I have often observed on my visits to the West that people living overseas are far more seeped in Indian ethnic values, customs, festivities and rituals, when compared to a lot many Indians living in Hindustan. Those who live there believe that by observing and practicing the Indian traditions, they would continue to remain Indian at heart. Most of them also wish to wed an Indian because they consider that their respective spouse would bring along with them time-honored Indian values.
For some strange reason, Hindi cinema has often projected an NRI youngster as a cool and hep dude, pretending to speak Hindi with an English accent. But that, in my opinion, is merely a façade. It's far from real. Sure, there could be exceptions, but every NRI who arrives in India isn't wearing an Armani or Versace. Neither is he a die-hard romantic like Raj or Rahul. In fact, a lot of NRIs I know are amused to note that while they held on to the traditions, the ones in India are more inclined towards the West.
Yet, the East-West love story remains a pet theme that continues to invade the Hindi screen. Films like PURAB AUR PASCHIM, DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE and NAMASTEY LONDON have explored this topic most convincingly. In fact, a lot many people feel that YRF and Dharma have highlighted this aspect in various films, which the diaspora has lapped up with glee. But, of late, films that carry with them the scent of the soil are being attempted by our storytellers. TANU WEDS MANU too highlights this facet.
The NRI in TANU WEDS MANU is docile, unassuming and soft-spoken, has no accent or attitude, believes in arranged marriages, relishes the evergreen songs of Mohammed Rafi, is old-fashioned literally. The girl is contradictory. She's belligerent and dominating, also smokes, drinks and uses expletives, has had many 'affairs', has her new boyfriend's name tattooed on her chest, is a straight-forward and fearless babe. This is their story!