pride & prejudice → modern bollywood au:

For as long as anyone could remember, Mr. Batra was the property manager at the Swarn Mahal, the ancestral home of the illustrious Bajpai family. It was a plum job for a man with no personal wealth, a high-maintenance wife, and five daughters to raise, two of whom were now of marriageable age. Laila Batra (Anushka Sharma) and her elder sister Jia (Katrina Kaif) grew up in the lap of luxury, running the halls of the beautiful but crumbling palace. But as their mother always stressed, their situation was a precarious one: the Batras weren’t rich, and the girls needed to find well-to-do husbands in order to support the rest of their family.

This seemed an easy task for the beautiful, elegant Jia, whom everyone called the jewel of the Swarn Mahal; marriage seemed a less desirable prospect for Laila, whose headstrong and outspoken nature kept potential matches at bay. Truth be told, Laila didn’t mind. She was more interested in her studies, and in helping her father preserve the home she’d grown up in…the home that, as her mother frequently reminded her, wasn’t truly hers to begin with.

Then everything changed for the Batras when Ram Bajpai (Sidharth Malhotra), the scion of the Bajpai family, returned to India to reclaim his ancestral home. Ram was everything a mother could want for her daughter: handsome, amiable, and most importantly, rich beyond belief. And Ram and Jia seemed just as taken with each other as Mrs. Batra hoped they would be. But unfortunately for Laila, Ram didn’t return to India alone. He brought with him his business partner, Mr. Dubey (Fawad Khan), a snobby Londoner hellbent on turning the Swarn Mahal into a new-age resort, complete with swanky restaurants, nightclubs, and–in Laila’s opinion, anyway–no Indian culture whatsoever. For the sake of her sister’s happiness, Laila tries to get along with Mr. Dubey…no matter how pompous, sullen, and impolite she believes him to be. 

As Jia and Ram grow closer and the Batras are tasked with turning the Swarn Mahal into a five-star resort, Laila and Mr. Dubey find themselves thrown together time and again, until ever so slowly, their frequent verbal sparring becomes the highlight of each other’s day…not that they would ever admit that to anyone else, let alone themselves.

With the hotel’s opening day drawing near and the Batra family’s future on the line, will Laila and Mr. Dubey learn to work together…or will his pride and her prejudice bring the whole enterprise crashing down, and a possible future together along with it?


Songs that dominated my life in 2016