Friday, April 2, 2010

The Doctor Balki Syndrome

Doctor Balki is an honorable man. After giving us India’s first diabetic-friendly movie (Cheeni Kum), he followed it up with a flick on the Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. The ingenious choice of a rare disease gave the audience a reason-to-lap-up the monkey dancing antics of Auro, and more importantly, it provided Amitabh, a new medical condition to milk an award (flash back: Alzheimer’s fetched Big B, the National for Black). Inspired by Balki’s award winning template, KJo injected doses of the Asperger Syndrome into the MNIK script, to resuscitate the thespian in Star Rukh Khan. Now I hear the search is on for even more obscure diseases and syndromes for creating roles-to-die-for, for the other Khans, Kumars, Deols and Khannas. Let’s raise a toast to the gentlemen who started this trend.

To aid my fellow miserable scriptwriters, the black humorist in me, thought, it would be a nice idea to share a few ‘zara hat ke’ syndrome names that can serve as a neat fig leaf for the lack of a plot. Here’s the deluge with suitable pointers on the cast…

Leriche’s Syndrome will be ideal for a Mukesh Bhatt production starring the serial kisser Emran Hashmi. Leriche is a disease that causes impotence due to the paralysis of the Lumbar spinal nerve. Goodpasture’s Syndrome can serve as today’s Lymphosarcoma of the Intestine (Rajesh Khanna dies in ‘Anand’ because of this condition). Goodpasture results in death by renal failure and it offers immense scope for Guru Duttesque melodramas. Marfan Syndrome can fulfill Aamir’s long cherished desire to play a tall character! Because this genetic disorder is known to lead to extra long limbs and long thin fingers. Marfan can also seriously impair the eyes causing Astigmatism and Nearsightedness. These touches could enhance the glycerine quotient in the poignant climax.

Bipasha would love the Takayasu’s Syndrome as it is known to cause pulselessness. Imagine a Ram Gopal Varma horror film where the protagonist is assumed to be dead because Shiney Ahuja can’t feel the pulse! Do you sense the possibilities? So go on. Abuse the syndromes. And blame it all on Balki.

Extracted from my Nama Sutra column, featured in Indulge, the Friday lifestyle tabloid of New Indian Express.