Logline: Can’t Mumbai Me Love, by Andrew Kamal Abdou

By his own standards, Sujeet Shah is the funkiest cat in all of Boston. Young and single, the self-professed “Hunk of Crunk” contracts an incurable case of bootyshakin’ fever whenever the sun goes down, with symptoms ranging from non-stop hip-swingin’ and undulating to spicy, salsa-infused gyrations. When he’s not carving out a groove on the dance floor, the Suj is belting out smooth, soulful hits at the karaoke bar for all of his sexy admirers.

Though, granted, his moves on the planks are fresh, it’s no secret to anyone that knows him that he is as smooth as a cheese grater in more important areas of life: Now in his late 20’s, Sujeet is content with a ballooning waistline, working a mundane hospital job, and paying rent to live in his bachelor pad in his rents’ crib. Whether he’s trying to score the digits of a cute nurse or simply putting on his pants in the morning, he is bound to make the worst of it, and either insult, offend, or upend. Compounding all of this, Sujeet is a first generation Indian-American with an embarrassing lack of knowledge or appreciation for his heritage, rendering him the laughingstock of his extended family and further infuriating his parents.

Now that his younger sister has become engaged, however, the pressure mounts on the black sheep of the family to mature and settle down with a spouse of his own. The delusional playboy is dismayed, but has no intention of taking himself off the market for what he perceives to be the stuck-up and relentlessly gold digging Indian women that his mother is constantly pushing on him. For now, he’s single, sexy, and, above all, ready to dance.

Due to a bit of scheming by his friend James, a medical resident at the hospital, the latest blip on Suj’s babe-dar is the beautiful Lalita, granddaughter of Parmita, a tirelessly paranoid Indian woman who is currently refusing surgery for a serious condition because she does not trust American doctors. James needs Parmita to opt for surgery to save his job, so he has the wacky Sujeet feign a Hindi accent and pretend to be from India to allay her concerns. While Suj proves to be a master at pleasing Parmita, he is not so lucky with her granddaughter: Visiting from India, Lalita is intelligent and staunchly independent, proud enough to even take a job waiting tables while in the U.S., and is clearly unlike the airheads that Sujeet usually fawns over.

Momma didn’t raise no fool, however, so Sujeet endeavors to use his phony life as a way to enamor himself to Lalita. Assuming she is like all the other shallow and materialistic Indian girls, the Suj tells her fantastical tales of his prestige and life as an Indian immigrant, but Lalita, suspicious of his intentions and ludicrously bad English, pays him no mind.

Unbeknownst to our flashy friend, however, is that his Type-A ‘tude reminds Lalita of her ex-fiancĂ© and secretly causes her great pain. When Sujeet catches wind of this, he mans up and appeals to Lalita’s interests in order to gain her genuine trust and friendship.

The new, softer Suj mends Lalita’s broken heart, and the two begin a whimsical relationship, during which time James has completely won over Parmita for the surgery. All is seemingly going well until Lalita receives devastating news: As part of the crackdown on illegal aliens in the city of Boston, the restaurant at which Lalita works is raided by immigration officials. As a citizen of India, Lalita is exposed as an illegal worker, and is scheduled to be deported. Worse, Parmita’s condition was exacerbated after surgery, adding to her worries.

Too scared to tell Sujeet, she distances herself from him and tearfully plans to leave the U.S. The Suj senses something is awry, and, ever the crafty gumshoe, accidentally stumbles upon the truth. Crushed, his sense of urgency skyrockets when he also learns that a figure from Lalita’s past is in Boston and has recently reconnected with her. Sujeet resolves that he can’t possibly allow her to slip away, but also realizes that he’s in a catch-22: If he confesses to his true identity, he can marry Lalita and have her become a citizen of the U.S., but he risks having her hate him for his deceit; if he remains silent, he will lose his “Lali-pop” forever.

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