Yaariyan, a small-budget film from the T-Series stables that released last week, has prompted outrage and much contempt among the student community in India, particularly engineers.
Several thousands of students have banded together for mass demonstrations against the film. They are demanding that the film be revoked from theatres and that director Divya Khosla Kumar be banned from direction permanently.
“Who gives these film-makers the right to claim that they know us?” yells Sour Grapes, an agitated Delhi University student, who says he has filed a petition to find out which college the director herself went to. “I’d like to know which college in this country has girls seducing the boys in tank tops and short skirts! In my college, they send goons after us even if we just smile at them!”
There are others who are equally incredulous. PVS Anooshasan, a lecturer at Annamalai University, is befuddled at the endless parade of semi-naked women in the film. “I graduated with 94% marks in HSC, a first-class at my Bachelors and a GPA of 9.9 in my Masters. I now have a hard-earned job. But if there is actually such a college in India (as shown in this film), I’m ready to give it all up and go back to school again!” he announces.
Later, he has an afterthought. “Do women in engineering colleges also look so good nowadays?”
Eager to manifest their outrage and frustrated with substandard movie fare, students have begun an online campaign for the creation of a National Charter of Basic Standards for So-Called Youth Films. This document, they hope, will prevent the creation of more films like F.A.L.T.U., Student Of The Year and Yaariyan.
“Ever since Karan Johar took liberties with his Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, film-makers seem to think we teenagers live in Lala-Land. They seem to have confused studying with partying and rebellion with retardation. It’s time we made it mandatory for them to obtain sanity certificates themselves!” says an anguished student from FTII.
In this proposed Charter, the following points will be incorporated:
- Films about youth will have to be films about youth.
- If a film features students, they will have to look like students. FYI – Students typically carry satchels, identity cards, books and notes. They usually do not own Ferraris.
- At some point, projects and exams will also have to come in. Colleges can’t not have exams. (Duh!)
- Teachers cannot be sexy. Or horny. Or gay. That does not happen in real life.
- The principal is never a Cool Dude. He must be shown as he is – a greying, balding man who drives to college in a Maruti 800 and has idlis for lunch.
- There are no indoor swimming pools. At best, there are water-filled ditches during monsoons.
- The canteen cannot resemble a 24-hour coffee shop. The best canteen serves two types of Maggi, a few brands of cigarettes and watery chai.
- Girls rarely wear short skirts.
- They positively NEVER wear bikinis.
- Even if hot girls exist, they DO NOT fancy engineering boys. At best, you can hold her bag.
- There are no life-and-death marathons or life-altering patriotism. At best, you shed a tear or two at the convocation, and that too because you’re reminded of first-sem horrors.
- Fantasies of girls drenched in alcohol do not come true on prom nights, only all-male porn nights.
- Last but not the least: No songs. Dancing around trees is illegal in most campuses. So, no songs. Did we mention No Songs?!
In the meanwhile, producer Bhushan Kumar has the final word on the brouhaha surrounding his wife’s directorial debut. “I think you should have simply looked up Divya on Wikipedia,” he says calmly, resplendent in a garland of fresh green currency notes. “It mentions that she came to Mumbai for modelling when she was just 20. When she hasn’t completed higher education herself, why did you expect the film to be steeped in reality?”