The charm of dakhani

Camera rolling Minissha Lamba in a still from the movie  

Minissha Lamba turns Hyderabadi for ‘Well Done Abba'

Minissha Lamba has done her share of urban, glamorous roles before. But Shyam Benegal's Well Done Abba is a whole new ballgame from Bachna Ye Haseeno and Kidnap. The film unfolds with the story of a driver (Bomman Irani) who avails leave from his employer in Mumbai, travels to Hyderabad to get his daughter married and returns to Mumbai after a prolonged absence and narrates the unexpected turn of events that kept him away.

Minissha plays the daughter, who hails from rural AP and speaks fluent dakhani Urdu. A lot of preparation went into the role, shares Minissha. “The moment I arrived in Hyderabad last year for the shoot, I was surprised when my taxi driver spoke fluent English. I insisted that he speaks to me in dakhani dialect instead. The two-hour ride from the airport to the Film City was a chance for me to learn the words and the intonations,” she says. She recounts how everyone in the unit had special sessions and rehearsals to get the dialect right. “We had a dialogue coach on the sets.”

Working with Shyam Benegal shattered Minissha's stereotyped image of a village girl. She holds forth with enthusiasm about her character, “This no-nonsense girl has grown up on her own and her chacha and chachi have done a gloriously bad job of bringing her up.”

Having got acquainted with the Hyderabadi dialect, Minissha is all praise for it: “It's easy on the ears and lyrical.”

Minissha accompanied the team when the film was screened at the Dubai International Film Festival and came away charmed. “It was fabulous. Since the audience were primarily Hindi-speaking, the humour and the essence were not lost in translation,” she says.

She is glad the long wait for Well Done Abba's release is over.

“It was prudent to wait. A lot of films were sandwiched for space last year due to multiplex strike, IPL matches and recession,” she says.