A laugh riot with Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa
09 Nov 2017 by Luv Israni
I have been operating in the pre-wedding industry for years. In this arena, I have worked with many couples on varied themes and styles. Look, typically couples are smitten by class, contemporary ideas and style. They want to look urban with a dash of creativity, fun and romance - basically the concept of a new, emergent modern India. Because the entire notion of "pre-wedding" was a craze in European and North American nations, where couples go out for a destination shoot, before striding on D-Day in the church. The last decade has also witnessed Indian weddings changing in diverse ways. Traditional styles and rituals are getting merged with modern ones, and the whole model is getting "glamorous".
But what I did recently was a novel experience. Novel in terms of the idea, the shoot and the entire execution. So, when I met Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa for the pre-wedding, Bharti asked me, "aap kya karna chahte ho"? What else could have I asked Bharti to do? Just be herself. They said, women aren't funny; they can't do stand-up comedy. Well, eat your words, fellas! Some of the finest comedians in the world, today, are women. How can the Indian women not fill this category? Dynamite, they call her. Bharti Singh has completely changed, for the good, the landscape of comedy on television. In a male-dominated world of stand-up, this national-level pistol shooter, has managed to shatter all the stereotypes. It seems when Haarsh Limbachiyaa was penning down scripts for Bharti Singh, the divine was secretly writing one for both of them!
The undisputed queen of comedy is set to tie the knot with Harsh Limbachiyaa this winter ON 03-12-2017, and it was a matter of pride that in some way the countdown for the event began with a shoot by YOURS TRULY.
Then embarking on the challenge. It was a sturdy task to make Bharti look "Bharti" in her pre-wedding. Sounds eerie? Not really. My job is to bring the best out of couples, the authenticity of the relationship and spontaneity of their camaraderie. Couples often, if not always, try to "fit" themselves into certain roles and method whilst shooting. They absorb the script and present themselves accordingly. In the case of Bharti and Harsh the task was both easy and difficult. Bringing together a synergy of two personalities from different professions (Harsh Limbachiya is a writer) with a pre-wedding milieu was challenging. The task was easy because both Harsh and Bharti have an innate sense of humor and gift of gab. The task was difficult because I had to capture the spontaneity without compromising on the pre-wedding theme. LET IT NOT LOOK LIKE YET ANOTHER COMEDY SHOW - I kept feeding it in my psyche.
The second daunting task was trying to squeeze the eccentricity of Harsh. A writer by profession, Harsh worked behind the screens. Although, it's his script which bolsters the performances of the actors, Harsh was relatively the quieter one. He possessed a quirky sense of humor with assured composure; Bharti, on the other hand, was humor-gone-full-throttle. Also, given his rather reticent approach, Bharti was skeptical of Harsh dressing up the way one would for a pre-wedding, but she somehow managed to get the job done. All's well that ends well. While Bharti looked pretty in a white top over black tights, dressed in white tee and black distressed denims Harsh opted for a casual look, that matched with his partner’s look for the shoot.
I spent weeks brainstorming over ideas and concepts for both. but the experience was gratifying - and what we have in hand makes us proud. We guffawed our way across the entire shoot. There are some things which only and only Bharti could do. Whether it's choke lifting Harsh or the pillow fight, a game of tug of war or getting lifted by Harsh, both looked super cute in each and every shot.