The Evergreen Heftiness of Dum Laga Ke Haisha


The Evergreen Heftiness of Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


here’s a scene in Sharat Katariya’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha where an elated and overweight Sandhya Verma (an impressive Bhumi Pednekar) dances with pure abandon minutes before getting married to the distraught Prem Prakash Tiwari (Ayushmann Khurrana). The setting is quietly comic; a teeming community centre in Haridwar where Sandhya and Prem are one of the many couples whose marriage is getting officiated that day. Just as her in-laws arrive at the venue, Sandhya joins the other brides-to-be and gyrates deliriously to the music: Enjoying herself and acutely unconscious of her body, even as Prem, his friends, and her in-laws stare at her in horror.

For Sandhya, her weight poses no great constraints. But to onlookers, this autonomy over her body is the reason for their glaring embarrassment. They look away disapprovingly, but the damage is done.