Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Biwi No 1 With David Dhawan


Faith and Space is the Bedrock of their successful marriage

Some time ago I discovered David Dhawan- and what an escape it was!  Frothing merriment, irreverence and side splitting humor. Rules are cast to the wind as zany heroes and delectable heroines wend their way through improbable situations and story lines that just about manage to teeter within the possible! This packaged escapade revives and I am once again ready to meet the world “ Ek Chotisi break ke baad”!!

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With these thoughts I approach the house of David Dhawan and wife Lally, smiling reminiscently to myself with thoughts that meander toward the lot of Bollywood wives.
-Husbands away for weeks on end, preoccupied with their film and entertainment world. And for many, the entertainment might extend to other avenues too. I’m curious about the wives- left ‘behind’. Do they have to contend with insecurities? Does it  take a toll on the relationship? What does the wife do to ensure ostensible fidelity, keep her peace and keep her suspicions in check?

Lally Dhawan had an arranged marriage twenty nine years ago . I’ve always noticed a happy equanimity about her. Never just Mrs.David Dhawan, she kept her identity intact. This is her first tip to quelling insecurity. “I never went with the tide or succumbed to peer pressure. I would trade all the cars and flash that the film line is known for my sound upbringing , the right priorities ,value system, keeping my feet on the ground come good times or bad. The ethics should be right and then you don't stumble and fumble with temptation."

Her second tip is that the bond of a husband and wife is always augmented with well bred kids. Her children have always been her strongest anchor. “David was never keen that I take full time jobs. Children in the film line always hang around sets and go to parties. While the children were the centre of my life I did ensure I kept ‘me time’ and never just got enveloped in just kids and husband.”

“David gave me space to eke out my identity. The first time I travelled alone to Dubai for work with an exhibition , David encouraged me, helped me with an investment, didn’t just assume that she’d gone to have a good time. In the first years of marriage there can be insecurity, but we trusted each other and allowed each other to spread our wings.” The secret is to give space, to allow each other to grow independently and so the respect and pride for each other also grows. To be an anchor and a strength to the spouse than a liability is what ensures longevity and mutual growth.

As for David he went for long outdoors, for nearly a month “it’s not as if men don't have affairs when women go along. It can be any unit member of the crew that a man can have an affair with. I intermingle, connect , bond with all in the camp and connect as a couple. A woman must connect with people as a team for a man to feel that it becomes more difficult to stray.

A funny anecdote is when David was making ‘Biwi number 1’. David said he made the movie thinking of Lally. Karisma Kapoor is busy doing homework with her kids finds Salman having an affair with Sushmita.” At the time, David had said “I’ve taken the lines of this film from you, she’s like you, her priorities are her kids.” So Lally joked ‘you must also then be having an affair while I do homework with Varun and Rohit.” Before he could answer Salman Khan retorted- “Lally you won’t even know, he’s so sly”. “Here I feel it’s better to be in the dark than to vitiate my peace. Suspicion only makes you paranoid and  do all you can to avert an affair, but beyond a point you canot become obsessed” avers Lally philosophically.

Nisha JamVwal nishajamvwal@gmail.com

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