Parvin Dabbas recalls the time Monsoon Wedding premiered in Venice | Bollywood

Pravin Dabbas started out with Dillagi in Hindi movies, and soon featured in a small but critically acclaimed film, Monsoon Wedding. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, the actor recalls how the team of Monsoon Wedding was surprised to see people clapping for them in the streets after the Mira Nair’s film was screened at the Venice Film Festival in 2001. (Also read: Actor Samyuktha on dropping her surname Menon from social media)

Asked about a memorable fan moment from his career, Parvin said, “I can tell you about the time I felt the appreciation of fans. The first thing I did – Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding – it was a small film. We were at the Venice Film Festival where there were huge hoardings of various big movies from Hollywood and all. Ours was a small 6 by 6 poster. We stayed at bed-and-breakfast with students and tourists.”

He further said, “Only Naseeruddin Shah and Mira ji were staying at a hotel and the rest of us, we were staying in similar accommodations. Nobody knew us and then there was a public screening ahead of the press conference the same day. After the screening, the press conference happened but nothing felt huge. Later in the day, we were walking to Mira ji’s hotel and suddenly people started clapping. We thought Tom Cruise was there and started looking for him. But people began shouting Monsoon Wedding and then we looked at each other ‘ye humare liye taali baja rahe hain (they are clapping for us)’. That was huge.”

Parvin added that after the public screening, the team of Monsoon Wedding could easily gate crash into parties just by saying they were from the film’s team. ‘Darwaaze aise khul jata the (doors would open just like that). That was a great feeling, to be part of an Indian film that got such recognition from the audience abroad.”

Directed by Mira Nair, Monsoon Wedding had the world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and the film also won the Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival that year. The film also featured Tillotama Shome, Lillete Dubey, Randeep Hooda, Shefali Shah, Vijay Raaz, Vasundhara Das and Rajat Kapoor in important roles.

Talking about his parents, Parvin said, “I come from a very humble background. Mai gaon me, charpai pe paida hua tha hospital bhi nahi (I was born on a charpoi in a village, not even a hospital). I have seen how my parents went through hard work and how, through sheer hard work, they achieved so much.”

Parvin, along with his actor-wife Preeti Jhangiani, has started the Pro-Panja League – a tournament that promotes the game of hand wrestling and they are now working on show on the same.

Talking about the first tournament that was held near Gwalior Fort last year in July, Parvin said, “It was scheduled for July and people suggested we should cancel the event because of the rains, but I was sure. I told everybody that the event will be held at the pre-decided venue, just as I had visualised it and as luck would have it, we did it. When you work hard, destiny also supports you.”


    Sweta Kaushal has 13 years of experience covering Bollywood and regional movies, TV shows, national current affairs and social issues.
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