn into someone like your grandma one day (furtively looks over shoulder).
Small Boy 2: Please ignore her daddu. Please please tell us more.
Daddu (clearing his throat): Yes so the holy fluid that fell in the pot and in it was born Drona, the weapons teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas. Drona means “born in a pot”. This part of the story you can find in any book. What follows next is a Daddu exclusive. When sage Bharadwaj was so in the control of desires, a shishya (student) of a nearby engineering school was near the river, saw what happened to the venerable seer and started laughing in his face all the time saying “KLPD KLPD”. The righteous sage got so angry that he cursed the student: “From now on till eternity, all you male engineering students will be doing exactly what you just saw me doing. Throughout your student life and without any hope of redemption. Then we will see who has the last laugh.”
After saying this, the frustrated sage completed his daily duties near the river. But he forgot to pick up the pot that contained the water with which he had cleaned his soiled bottom, just like he forgot to pick up the pot in which his holy fluid was.
As I told you, one gave birth to Drona, the astraguru.
And the other, the soiled pot, gave birth to an idea.
That of —-the movie Drona. The idea that came out of a pot, brought to the screen by people on pot.
Small Boy 3: So today you will tell us of the other “Drona”.
Daddu: Yes. So there was this young man called Aditya who lives with foster-parents where he is day-night abused by the Punjabi-accented foster-mother and her nalayak son. He doesn’t know who he is. But he has recurrent nightmares of horrible things. Only when a digitally created blue petal would came flying down and make him chase it, that he would forget his sorrows.
Small Boy 2: Like “American Beauty” Daddu?
Daddu: What do your parents let you see now-a-days? Chi chi…..all of you are like carbide-ripened bananas.
Whispers and giggles. Isolated disjoint words like “Chudail”,”Shaitan” and “Khayega Kela” can be heard amidst the muffled voices.
Girl 1: You are making this story up aren’t you Daddu? The growing up among cruel foster parents and step-brother—we have all read Harry Potter here you know.
Daddu (getting angry): Oh so you think I made up this story? Do you think I look like Goldie Behl? More importantly, do you think your dadima looks like Sonali Bendre? Vamoose…no more story.
Boys (in chrous): Ignore her dadu. Please please.
Daddu: Okay but last warning. There is also an evil wizard Riz Raizada aka Gandalf the Gay, whose magic mantra is “Ulluk ulluk Oonta Oonta Vamoose” and who uses his index finger to penetrate men (Bulli kahaan hain teri ungli).
In his past life was super-villain Chutiya which was evident from his Chutiya-style”choti”. Evidently his balls never grew back after Prabhuji cut them off in “Gunda”, which explains his rather special way of speaking.
He also hams incorrigibly, is always found wearing discounted Halloween costumes and like “shaitani type ke baccha” he likes playing with evil toys.
For centuries, the evil man has been looking for a mythical magic fluid (amrit) that will give him immorality.
Boy 4: The same magic fluid that fell into the pot?
Daddu (ignoring the comment); So yes our Hairy Puttar…..see now you made me forget the name…..Aditya right….finds a garish looking golden bangle, the type you used to get at groceries in the 80s with detergent powder. One day the eyes of the evil wizard fall on our Aditya and more specifically his bangle. Realizing that Aditya is no mere mortal, he sets his evil dart-throwing yellow-jacketed minions on him but right when he is going to fall into the hands of the evil wizard, a vision of beauty Sonia arrives, as beautiful as Priyanka Chopra. She wields a miniature merry-go-round as a weapon and makes short shrift of the evil henchmen and saves our Aditya.
Kids (in unison): Then ?
Daddu: Once rescued, Aditya comes to learn of this secret society, known as the “Priory of Amar Singh”, who believe that Aditya is the legendary “Drona” —the only one can defeat the evil wizard Raizada and prevent the destruction of the world. In order to prevent Aditya from harm, they had been guarding him, without Aditya’s knowledge, throughout his life only taking a break from their onerous duties to rub oil on their muscular bodies and dance lock-step in a automobile garage to the magical words of “Boom Boom Sha Boom Boom”. Their leader Sonia reveals to Aditya that his real mother is a queen Jayati Devi and while the conversation is underway, the secret order is attacked by a band of black-hooded Ringwraiths also known as extras without faces. A dangerous chase begins with Sonia acting as Aditya’s bodyguard as Aditya slowly comes to terms with his…(pregnant pause)…destiny.
Girl Number 1: Destiny? The One? A female body guard? Trinity? Black-hooded Ringwraiths? Come on daddu….Matrix and Lord of the Rings…pretty original?
Daddu: Okay young lady. For one, here the Ringwraiths do not ride horses, they drives SUVs. Secondly the Ringwraiths are hardly undead—-one knock of an iron gate breaks their bones. And thirdly Sonia is nothing like Trinity—-Trinity kicks ass and Sonia she shakes it. Big difference.
Kids: Daddu please ignore her. (One of them pulls one of her pigtails and says Raizada Raizada)
Daddu: So once at the palace of Jaya “Bacchan” Devi he is told more about his backstory by the frumpy mother who has been singing mournful songs for her long lost son for many years. But soon amidst a CGI storm, the evil Raizada with an army of Navanirman Sena activists arrives and turns Jaya Devi into a stone statue and tells Aditya to turn over the “amrit” else Jaya Devi will turn Marathi. Eager to get his mother back, a weak Aditya hands over the “amrit” (which is revealed to be a little white pill made by Pfizer) but is tricked by the wicked wizard.
Eager to get back the “amrit” and save the world, the mahabali Aditya assumes his identity as the “Drona” and dons the white “poshaak” — a mythical suit which, many decades ago, had provided its wearer, Jumping-Jack Jeetu the power to defy gravity with his “Tohfa Tohfa Tohfa…Laya Laya Laya” leaps.
Grandma’s (in the background): Come inside you old goat. Else you will catch a cold.
Daddu: Aaah. Wait. So thus dressed Drona will embark on a magical quest where he will meet Darth Maul’s illegitimate son, an enchanted horse like Shadowfax, wagon-breaking Ringwraiths, a sandstorm just like the one you saw in Mummy,plenty of over-acting, “Two Towers”-style Legolas-patented moves, a grand sword-fight where the fighters move their swords like two cooks stirring broth, romantic swinging, tacky special effects and enough mythological cliches to satisfy all you crazy kids.
Next day I will tell you all the details tomorrow…..but for now Dadima is calling. And you all know she transforms into Mamata Banerjee once the sun goes down.
Girl 1: Leave it Daddu. We are not coming back tomorrow. This “Drona” story sucks. Not a shred of originality, totally confusing, a waste of time and energy even for us ten year olds. Yes the same people who spend hours just picking our noses.
Daddu: Wait wait o little ones…
Kids (in unison) run away chanting: Mera naam hain mahabaali Drona, mujhe theatre main dekhke acche khasse ko padta hai rona