Akshay Kumar, fresh from his ‘anti-terrorist’ films like ‘Holiday’ and ‘Baby’ was looking for yet another film on social issues with commercial potential. While on a walk with writer Rajat Arora, the Khiladi star stumbled upon a burning issue of India – corruption.
Rajat Arora: But sir…there are many films made on corruption. How can we surpass masterpieces like Kamal Hassan’s ‘Hindustani’, Sunny Leo..oops Deol’s ‘Indian’, Sallu bhai’s ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘Kick’?
Akshay Kumar: Those were about patriotism and helping others. We need to connect with aam aadmi…
Rajat Arora: Political angle?
Akshay Kumar: Right angle – Woh Pan ki dukaan dekh…Let’s chat up with that Panwala to find the right script.
They walk towards a Pan shop and ask for two Calcutti meetha pans (or is it Kolkattis now?) and start chatting with the Panwala about our current films and what aam janta wants. Here’s a fictional translation of what transpires next:
Panwala: Films these days are either Hollywoodised, South-Indianised or Festivalized.
Akshay Kumar: Festivalized?
Panwala: Arrey those which are made only for film festivals…Ship of Theseus, Lunchbox, Miss Lovely…I thought Lovely was about lovely kheemaam…So by the way…what I am trying to say is: Where is the film that we want to see?
Rajat Arora: Exactly. If we were to make a film on corruption….what should we make?
Panwala: Sooli pe taang dena chahiye sasuron ko! All corrupt officers must be hanged to death!
Akshay Kumar: Hey Rajat likh likh…Film begins with corrupt officers being hanged to death.
Rajat Arora: Hanged to death by whom, the law?
Panwala: Arrey ghannn..law! Court kacheri used to suit Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Sunny Deol…Aaj kal ke hero…The hero should hang them.
Akshay Kumar: But how can he just roam about free after hanging people on roadside?
Panwala: He will be a professor.
Akshay Kumar: Hey Rajat likh likh…Now this is going to be interesting! And how will this solve the issue of corruption?
Panwala: Ek ko latkaaoge to sab apne aap seedhe ho jayenge…simple logic – Punish one, the rest will be reform on their own!
Akshay Kumar: Brilliant! But won’t the cops find out?
Panwala: Make all those cops spineless lazy pigs. Except one constable…
Rajat Arora: Constable? You mean someone like Tushar Kapoor in Khakhi?
Akshay Kumar: Tushar ka bhi budget nahi hai apne paas…We’ll cast someone else.
Panwala: Why think so much? Pick up anyone from Comedy With Kapil….Gutthi bhi chalegi!
Rajat and Akshay: Gutthi bhi chalegi! Sunil Grover will readily accept this dream-come-true role. What next?
Panwala: While the other cops laze around and keep wondering how to catch the culprit, this constable will do his investigations independently while on leave.
Rajat Arora: But how can he be so smart and intelligent?
Panwala: Kyu saab? Can’t constables be smart and intelligent? When I, a Panwala can give you a blockbuster script like this, why can’t a constable conduct an investigation on his own?
Akshay Kumar: You’re right…Maybe we can add some backstory of this constable who is a victim of corruption, hence remained a constable when he could have easily become an inspector. Hey Rajat, likh likh…
Panwala: Bas aur kya…play the mouse-cat game and introduce some Jaykant Shirke like Singham.
Akshay Kumar: Ab villain kahan se aayega?
Panwala: Add some backstory of the hero…He must have killed his wife or something and later tried to kill him too…
Akshay Kumar: Superb! The villain had wronged him hence this professor turns into a killer. But how does he manage to stay hidden from the villain after he survives his attack?
Panwala: Ab itna kaun sochta hai saab…write no…why look for logic? It’s a Bollywood film!
Akshay Kumar: Okay, once his vengeance is over, the professor surrenders himself to the cops…beech beech mein thoda naya character daal denge..someone like Jaydeep Ahlawat can fill in as poor man’s Manoj Bajpayee as a cop. Hey Rajat…likh likh…
Panwala: There goes your ishtory! And here’s your pan…Choona kitna daloo?
Akshay Kumar: Choona to public ko lag jaayega! But what about the title…and how can we build a brand of it?
Panwala: Hai na sabse bada readymade brand – Khud Gabbar!
Rajat Arora: You mean Sholay wala Gabbar? But what’s the connection?
Panwala: Saab yeh aajkal ke writer sochte bahut hai!
Akshay Kumar: Gabbar is a perfect marketing strategy! Hey Rajat…likh likh…Gabbar is back!