It was way back in 2014, in the 3rd season of his show Satyamev Jayate, that Aamir Khan first came in contact with Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari, the girls who are the inspiration for his film, Dangal.
Aamir Khan has been giving out hints on Dangal since 2014; we missed them!
Mumbai - 09 Nov 2016 7:30 IST
Aamir Khan's deliberation in accepting film roles and approving scripts is legendary. An actor who does only one film a year, Khan often sits on scripts for a long time before deciding whether to take up a project. So, his commitment to Nitesh Tiwari's Dangal took everyone by surprise.
In 2014, Aamir Khan's reality show, Satyamev Jayate, had two special guests – Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari. The two wrestlers are central to the story of Dangal.
The opening episode of season 3 of Satyamev Jayate revolved around individuals who changed the perception of society about them. In the introduction to Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari's segment, Khan raised a question about the main concern of a father of daughters in a small village in Haryana.
When the audience unanimously agreed on the problems of dowry and marriage, Khan told them they were wrong! It was here that the magic word appeared.
In the final part of the introduction, Khan almost dramatically said the next guests were daughters of a father who trained them to win gold medals in sports, "and what a sport! Wrestling! Dangal!" Bingo! There it was.
The rest of the segment had Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari speaking about the training regimen their father put them through. Babita Kumari said, "In the beginning, Father used to take us for runs. But as time went by, the training became tougher. Father would make us practise along with boys." Towards the end, the gold medallist added, "He would make us practise just as much as the boys. He would say, 'Don't you eat as much as the boys? Why can't you work out like them?' "
Well, the episode seems to have left an imprint on the actor. The trailer to his film carries the same theme of daughters living up to their father's dream. In fact, many of the lines from the episode are reflected in the dialogues in the trailer. For instance, the tagline for the film, 'Mhaari chhoriyaan chhoron se kam hai ke?' seems like a direct lift from the last quote from Babita Kumari. It makes us wonder if the seed for Dangal was planted in that very episode.
Incidentally, the episode was shot in October 2014. Aamir Khan had just finished shooting for PK (2014), and seems to have started working on his weight for Dangal already. At the poster launch of Dangal, Khan spoke about how he took his time before approving Nitesh Tiwari's project.
"Dangal came to me at the time I was working on Dhoom 3," he said. "I requested Tiwari if he would be willing to wait for five years. He was more than happy to oblige. I completed Dhoom 3 and, some months later, I called up Tiwari. He stated that they were still waiting for my reply. So, I gave my nod to Dangal."
This implies that the Satyamev Jayate episode was probably shot with Khan completely on board the film.
One thing is for certain, Aamir Khan does not do things lightly. Dangal is now ready for release on 23 December.