My FanFics don’t get many views, but the DeepVeer wedding is all anyone will want to talk about today anyway, so why not indulge myself? And those few of you who enjoy reading them. Especially those of you who helped me come up with this idea.
Juhi Chawla Middle-Aged Housewife Takes Over Detective Agency
We had a debate in the comments about the exact manner in which Juhi should acquire this detective agency. Suggestions were a) in a divorce; b) inherited from her dead husband; or c) never married spinster who always dreamed of owning a detective agency.
I could conceive of all 3 options. All three allow for Juhi to be a nice smart happy housewife. She runs the household like clockwork, and still has time for her secret addiction, detective novels and shows (real and fictional). And then something dramatic changes in her life. Either:
A) Her husband who was always a little dismissive of her, told her to dress more plainly and speak more softly and so on, divorces her. No kids, because that would be too sad. When she goes over the papers from the lawyer, she discovers that he bought a detective agency years ago as a tax shelter and declares that is all she wants from him in the divorce.
B) Juhi married her husband very young, he is older than her and kind, and loves her peppiness although he doesn’t have much energy to do things with her. 3 kids, they are Juhi’s best friends and she loves spending time with them. He dies suddenly of a heart attack and while going through his papers, Juhi discovers that he purchased a detective agency years ago as a tax shelter. The finances are in a mess with death duties and so on, Juhi decides to sell everything but the agency.
C) Juhi is a middle-aged nice woman who stayed home to take care of her father while all her sisters got married. Her father dies and everyone is surprised to discover that he left everything to Juhi and it is a substantial sum. They are even more surprised when she declares that she wants to take the money and buy a detective agency, because it is her dream.
The one plot I reject entirely is Juhi’s husband running the agency. Because I don’t want her to inherit her detective passion, I want it to be just for her. She naturally loves crime and mysteries, and has the unexpected chance to run a detective agency, and leaps for it.
Juhi takes over the agency, which is currently run by a kind of gross snoring man who leers at her and talks about divorce cases and she graciously ignores his grossness. There is also a young secretary and a recent college grad who is just working there for a few months while waiting for his scholarship to America. And a boy who brings chai and cleans around the office. Juhi is very nice to all of them, and humble, and just asks to sit around. She chats with the secretary and the chai boy and a little bit with the college kid but he kind of looks down on her. And she asks the gross man a bunch of questions and humbly sits at her little table in his office instead of taking the desk for herself, but also insists on going on a stake out with him and ends up saving his neck by sweet talking the tea stall owner who was about to call the police on them. And then she does it again when an angry husband shows up with a gun yelling at them all for giving evidence to his wife. The secretary is threatened and terrified, the gross man isn’t sure what to do, the college boy is ready to be a stupid hero, and Juhi calmly smiles at him and sweetly talks to him and gets him to talk about his marriage and his wife until he starts to cry and she gently takes away the gun and hands it off while soothingly patting his back.
From then on, everyone at the agency is in awe of her and a little bit in love. They happily give her the biggest office and help her paint it and put up pretty curtains and all the homey touches she wants. She helps the college boy and the secretary start off the little romance they are clearly longing to begin, and helps the chai boy with homework and starts buying new shirts and jackets for the gross man so he is less gross. It culminates in the gross man shyly proposing to her and her (very nicely) turning him down and indicating that if she ever marries, it will be to someone so perfect he probably doesn’t exist.
(Yes, I am picturing a slo-mo introduction of the Shahrukh doing things as she describes her perfect man. Maybe something like “he will always be neat and tidy” as Shahrukh messily spills crumbs on the floor)
Now, variations depending on plots:
A) Juhi gets wonderful positive reinforcement for her own taste and strength and bravery which fixes the psychological scars of her dismissive husband, culminating in her declaration that she deserves better than just marrying gross man because he asked her.
B) Juhi’s 3 kids run wild in the office and at first everyone hates them, but then they come to love and appreciate them especially when the boy shows off his computer skills, the girl shows off her slingshot skills, and the youngest is just so cute she charms everyone. They back her up when she turns down the proposal, telling her they like Gross Man, but he can’t replace their father.
C) Juhi’s dismissive brothers try to encourage her to get married over and over again, and after she turns down Gross Man she gains the strength to confront them and tell them that she is single and happy.
First third establishing the setting now over with, we enter the meat of the plot. Juhi’s agency is running like clockwork, she charms the clients and provides the brilliant final solutions to the cases (“the embezzler has been narrowed down to one of these three men, obviously it is the one who has the cheapest lunch in his tiffin because he is trying to avoid suspicion”). And she has inspired the staff to be wonderful and efficient too, the agency has a rising profile and even moves to nice new offices, everything is great.
UNTIL!!!! They show up to work to discover a body in the office. The college boy recognizes him as a street tough he had a run in with on an assignment. Police are called and it is….Shahrukh Khan!!!! He is casual and intelligent, and also a little messy. He sets his coffee cup down without a coaster and spills his snack and Juhi fusses around behind him and they snap at each other because he thinks it is his crime scene and he should be able to do whatever he wants, and she thinks it is her office and her nice furniture that he is spilling all over.
