Gangubai Kathiawadi: Student of the year Alia Bhatt hunts for a teacher

Updated: Nov 06, 2019, 16:18 IST | Upala KBR | Mumbai

As Alia Bhatt is required to pick Kathiawadi for Gangubai film, SLB approaches Gujarati theatre actors to help him find a tutor.

Alia Bhatt
Alia Bhatt

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's perfectionist streak is legendary in Bollywood circles. And it is that time again when the auteur will stop at nothing to make sure his next turns out exactly as he has envisioned. Only weeks away from taking his ambitious film, Gangubai Kathiawadi, on floors, Bhansali is on the lookout for a tutor for Alia Bhatt. The actor, in her first collaboration with the filmmaker, will play Gangubai Kothewali — the fierce madam of Kamathipura brothels in 1960s who had gangsters as clients, and was rumoured to be a drug peddler. To stay true to her muse — who hailed from a middle-class Kathiawadi family and was eventually sold off to a Bombay brothel — Bhatt will be required to pick up Kathiawadi.

A trade source reveals that while both, Bhansali and Bhatt, are Gujaratis, Kathiawadi differs largely from the colloquial language. "Interestingly, Alia's paternal grandfather Nanabhai Bhatt was a Gujarati Brahmin who hailed from Kathiawad. But Alia is not familiar with the dialect as it is rarely used outside of the pocket in Gujarat. Since the filmmaker is meticulous in his prep, he wants a tutor who is fluent in the dialect. Bhansali has reached out to some of Mumbai's famous Gujarati theatre personalities, including actors Manoj Joshi and Supriya Pathak, to help him in his search. The film will be shot simultaneously as she undertakes the month-long diction class."

Sanjay Leela BhansaliSanjay Leela Bhansali

Even though Bhatt will speak the dialect only in portions of the film, Bhansali wants his leading lady to perfect the twang. "The dialect has a strong Sindh influence as the region was inhabited by the Kathis and Rajputs from present-day Rajasthan and Sindh."

Despite repeated attempts, Bhansali remained unavailable for comment.

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