Category: Interviews

A flash of vision

Supreeta Singh

One fine morning in her hometown Minnesota, a young Annie Griffith Belt headed towards the golf course with a camera. As she focused her lens, she stepped onto water sprinklers strewn all over. The effect produced a photograph that captured droplets of water bursting in mid-air broken into tiny bubbles by light. It was an image that changed her life.
 “A camera is a window used to tell a million different stories. Sometimes photographers see a moment build up like a crescendo and sometimes a moment presents itself serendipitously. Whatever may be the case, you have to forget everything else and concentrate on your work,” said Belt at the 35th International Kolkata Book Fair where she held a discussion on photography.
 One of the youngest and first women photographers to join National Geographic (NG) in 1978, Belt is a prolific artist and an author of several books. Late last year, she edited Simply Beautiful Photographs, a collection of more than 50 images taken from the archives of National Geographic. “There is an enormous archive of pictures that have not been seen at NG. When a photojournalist goes on an assignment for six months he brings back a wealth of photographs out of which only 20 or 30 are printed at the most. The rest get archived. I selected a few pictures and used them in a way that challenges the conventional notion of beauty,” she said.
 Normally, a sunset or a beach or a landscape would appeal to an onlooker as pleasant. But Belt showed a few photographs from the book that defies traditional meaning of beauty. From a carrot, dog, jelly fish, flowers, fields, cityscape to nuns, children, birds, tunnels, deserts, trees and roads, the breathtaking images evoked gasps of surprise and admiration from the audience.
 Belt explained that there are six creative tools or elements that transform an ordinary setting into extraordinary. “The first and most important element is light. Then it’s the composition which is the only thing a photographer can control. What you choose to keep out of the frame is as important as what you choose to keep in. Next is the moment – the most sought after and the most elusive element, followed by colour and time. Last and most important is a sense of wonder. NG images should inspire everyone to discover a new perspective of a known or familiar thing,” pointed out Belt.
 However, the elements alone do not produce a beautiful image. What finally pleases the eyes is the impression of geometry brought about when the factors come together in the right proportion.
 As a photographer who excels in travel, documentary and nature documentation, Belt argued that although technical development has paved the way for better cameras, a photographer must get close to his or her subject to clinch the deal. “You must get busy with people long enough for them to trust you. The biggest mistake you can make is not get close enough to your subject,” Belt said.
 There are many photographers who take umbrage when their work is compared to a painting. Does that annoy her too? “Someone had said that the gift of the six penny photography is better than any acts of philanthropy. Photography taught painters how beautiful imperfection is. I guess a painter and a photographer felt threatened that one would trespass on the other’s territory. Personally, I don’t care because photography is fun,” she replied.
 Belt is also involved in social cause. She develops documentary programmes that help poor women whose life has been devastated by climate change. In India, she travelled to Jaipur, Sunderbans and a few slum areas in Kolkata. “With a team of people, we document stories through powerful pictures and present them to NGOs and policy-makers and effect their decision making process.”
 So is she one of those who only see the poverty and degradation of India? “Photographers come for a million different reasons to India like fashion, textile, Bollywood. When I visit a slum I go with a purpose and not for an easy picture. There are people in every profession who exploit their art to meet a certain demand. But I found India to be the single most compelling country to photograph,” she signed off.


Diganta Guha

Bollywood’s famous music director Ehsaan Noorani of (Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fame), was seen in Kolkata, recently, for an event. This year will be a busy one for the trio. They have scored music for a number of big releases and have also composed the theme song De Ghumake for Cricket World Cup 2011. And now, Ehsaan is trying his hands at something different.
He is going to launch his signature line of guitars soon. Talking about it, Ehsaan could not hide his excitement. “I think it’s a big achievement for a musician. Thanks to Jasbeer Singh, the India distributor of the Fender line of guitars, I got this opportunity,” he said.
“I have been in this industry for quite some time now. I have done well, received global recognition. Jasbeer proposed that I launch my own line of guitars. Fender is one of the biggest brands of guitars in the world and is used by all leading musicians,” he said adding it was not an easy process. “There were lots of meetings before the deal finally worked out,” Ehsaan said. 
The musician-cum-composer confirmed that this will be purely a commercial line and he will go all out to promote it.
So what is happening on the Bollywood front? “We have our hands full. Right now the music of Patiala House is out. Then we have Don 2, Chittagong, a British film West is Best, Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and many more,” said Ehsaan. He is also meeting artists outside Bollywood and working on building global collaborations.
We have seen music, director teams parting ways but Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have been going strong and there has never been any news about infighting or problem between them. What is the secret? “We love our work and our entire concentration remains on coming up with good music. We don’t have time for petty bickering. The moment politics creeps in, complications arise,” said Ehsaan.
Bollywood music has undergone tremendous changes over the years. Ehsaan said change was for the better. “There has been a lot of improvement in this field, production wise, technologically,” said the composer. What about hordes of new singers trying to get a foothold in Bollywood? “It’s good since everybody has something new to offer,” he added.
 What about the music scenario in Bengal? “I have followed some rock numbers from Bengal. There are many musicians from Kolkata on my Facebook list of friends. We were supposed to work with Rituparno Ghosh. But somehow it didn’t work out,” Ehsaan signed off.


