Neal ’n’ Nikki: When Mini Skirts Made For Movies

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Neal ’n’ Nikki: When Mini Skirts Made For Movies

Illustration: Palak Bansal

C

lose your eyes. It’s 2005. Natwar Singh has been ousted in an oil scandal and a teenager with a bazooka forehand is making us proud in tennis. Playing in your head is the song “Nikki Bakshi, sweet n sexy, full on rocking, hot and happening.”

Neal ’n’ Nikki came to our screens and changed our young lives forever. We were in 8th grade, and rumours started doing the rounds that entire sections of students were bunking classes to watch the film whose trailer had a surprisingly sexually liberated vibe. In the Bollywood of Veer-Zaara and Shah Rukh Khan, it was exhilarating to see characters speaking like we would do, talking about sex and boning like we only did with our friends in hushed tones. The film was also seemingly in on the “Sanskaari Bollywood” joke, making an entire song parodying Bollywood love songs, while wearing funky glasses, outlandish mufflers, and Dev Anand’s cap. They never kissed in the song, always going for a hug with an expression that said “This is so freaking dumb.” It amazed us that there were people in Hindi movies who thought of Hindi movies like we did.

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