Sparks fly, but the course of true love doesn’t quite run smooth in the shadow of the brewing tensions between India and Pakistan in 1971 and their opposing ideologies and antipodean (and yet gloriously desi in their meddling) families.Love does blossom, though, and both of them, but Shaanu, in particular, takes a closer look at what he fights for, at notions of patriotism and valour and humanity, as well as ideas of masculinity and internalised gendered notions of the differential limits of aspiration.was an armed forces romance and I told my friends that I’d read it the way I read Mills and Boons about Marines and CIA operatives, especially given my own context as someone who grew up in an AFSPA state and whose family was unintentionally caught up in the whiplash of an army operation.
An aircraft crashes in the middle of the Kargil war and an IAF officer ends up in Rawalpindi prison.
Tinka herself, like her mother, was never too sold on the rhetoric of armed forces, and is a rather fierce peacenik, especially after Jimmy’s death.
Their paths cross when a young cadet Shaanu and his mates are asked to intercept Tinka, who is running away from an arranged marriage: in the most swashbuckling and overbearing tradition of filmi heroes, Shaanu uses his IAF card to physically pick up a sleeping Tinka from the train, and gets kicked in the balls for his pains.
However, once he recognises a fellow feisty spirit chafing under the tyranny of a distant parental oppressor, he helps Tinka escape — even at some cost to his career.
They meet again, serendipitously, a few years later — Ishaan as the dashing and much desired darling “Baaz” of the IAF with one blotted page in his copybook thanks to the unsuspecting Tinka — photographer, slightly infamous bikini model and even more committed peacenik, who has more than one blotted page to her credit.