Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest offering, Gangubai Kathiawadi, based on Hussain Zaidi’s book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, is already a roaring success. The Alia Bhatt starrer has left social media abuzz with viewers heaping praise on the actress.
Alia as the matriarch of kamthipura has definitely delivered a praise-worthy performance, but Gangubai Kathiawadi in Zaidi’s book was no less charismatic. Although, in the 2 hours and 30 minutes of the film, Bhansali manages to cover almost every possible detail about her life.
However, there are some interesting aspects that he chose to skip, which you can find out here.
1. A few details about Ganga Kathiawadi's family background.
As mentioned in Bhansali's film, Ganga Harjeevandas Kathiawadi belonged to a renowned family in the village of Kathiawad and her father was a barrister. Besides, being a reputed family that consisted of lawyers and educationists, they also shared strong ties with the royal Kathiawadi family.
2. Ramnik Laal married her before bringing her to Bombay.
On the pretext of helping her get a role in Hindi cinema, Ramnik, an accountant who worked for Ganga's father, lured her to Bombay. But before selling her into prostitution, he married Ganga at a small temple in Kathiawad.
3. Gangu and Karim Lala’s first meeting was a little different than what we saw in the film.
Gangu was, initially, not allowed inside Lala’s house. He was resistant to entertaining a sex worker in his house; therefore, he asked her to head towards his building’s terrace.
An excerpt from the book reads:"... when Karim Lala went up to his terrace, he noticed that Gangu hadn’t touched anything that had been served to her. ‘Why haven’t you eaten? " If you have a problem with a person of my reputation stepping inside your home, then it would be wrong for me to dirty the crockery that comes from the kitchen of your house".
4. Ganga actually tied a rakhi to Karim Lala.
After beating up a Pathan named Shaukat Khan, who sexually assaulted and brutalised Gangu, Karim Lala announced that she was his rakhi sister.
“Gangu smiled and removed a small thread from her purse. ‘Karim bhai, it has been years since I tied a rakhi for anyone because ever since I was brought here, I never felt safe with any man. Today, by offering me protection, you have only reinstilled my faith in brotherhood,’ Zaidi wrote in Mafia Queens.
5. Gangubai Kathiawadi adopted several children.
In the film, after her friend Kamli’s death, we see the former’s child in Gangubai’s lap. But in real life, she didn't just adopt children of sex workers, but also orphans and those who were homeless. In fact, the author asserts in his book that she ensured they received a good education as well.
6. She had a few vices, too.
“Gangu na mahaan thi, na hi shaitaan,” the narrator says towards the end of the film. In the same vein, Hussain Zaidi, too, mentions that Gangubai Kathiawadi wasn’t “all milk and honey”. She smoked, drank, and chewed paan, as shown in the movie, but she was also a hard-core gambler and gambled almost daily.
7. Gangubai’s meeting with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was more remarkable than the one shown in the film.
She met the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to discuss the living conditions of sex workers in Kamathipura and their equal rights. At one point, Nehru asked her why she had gotten into the business instead of getting a job or a husband. As per the book, the fearless Gangubai ended up throwing a proposal at him.
The excerpt of their meeting reads: "She told him that if he was ready to make her Mrs. Nehru, she would be willing to abandon her business for good. Nehru was taken aback and reprimanded her for having dared to talk to him like that. But a calm Gangubai smiled and said, ‘Don’t get angry, Pradhan Mantri Ji. I just wanted to prove a point; it is always easier to preach than practice. ’ Nehru remained silent. At the end of the meeting, Nehru, who had bluntly rejected her second proposal, conceded to Gangubai’s demand and also promised to look into the matter."
So, how many of these facts did you know?