Our Correspondent


Do you remember the beauteous bimbet of Om Shanti Om or the simple, small-town girl of Toh Baat Pakki? Well, Yuvika Chowdhury hasn’t exactly stormed Bollywood with these films but the pretty actress thinks she will make her presence felt with her latest film Naughty @40, where she will be seen with Govinda. She is no star kid and feels luck has played a big factor for her in getting a foothold in Bollywood. Excerpts:

Tell us something about the film…
It’s a comedy but not the slapstick kind. The film has a strong storyline, tight script and funny dialogues. It’s situational comedy and I can promise the audience that there won’t be forced laughs.

How did you bag the role?
Initially, Ayesha Takia and Amrita Rao were being considered for the role but later, I got into the scheme of things. I didn’t even have to audition for the role. The producer-director duo liked my performance in Toh Baat Pakki and I was finalised. The director (Jagmohan Mundhra) thought I suited the character.

Tell us something about your role…
I play a small-town girl who is very naïve and immature. She is like a child who looks at the world with rose-tinted glasses.

How are you feeling being paired opposite ‘comedy king’ Govinda?
Initially I was very nervous. But Govinda did everything possible to make me feel comfortable. He is very kind and humble. He loves to crack jokes on the sets and his presence makes a lot of difference. But when he is giving a take, he is a different person altogether. He never forgets his lines and is a through professional. I forgot my lines and fumbled a few times but he was very supportive. I am glad I got to work with him. It was a great learning experience.

Are you not worried about the age difference with your hero?
I knew this was coming. Yes, there’s a huge age difference but as I said before, he made things comfortable. After all, age is just a number. We actually behaved like kids and had loads of fun on the sets.

What are your favourite Govinda films?
There are so many it’s difficult to single one out. I loved Coolie No.1 and Partner a lot.

Mundhra is known for making hard-hitting films. But this time around he is doing a comedy…
Yes, you will get to see another side of him in this film.

What is your dream role?
I don’t have any dream role as such. Give me good banners and I am game for anything.




Debutante director Kiran Rao talks about Dhobi Ghat and more…



Diganta Guha
How did the idea of Dhobi Ghat come up?
Initially, the story of the film revolved around the life of a dhobi or a washerman. That’s how the film was supposed to pan out. The entire story idea was borne out of experiences of living in a city like Mumbai where there are so many things happening all the time. A person living in this city cannot afford to waste time or energy. But everytime he leaves a place for another there is something he takes with him. That’s how the character of Arun (Aamir Khan) is born who stumbles upon ‘something’ that changes his world. 

Aamir is a perfectionist. How tough was it to convince him for the role?
I wouldn’t say he is just a perfectionist. I’d say he is extremely passionate about everything he does. I was initially nervous while narrating the script to him because there aren’t too many scripts that he ends up liking. But I’m glad he could relate to the stories of my script and his answer was ‘yes’. 
How was it directing Aamir Khan?
Aamir is a great actor, committed and extremely gifted. The rest of the actors were mostly first timers. With Aamir it was a different ballgame altogether. He kind of elevates your own skills while working. 
Some say, he interferes too much…
Honestly speaking, he didn’t give too many inputs on the sets. But yes,  during editing of the film, he was a great help. He is a very good editor and I sought his inputs on that.   
Tell us something about Prateik Babbar…
His character Munna has shaped up really well in the film. Prateik is so versatile he can get under the skin of any character. I find glimpses of Smita Patil in him.

Having stayed in Kolkata for a good period of time, would you be interested in doing a Bengali film?
Well it won’t be unusual if I say that I would love to situate a film in Kolkata because Kolkata has always been nostalgic for me. Kolkata is a photographer’s dream. And how can I forget the food!
Have you drawn inspiration from any Bengali director?
I am a great fan of Ritwik Ghatak and Satyajit Ray. I have also seen some films by Tapan Sinha. I saw Unishe April and Bariwali directed by Rituparno Ghosh. I loved both. 
What’s your message to your fans in Kolkata?
I was brought up in Kolkata and I am really looking forward to getting a good response here.

