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'Desi tandoor, videsi oven' Swara Bhaskar greets audience in Anaarkali of Aarah teaser


The Raanjhanaa actress is out to revive the mujra culture with a raw and rustic film. Close friend Sonam Kapoor launched the teaser on social media.

Mayur Lookhar

Once a popular dance form for Hindi cinema, the mujra culture is dead both on and off screen. A few filmmakers tried bringing it back in the modern era, most notably JP Dutta’s Umrao Jaan (2006) and songs like Kareen Kapoor's Dil Mera Muft Ka from Agent Vinod (2012) and Sajid Khan's Housefull 2 (2012) where the director took his Anarakali Malaika Arora to the disco.

It looks like Anarkali is now being brought out from the disco to its true place – the Hindi hinterlands – by first time director Avinash Das. And Raanjhanaa (2013) actress Swara Bhaskar could help revive the magic of the mujra dance culture as the proverbial Anarkali in her upcoming film Anaarkali of Aarah.

Don’t be fooled by the English letter ‘of’ for the teaser has given us enough hint that here’s a film that might just show a realistic portrayal of the modern Anaarkalis without compromising on its tradition.

Sonam Kapoor, who launched the teaser on Twitter was very impressed her Ranjhanaa co-star’s new avtaar.

The teaser has a character Rangeela, introducing Anaarkali as the Desi tandoor, videshi oven. The four words suggest that this is a modern day Anaarkali. 

Dressed in a classical mujra avtaar, Anaarkali (Bhaskar) greets you with a namaskar and aadab (tradional Hindi and Urdu greetings) in the most seductive manner. You  almost beg to see more of this Anaarkali. The film welcomes you to a raw and rustic land, Aarah. The original place Arrah is a city and a municipal corporation in Bhojpur district in the state of Bihar, India.

Swara plays the lead role of a singer crooning double meaning songs and is very unapologetic about her sexuality. Film has been primarily shot in four cities- Amroha, Arrah, Patna, Delhi.

Written and directed by Avinash Das, Anaarkali of Aarah is set to be released on 24 March, 2017.

The real Anarkali was a courtesan in the court of Emperor Akbar. She would go on to become an inspiration for Hindi film industry with filmmaker K Asif making the magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam (1960), with Madhubala playing Anarkali. The film helped popularise the mujra culture with Meena Kumari and Rekha essaying similar courtesan characters in Pakeezah (1972) and Muzzafar Ali’s Umrao Jaan (1981), respectively.

Watch the teaser of Anaarkali of Aarah below.