Rahul da Cunha: Padmavati Bar & Grill, Goa

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

So I'm making a historical movie called 'Finding Feni'. Set in 1563, Deepika Padukone plays a Portuguese princess, Philomena de Costa Vin Diesel who sails from Lisbon and lands at Aguada Beach in her ship 'El Sorpotel' — she is seeking to discover the best Goa sausage, locally called chorizo.

See, dear reader, I wanted to make a low budget sismance movie — the female equivalent of 'bromance' — but was told by the studios that chick flicks are out and colossal multi-crore sagas are in. So, here's my 'Konkan kahaani'. Paula Blossom Braganza the Third, Princess of Baga, (played by Priyanka Chopra), is the heiress to all the lands, north of Siolim. Jacqueline Fernandez stars as Queen Petunia Nunes who's reign includes Panjim and beyond.

These two fine ladies rule fifteenth century Goa, making it a fully matriarchal Union territory. Ranveer Singh plays Bosco Bhansali Britto, a Goan Hindu waiter of a beach shack, called Padmavati Bar and Grill, situated directly between the two kingdoms, in Morjim. On the side, he runs a distillery, making cashew feni. He is highly charming, and sings a song that's already a major hit — 'Main Bajirao, tu chorizo pao'.

Obviously, both the royal ladies are in love with this slick 'server of prawn curry rice'. Solid triangle of tension, boss! But, when Philomena's El Sorpotel anchors down at Morjim, Deepika's character immediately catches Bosco's fancy. This throws Paula and Petunia into a blue funk and they unite, putting aside their petty differences. Goa goes to war against Portugal.

So, on the second day of shooting, while filming the war sequences in Fort Aguada, various militant groups have showed up to protest, accusing me of distorting historical facts.
An organisation called VINDALOO, Vendors Of India Against Lovely Omnivores (Oink), are objecting to my misrepresentation of pigs in the film — "You are showing Goa to be a place where our sacred pigs run around in the dirt", exclaimed the leader of VINDALOO, Mr Boar Braganza. Later in the afternoon, I am accosted by a splinter group of the Russian mafia called PPP (Putin Puthrough Patrao). The leader, who has a blonde wig like Donny Trump, says to me in a thick part-Morjim, part-Moscow accent, "Da, you are showing Comrade Britto making cashew feni in Morjim. It should be vodka. Russian vodka."

When I try telling him that in 1563, there were no Russians in Goa, he slapped me over the head with a large lobster. Social media has also gone ballistic. I'm being trolled on Twitter by a group called ABBA — Alia Bhatt Besties Always. They are attacking me for not casting their heroine. One troll named 'I Hate Everyone' tweeted, 'Hey dacunha, u iz idiot person, why you cast Dippy & Piggy Chops. Alia iz best, recast or else'. So, I am trying to deal with all this stress. Now, I have decided to make a chick flick after all. Deepika comes to Goa looking for her two long lost sisters – I'm naming the movie, 'Paula Petunia aur Philomena ke Palolem Safar'.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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