Hindi filmmakers love Paris (who doesn’t), especially the Eiffel Tower, the 1,063-foot tall monument to French architecture. The trailer of the Yash Raj Films romance Befikre has taken Eiffel adoration to new heights. Aditya Chopra’s romance, which stars Ranveer Singh and Vaani Kapoor, has been unveiled at the tower in the presence of the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. The Eiffel Tower is among the world’s most visited monuments, and we can expect a spike in visits from India once the movie is released on December 9.
Befikre features other sites in Paris, including Pont Naf, Monmartre, Trocadero and the library of the City Hall, said a YRF press release. Paris is a “very prominent third character” in the movie, according to the studio. Befikre is certainly not the first YRF production to be set in Paris or feature its biggest tourist attraction. The 2007 movie Jhoom Barabar Jhoom unleashed Abhishek Bachchan, Lara Dutta and several dancers on the Arc De Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower in the song Ticket to Hollywood.
Hindi cinema paid tribute to the City of Love as early as 1967. Shakti Samanta’s An Evening in Paris can be credited with increasing Indian tourist arrivals in the French capital. Deepa (Sharmila Tagore) repairs to Paris to find love, which she encounters in the rambunctious form of Shyam (Shammi Kapoor). The unmatched tour of Paris begins with the opening credits, which features the Eiffel Tower in silhouette. The romance between the leads competes strongly with Samanta’s worship of the local sights.
No tourist landmark deserves to exist if it cannot be used in a song. Keeping this philosophy in mind, Kareena Kapoor converts the base of the Eiffel Tower into an open-air dance party in Jeena Sirf Merre Liye (2002). The lyrics are deeply ironic, given the setting: Kapoor is asking gawkers to visit India at least once. The song beats the Incredible India campaign out of the park.
Hindi film lovers can be counted on to embarrass themselves at tourist traps. Full marks to our actors for gyrating and grinding in full view and giving locals and visitors a live demonstration of Indian romantic techniques. Exhibit A: Govinda and Karisma Kapoor in David Dhawan’s Hero No. 1 (1997).
One film dared to use the Eiffel Tower differently: Vikas Bahl’s Queen (2014). Rani (Kangana Ranaut) has landed up in Paris on a pre-booked honeymoon after her wedding breaks off. The city disorients the salwar-and-jeans clad ingénue. She is both awestruck and terrified by the Eiffel Tower, which seems to be looming over her every move. Its monumentality reminds Rani of her own challenges, while Bahl’s use of the landmark indicates that the City of Love needn’t always be picture postcard.
The perpetual millennial quest for self-expression just got another boost
Making adulting in the new millennium easier, one step at a time.
Having come of age in the Age of the Internet, millennials had a rocky start to self-expression. Indeed, the internet allowed us to personalise things in unprecedented fashion and we really rose to the occasion. The learning curve to a straightforward firstname.surname@___mail.com email address was a long one, routed through cringeworthy e-mail ids like firstname.lastname@example.org. You know you had one - making a personalised e-mail id was a rite of passage for millennials after all.
Declaring yourself to be cool, a star, a princess or a hunk boy was a given (for how else would the world know?!). Those with eclectic tastes (read: juvenile groupies) would flaunt their artistic preferences with an elitist flair. You could take for granted that email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org would listen to Bollywood music or read Archie comics only in private. The emo kids, meanwhile, had to learn the hard way that employers probably don’t trust candidates with e-mail ids such as email@example.com.
And with chat rooms, early millennials had found a way to communicate, with...interesting results. The oldest crop of millennials (30+ year olds) learnt to deal with the realities of adolescent life hunched behind anonymous accounts, spewing their teenage hormone-laden angst, passion and idealism to other anonymous accounts. Skater_chick could hide her ineptitude for skating behind a convincing username and a skateboard-peddling red-haired avatar, and you could declare your fantasies of world domination, armed with the assurance that no one would take you seriously.
With the rise of blogging, millennial individualism found a way to express itself to millions of people across the world. The verbosity of ‘intellectual’ millennials even shone through in their blog URLs and names. GirlWhoTravels could now opine on her adventures on the road to those who actually cared about such things. The blogger behind scentofpetunia.blogspot.com could choose to totally ignore petunias and no one would question why. It’s a tradition still being staunchly upheld on Tumblr. You’re not really a Tumblr(er?) if you haven’t been inspired to test your creative limits while crafting your blog URL. Fantasy literature and anime fandoms to pop-culture fanatics and pizza lovers- it’s where people of all leanings go to let their alter ego thrive.
Then of course social media became the new front of self-expression on the Internet. Back when social media was too much of a millennial thing for anyone to meddle with, avatars and usernames were a window into your personality and fantasies. Suddenly, it was cool to post emo quotes of Meredith Grey on Facebook and update the world on the picturesque breakfast you had (or not). Twitter upped the pressure by limiting expression to 140 characters (now 280-have you heard?) and the brevity translated to the Twitter handles as well. The trend of sarcasm-and-wit-laden handles is still alive well and has only gotten more sophisticated with time. The blogging platform Medium makes the best of Twitter intellect in longform. It’s here that even businesses have cool account names!
Self-expression on the Internet and the millennials’ love for the personalised and customised has indeed seen an interesting trajectory. Most millennial adolescents of yore though are now grownups, navigating an adulting crisis of mammoth proportions. How to wake up in time for classes, how to keep the boss happy, how to keep from going broke every month, how to deal with the new F-word – Finances! Don’t judge, finances can be stressful at the beginning of a career. Forget investments, loans and debts, even matters of simple money transactions are riddled with scary terms like beneficiaries, NEFT, IMPS, RTGS and more. Then there’s the quadruple checking to make sure you input the correct card, IFSC or account number. If this wasn’t stressful enough, there’s the long wait while the cheque is cleared or the fund transfer is credited. Doesn’t it make you wish there was a simpler way to deal with it all? If life could just be like…
Lo and behold, millennial prayers have been heard! Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first, has now integrated UPI on its digital platform, making banking over the phone easier than ever. Airtel Payments Bank UPI, or Unified Payment Interface, allows you to transfer funds and shop and pay bills instantly to anyone any time without the hassles of inputting any bank details – all through a unique Virtual Payment Address. In true millennial fashion, you can even create your own personalised UPI ID or Virtual Payment Address (VPA) with your name or number- like rhea@airtel or 9990011122@airtel. It’s the smartest, easiest and coolest way to pay, frankly, because you’re going to be the first person to actually make instant, costless payments, rather than claiming to do that and making people wait for hours.
To make life even simpler, with the My Airtel app, you can make digital payments both online and offline (using the Scan and Pay feature that uses a UPI QR code). Imagine, no more running to the ATM at the last minute when you accidentally opt for COD or don’t have exact change to pay for a cab or coffee! Opening an account takes less than three minutes and remembering your VPA requires you to literally remember your own name. Get started with a more customised banking experience here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel Payments Bank and not by the Scroll editorial team.