Bollywood’s Best Kept Secret About ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’

Two years ago when Karan Johar was on the verge of releasing his latest directorial movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ after a break of 5 years, there was a lot of speculation related to the film. It has its fair share of controversies as well, concerning Pakistani actor Fawad Khan being part of the film while there was an ongoing ban on Pakistani actors working in India.

But something that they are not telling you yet is this: all the characters of the movie including Aishwariya, Anushka, Fawad and Shahrukh Khan were supposed to be ‘Pakistani’. Yes you heard that right. That is how the entire movie was originally shot. The story was to be about inter cultural bonding between Indian and Pakistanis who meet abroad and that cultural differences don’t matter there.

And we have proof, let’s have a look at the hints:

1. Lahore becomes Lucknow

The insert shots of Lucknow into the film are rather haphazard, the scene where Anushka urges Ranbir to come to Lucknow for her wedding, if you watch her lip movement closely, she clearly says Lahore. Also the signage at the Airport gives away.

2. Why wouldn’t Ranbir have a visa for Lucknow?

In the same scene Ranbir tells Anushka as an ‘Indian boy’, that he doesn’t have a visa for Lucknow, say what?

3. It had even been confirmed by Manish Malhotra earlier

Well that closes the deal, as designer Manish Malhotra revealed in an interview that: ‘Both Aishwariya and Anushka play Pakistani girls and their style has a mix of the cultures.’ Later he had to change his statement following the pressure on the film for having Pakistani actors, which is also probably the reason Karan Johar altered the narrative in the first place.

4. Fawad Khan’s scenes cropped

Most of the scenes of Pakistan’s hearthrobe Fawad were edited out and many critics agree. Probably because his scenes added to the narrative that it was Lahore where Anushka and Fawad belonged instead of Lucknow.

5. Aishwariya is an urdu poetess

Although this isn’t a clear ground for a character to be Pakistani, but something about the character oozes Pakistani, the fondness for Noor Jehan, the scribblings in Urdu calligraphy.

6. Critics and Editors have already been talking about it

Screenwriter and editor Apporva Asrani tweeted:

Also critic Nandini Ramnath in her review wrote ‘how the characters in the movie are now from Luckhnow rather than from Lahore’.

Maybe this is the reason the film suffered, because there was too much editing and we never got to saw the whole story. Only if Karan Johar hadn’t given in to the pressure, we could’ve watched our characters portrayed in a ‘Karan Johar movie’, something all of us South Asians are secretly die hard fans of!

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