(I love it when they fight)
Shahrukh quickly sees through their attempt to cover up the agency’s connection to the body and tracks down a witness who saw the college boy and the man get into a fight (because Shahrukh is a good detective) and arrests the college boy. The secretary is in tears and Juhi is furious. She goes screeching off to the police station in the middle of the night with her hair in curlers and a bathrobe over her pajamas. She demands to see Shahrukh who at first is irritated, then slowly won over by her as she neatly demonstrates all the logical flaws in his theories and shows that the college boy could not possibly have been the murderer. By the end of the interaction, Shahrukh is not just intrigued by her mind, but has also started to make eyes at her body, as it is revealed by her nightclothes and coat, finally offering her his overcoat to go home in as she calms down and starts to get embarrassed by how she looks. Of course, when she indicates something about looking ridiculous, he gives her deep sexy eyes and leans over her shoulder as he drapes the coat to whisper “ridiculously sexy” and then backs off so fast that she can’t be sure she even heard correctly.
(I also love it when they get sexy)
For the rest of the investigation, Shahrukh is transparently pursuing her. Her staff knows it and so does his. They start rolling their eyes when he suggests taking the police car by the agency to pick her up before they interview another suspect “just in case she can help”. Of course, he also greatly respects her mind, that’s why he is in love with her, because she is so smart and really can help with the investigation. Juhi is resistant, keeps thinking she must be misreading the signs, and then having moments of confidence when they are together. Telling her staff they are ridiculous when they tease her, and that Shahrukh is probably married and, if he isn’t married, would never be interested in a sad old woman like her. But then when she cleverly stops the escaping witness by pretending to be an old woman and tripping him, and Shahrukh looks at her with his heart in his eyes and tells her she is the greatest woman he has ever met, she dimples up and accepts it. She also lets him hold her hand without thinking about, and even embraces him when she gets scared. Shahrukh of course is proud and a little awestruck at all these developments, the way he gets around girls he likes and can’t believe they like him.
(Shahrukh! So cute!)
But! Crisis! Shahrukh has followed the investigation to the logical conclusion and realized the only possible suspect is….THE SECRETARY!!!!! Turns out, she only joined the agency because her brother was bullying her into spying on them for his gang, she used an assumed name and so on, was won over to the agency and Juhi and stopped spying, stood up to her brother, and then beamed him on the head with the vase on her desk, killing him, and that was the body in the office. All the clues line up, there is no logical answer that does not make sense. But Juhi is not happy with any of this. She tries to get Shahrukh to let the poor girl go just out of compassion, Shahrukh is torn up about it and certainly willing to admit self-defense, but won’t just write off the case.
So Juhi rallies her forces to somehow prove the secretary is innocent. Everyone thinks she is a little crazy, even the secretary (out on bail) thinks she is guilty because she did hit her brother in the head and then run away, but Juhi is positive because she knows in her bones that the secretary could not be guilty. And everyone is so loyal to Juhi by now that they are willing to follow her anywhere.
So, Juhi and her team do an elaborate investigation, including breaking into the police station to look at evidence. Which involves Juhi acting the femme fatale and inviting Shahrukh out on a date to get him out of the way. She tries to be sexy but isn’t sure how, of course Shahrukh is charmed by anything she does. Only, just as he proposes to her (“I dedicated my life to my work, I thought no woman could ever understand, and then I met you and you were everything I ever dreamed of, smart and brave and strong and sexy”), leaving Juhi shocked since she never really really believed he was serious, he gets the alert that the police station has been broken in to and figures out she was behind it and looks so disappointed and heartbroken that Juhi feels terrible. But not guilty, because she still knows she is in the right.
(Let us not forget, she has tricked him and broken his heart on a date before)
For a brief period, it is directly spy versus spy, Juhi and her team trying to find information and Shahrukh ordering his men to arrest anyone they find “impeding the investigation”. He even arrests Juhi herself.
But then it culminates at the trial, Juhi at the last moment appears with irrefutable evidence, yes the secretary hit her brother, but due to her carpal tunnel syndrome, she could not have swung with enough force to kill. There must have been someone else who came in after her and finished the job. And it is….Random Mobster We Don’t Really Care About and Are Okay With Him Going to Jail. See, he was her brother’s best friend, always had a crush on her, has been a sympathetic witness all along, but Juhi put it together that he over heard the fight and learned Secretary was in love with College Boy, in revenge he killed the brother knowing Secretary would be blamed for it, and then gently helped the investigation until they found her.
Trial over, Secretary and College Boy embrace, crowds cheer, Juhi finds Shahrukh in the hurly-burly, he congratulates her and tells her job well done, she triumphs that it really WAS a job well done and in her excitement without thinking kisses him on the cheek. And then tries to turn away in embarrassment. But Shahrukh stops her, pulls her back and murmurs softly “was that a yes to my proposal?” Juhi turns away and shyly nods.
Now, important questions:
Do we want Juhi to be a) divorced woman with self-esteem issues, b) widow with kids, or c) spinster finding herself?
Gross Man who Proposes: Jackie Shroff or Pankaj Tripathi?
Secretary: Kirti Sonam, Parineeti Chopra, Shraddha Kapoor, or Someone Else?
College Boy: Vicky Kaushal? Shahid’s little brotheR? Someone Else?
Should the slimey murderer/witness be Nawazuddin Siddiqui?
Would we prefer a full Moonlighting style plot and the romance is between Juhi and the Gross Man who runs the agency who ends up respecting her brains and also providing the muscle to protect her as they investigate? In which case the Gross Man is Shahrukh who drinks a bit too much and wears his shirts unbuttoned?