Lucknow sabka isteqbaal karta hai - jo yahan aata hai, yahan kho jata hai...
Residing in Lucknow, a city full of happiness and charm, every Lucknowite feels emotionally connected and attached to the city of Lucknow. Our very own Lucknow city has given us a hundred times more than what we could have even dared to ask for, or we ever deserved.
No matter where we reach, what we do, how old we get, the zikr of our very own city, Lucknow, fills us with pride. At this moment, when an entire Bollywood film is set and shot in Lucknow, we feel excited to the highest level.
We have watched films that describe the life and people of Delhi or Mumbai, and take us on a sojourn of these cities. However, it is for the first time in history, there is a film that is set in Lucknow, the city of Nawabs.
Lucknow ki sarzameen mein aaj bhi wo kasbe babasta hain jo kabhi shaan o shaukat ke adde hua krte the...
The crumbling beauty of Mahmudabad haveli is where the film shooting was set. And to all of us in Lucknow, it is a very important film for Lucknow, its culture and heritage.
5 reasons why Gulabo Sitabo is an important film for the city of Lucknow
1. Promoting Lucknow's tourism and rich heritage on a global level
None of us can deny the fact that travel and movies are linked closely. Many places from cities to small villages have become popular among tourists after people have seen it in movies.
The glimpses of well-known neighborhoods and landmarks of Lucknow including Bada Imambara, Lahri Manzil, Wazirganj, Lal Darwaja, Lucknow College of Arts and Crafts, Chattar Manzil, and the bustle of Aminabad Market will definitely pull people to Lucknow.
As an important film for Lucknow, Gulabo Sitabo shall help in boosting tourism in Lucknow as tourists will want to visit these historical places.
2. Attracting attention for restoration of old structures in Lucknow that still exist but are ignored
The film Gulabo Sitabo is shot in Lucknow because it has its old buildings, cobbled streets, Lakhnavi tehzeeb, and cultural heritage still alive. You can still find mazes of streets in the old city that lead you from one place to another, but really far away.
We are delighted to cherish the fact that our city's symbol - Roomi Gate, the banks of Gomti, the old busy bazaars, the Tonga rides, and majestic Havelis will be more popular in the world. People will be familiar with the real picture of Lucknow, which is slowly pacing towards a metro life.
Cinema will be a medium to indicate that these structures need care, affection, and restoration at the earliest so that they stand bold, tall, and strong for many more years to come. Many more generations of Lucknow must see what their ancestors have left behind.
3. Taking us on a tour of the much-loved folklore and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb of Lucknow
The title of Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo is based on an old Lucknow folklore, which was adapted into a play on hand puppets of the same name. The puppets are a pair of squabbling ladies, one of them being the wife and the other being the mistress of the Nawab, who keep fighting and lose what they both loved.
The film’s leads are Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurana, who play a quarrelsome landlord and tenant in a haveli in Lucknow’s Old City. Thus, the two of them translate the Gulabo-Sitabo folklore into a real-life story.
Also, the dialogues of Gulabo Sitabo – ‘arey balaf na chori hui, nigodi jaidaad chori ho gyi’, ‘inki jaidaad wali surat kahan’, ‘chillao mat, attack aa jayega’, 'aaj Kahan se tapak pade', 'pak gye the toh tapak gye', 'ye jaada unhe le jayega', etc reflect the Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb of Lucknow.
Even when Lucknowites fight, they keep their nafasat by their side before they speak out.
4. Showing Lucknow's secret - multicultural architecture and religious harmony
Lucknow’s multicultural architecture and an indiscriminate lifestyle form a backdrop in the film, which again makes it an important film for Lucknow city.
From French architectural features of Claude Martin’s La Martiniere school, striking Anglo churches and Hindu shrines by the Gomti river, the imposing grandeur of Mughal architecture of Bara and Chota Imambara, Gulabo Sitabo showcases the essence of the city and its cosmopolitanism.
The film also portrays religious harmony among the dwellers of the Haveli, which is a rare thing for films today, shown as an integral part of Lucknow.
5. Highlighting the lost glory of the Nawabs and the Havelis that were once treasures and stores of wealth and flaunt
Another striking and important reason for loving Gulabo Sitabo as an important film for Lucknow is its portrayal of Mirza, an old man who is waiting to get possession of the Haveli that belongs to is wife.
Mirza is a simpler adaptation of Nawabs in the film Gulabo Sitabo. After their rule was over, the Nawabs, who were luxury addicted and non-accustomed to work, ruined themselves on their own. They wanted to maintain their status and standard of living without doing anything. The royalty you see!
The ruins and structures of old Lucknow shown in Gulabo Sitabo (film) highlight the pitiful situation of Lucknow's heritage which has lost its 200-year long grandeur and familiarises people with what happened to the Nawabs after their rule was over.
Message from Gulabo Sitabo for Lucknowites
The movie Gulabo Sitabo is a biting satire and melancholic lament on the present state of Lucknow's rich cultural heritage, which is left uncared for a long time. It conveys a message that if we don't do something about protecting it, we will be responsible for endangering it and losing it completely.
Gulabo Sitabo chooses a different ending and ends with a warning: that if we do not quit our squabbling and dancing to the tunes of one or the other puppeteer, we will soon lose our precious collective heritage—our home itself—however uneasily held together it may be, to the forces of the state, big capital, and empty novelties that come in the name of ‘progress’.
Our shared heritage is the living, breathing spirit of collective existence that animates all our lives and that we are all in urgent danger of losing.