Mirza Ghalib one of the greatest poets that country had produced had with a wail in his heart had said, 'kaun jaye Dilli ki galiyon ko chod kar kambhakt', i.e. it would be an idiot who would like to leave the lanes of Delhi and go somewhere else. The same is being experienced by the Hindi film world as well, as it has started rediscovering Delhi with a vengeance once again.
It indeed is an interesting comparison between Delhi and Bombay that Bombay gets prominent references in Hindi films but Delhi does not in the same comparison. The quotient of comparison is interesting when it is compared with its illustrative brother Hollywood. In Hollywood New York and Washington get same references, but Delhi and Bombay being cities of the same relevance do not get the same comparative references. The scene is slowly undergoing change, and it is more to do with the directors who are emerging from Delhi or the actors who have roots in Delhi in one form or the other who want to pay the tribute to Delhi through their creative expositions.
The romantic facade in not too a distant memory was captured with distinction in CHANDNI where romance was woven around the contrasting facades of historical eminence and modern architectural expressions. Among the stars who have had prominent association with Delhi has been Rishi Kapoor, with his earlier film DUNIYA MERI JEB MEIN and CHANDNI, and the song of DUNIYA MERI JEB MEIN, 'Dil Ka Rishta Jod Liya Hai' captured the landscapes of Delhi through lyrics, while CHANDNI paid a visual tribute.
The real life of Delhi however got a shot in the arm when Dibakar Banerjee made KHOSLA KA GHOSLA and followed it up with OYE LUCKY LUCKY OYE. It got further strength with RANG DE BASANTI, which propelled India Gate in the memory of the nation in a forceful manner in such a manner that it got approval as a sight for social protests. Subhash Ghai's BLACK AND WHITE also captured the charm of old Delhi in his own inimitable manner, and in the genre of international films it was MUHAFFIZ made by Merchant Ivory productions which captured the old world charm of Delhi in a romantic manner. Delhi however would have a dream run in 2009.
The curtain would be raised on Delhi as a celluloid destination of Hindi films in 2009 with one of the most awaited films of 2009, which is already making waves CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA. One of the most illustrious sons of Delhi Akshay Kumar would be presenting the modern aspect of Chandni Chowk through this film. It will be followed by DELHI 6 and DELHI BELLY. For the uninitiated, DELHI 6 is the pin code of old Delhi, i.e. area around Chandni Chowk and it would be an interesting contrast to see what is the difference in the manner in which Chandni Chowk is projected in CC2C and the manner in which it would be done in DELHI 6, as DELHI 6 is being made by a person who has walked through all the annals of Delhi 6 in his childhood, the person being Rakeysh Mehra.
DELHI BELLY would be another film, which is going to contextualize the modern Delhi through the eyes of the youth in the interesting times. Once these three films release in 2009, the image of Delhi being majorly a political centre would change, and the vibrant and pulsating image of Delhi would be presented before the audience of the country to see and savor for itself.
India indeed is a country where there are scores of cities, which could provide interesting backdrops to develop and built around the story. Cities, itself as content could be a new genre that can be experimented with and stories built around them, each having a unique flavour and aroma of its own.