The Open Dosa

Consuming the Ordinary Differently

Going to Boeing Boeing

Some children might have dreamed of becoming Miss World, a model, or an air hostess. While reading the synopsis of the play Boeing Boeing, the word airhostess stood out for me, and so I decided to watch it.

Almost two hours later, I left the Alliance Francaise auditorium feeling a little empty inside, frustrated that my Friday evening had been pointless. What I had been enlightened about instead was my childhood dream job. I was shown that when the airhostess isn’t collecting trays and giving out blankets, or helping little kids find their favourite cartoon movie on the flight, this is what they do:

  1. They are never ever curious.
  2. They always stays in the hostess uniform except after they’ve just showered.
  3. They cannot hear conversations that happen in the next room though the maid can hear them perfectly.
  4. Sleeping is what holds their attention the most, even if they just found out their fiancé is a lying, cheating piece of garbage.
  5. They could be over enthusiastic and jumpy. So jumpy, that they can’t tell their fiancé from another man.
  6. Or they could be the one who has a few other fiancés in different parts of the world.

But we can only call her characterless and gasp when she reveals this, though we’re all sitting in a play where the man himself has three fiancées living in the same house. Um, what?

Boeing-Boeing

The play revolves around the life of Dhruv, who lives with his sexually frustrated maid, and his three fiancées. Things go south when his childhood friend, Mohan Ram, comes over to Mumbai to visit him. Dhruv until then had kept this love triangle, no, quadrangle, under wraps for the fear of messing things up. Things then get worse for him when a new superfast jet, Boeing Boeing, is introduced: his perfectly planned time table of managing his three fiancées goes for a toss.

I grant that this play was an adaptation of a play with the same name written by Marc Camoletti in 1960. But how difficult would it have been to agree with the fact that women are not just about the looks, and made those little changes to keep up with the times?

A woman who is engaged to a man will know perfectly well if there is another woman in his life. Especially if the other woman is living under the same roof. She would know it even better if there are two other women. You don’t agree with me? That’s okay. An airhostess does not just look famished and beautiful, but can also have common sense. You don’t agree with that either? Maybe you should watch Boeing Boeing and feel good that there are people who believe in the same things that you do.

Mohan Ram’s goofiness, his expressions, and his stupidity save the day, or the flight. They made up for Dhruv’s constant loud thigh-patting and over enthusiastic acting, and Natasha’s (one of the fiancées’) on and off accent. There could have been so many other ways of making the audience laugh, but director Hardhik Sha chose to call women dim-witted, lacking curiosity, make-up conscious and handbag obsessed, and laughed at their expense.

In the end things work out perfectly for Dhruv, he gets the smartest and the most loyal of the three fiancées’. Mohan Ram ends up with the other, and a millionaire in Brazil gets the third. But the story doesn’t end there. It goes on to say that men will be men, and closes with Mohan Ram becoming the new Dhruv. It wasn’t surprising that the only people who chose to cheer and stay till the end were friends of the cast.

The Friday evening would have been much better, had I sipped a cup of tea in the comfort of my balcony, or endured the torture Balika Vadhu would have inflicted on us. At least it would have ended in half an hour.

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