Haryana is the flavour of Bollywood these days with the success of films like Tanu Weds Manu Returns where Kangana Ranaut portrayed a double role, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola where Imran Khan portrayed a Haryanvi character, Zila Ghaziabad where Sanjay Dutt and Minissha Lamba showcased a strong Haryanvi inclination and Fukrey in which an unquestionable Haryanvi touch was seen. The maturing of Randeep Hooda as an actor has significantly contributed towards mainstreaming the macho Haryanvi hero.
When filmmakers from Mumbai come to north India searching for earthy characters, they tend to look to Haryana with Haryanvi speaking people, more so when they are looking for wrestlers as many Jat wrestlers, like Sushil Kumar, have won laurels worldwide. But now there is a twist in the tale and it is about how Bollywood heartthrob Salman Khan looking for a Haryanvi character chanced upon an equally earthy Gurjar community of the region. It happened during the shooting of Sultan, when film director Ali Abbas Zafar and Salman called a few wrestlers from Haryana for audition. A 19-year-old Gurjar wrestler, Pawan Tanwar, caught their attention with his style and was asked to speak a dialogue in Rewari and Haryanvi, but Tanwar instead spoke in Gurjari. He was not only offered the role but even the Gurjari language was adopted as the new trend in Bollywood. Salman Khan has previously worked with another Gurjar wrestler, Sonu Tanwar, in Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Pawan Tanwar says, “I belong to Delhi. My father is a milk seller and mother is a house-wife. My father owns a lot of property in Delhi but likes to sell milk.” Tanwar adds, “I went to Mumbai for the shooting of Sultan. There were other wrestlers too who all accompanied me for the audition, but director Ali Abbas and Salman Bhai, selected me for the role. I told them, I would like to speak in Gurjari, rather than Haryanvi and other dialects. After the trial, they not only selected me but my language too.” “Apart from the director’s dialogue diary, during the shooting, I delivered my own dialogue – ‘Guru ji Mohey Bachao, Abhi mero biah bhi no huo’ (Guru ji, please save me, I haven’t even got married yet). This dialogue not only won a big round of applause during live shooting but in theatres as well,” says Tanwar. Another Gurjar wrestler, 34-year-old Amit Rexwal, taught ‘Putthimaar’ move to Salman Khan for one of the scenes in Sultan. Amit Rexwal, who lives at Ali village in Delhi, says, “My whole team has a role in the movie. I have taught ‘Putthimaar’ stunt to Salman Khan. Salman bhai has performed that stunt near the end of the movie against an opponent in the ring. We used to converse with Salman bhai in Gurjari language.”