Do you want people to go to theatres with a pre-conceived notion because of all the hype being created around the film…
Dhobi Ghat is a film for the common man. I am sure people would find some details of their daily lives reflecting in the characters of my film. My mission would be accomplished once the audience manage to relate to the film.

Smitten by kkkkk….Khan!


Believe it or not, Shah Rukh Khan compelled author Sonali Ghosh Sen to drive for five hours in snow-bound Geneva 



Supreeta Singh

Sonali Ghosh Sen is desperate. She badly needs a vacation and requires an inspiration for her next book. After a whirlwind tour to promote her first work of fiction, K-K-Krazy About Khan, we don’t wonder why. As the name clearly suggests, the novel is about a young girl called Kriti Kapoor and her obsession with the Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan (SRK). Written in a breezy language abound with trivias about SRK’s movies, the fan-fiction is both light-hearted and engaging. We caught up with the freelance copywriter and film critic-turned-author, just ahead of her book’s launch in Kolkata.

You have led a very colourful life.
Yes. My father was in the Army and I went to about seven schools all over the country wherever he was posted. Thankfully, college life was less nomadic. I graduated from the Shri Shikshayatan College in Kolkata. Thereafter, I moved to Mumbai for post graduation in Mass Communication at Sophia Polytechnic. I have worked in several advertisement agencies as a copywriter including Lintas (now Lowe), Clarion (now Bates), Mudra, Nexus Equity and Rediffusion. I was the creative director at, when I moved with my husband to live in Geneva and for a short time in Zanzibar. At present I live in Kolkata. This is where I finally finished writing this book.

How did you decide on the subject of the book?
The two passions in my life are books and movies. I read any book I can lay my hands on and I see all movies whether I know the language or not. I helped organise the Film Festival of the Dhow Countries in Zanzibar in 2004! Bollywood has a special place in my heart. The subject of this book was decided when a friend suggested that since I loved movies so much why not write a story about it. Thereafter, it was my own fondness for Shah Rukh, his background, his struggle and his great fan following that helped me pattern the book.

How long did you take to write the book?

I started writing this book in Geneva, more than three years ago. Of course, within this period I faced the dreaded writer’s block and couldn’t write a single word for about a year! While I quite like chick-lit as a genre that tells a simple story of love and romance, I don’t define this book as such. I think this is more of a fan-fic, or fan-lit.

Writing is a lonely process. What did you discover about yourself while you worked on this book?
True, writing demands a lot in terms of discipline and dedication, as no one else can step in to do your work. The hard part was sitting on the chair in front of the computer every morning, to type at least 1000 words everyday. Some days it was more like 10 words! However, once the characters took shape, they took a life of their own. From then on it became fun and I didn’t mind waking up even at 6 in the morning to write, or not having people around when I wrote. I had the company of my characters with me.

Is the book autobiographical?
Other than some incidental commonalities, such as a career in the advertising industry and love for Bollywood movies, I am not at all like Kriti. It is a story more about people I have seen and heard of but not necessarily known. At the same time, bits and pieces of all characters and incidents have a toehold in some experience or acquaintance of mine. I do have a friend totally into spiritual new age gurus like Amrita in the book. Similarly there are several Palika Bazaar incidents that I have seen happen, which I have incorporated in the book, albeit modified. I have freely used my creative license, thereby sketching characters and situations that fit into this ‘over-the-top’ story.

Since when did you become a fan of SRK?
I have liked SRK from his Fauji days and have followed his career keenly. I think I belong to what I would like to call a Shah Rukh generation. Films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge or other movies made by director Karan Johar are part of a collective movie consciousness and it’s hard not be a fan of Shah Rukh.

Have you really watched all his movies?
Yes, in the first or as close to the first show as possible. It was a bitterly cold snow filled winter when Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi was shown in a theatre in Zurich. One show starting at 9 pm was all that was there. We drove all the way from Geneva, a five hour drive under freezing conditions, to reach just in time to watch it.
When I started writing this book, I had to start collecting all of SRK’s movies and watch them all over again – this time with a lot more concentration than what I had done the first time when they were released. However, my book is not a ‘deep’ film analysis of his movies but fun storytelling. I have intertwined his movie scenes, characters and songs within the story, creating an interesting reference layer for the readers.

Did you ever meet SRK? Does he know about the book?
Yes, once. He had come to Paris to inaugurate his wax statue at Musée Grévin. I had an invitation. It was a five-minute opportunity, just enough for a photo op before security took over! I have sent SRK a copy of the book and am waiting for a reply.



PostScript caught up with the model-turned-actor, Indraneil Sengupta, on the sets of Riingo’s System, an underworld saga…


Diganta Guha

He has made a mark as an actor in Bengali films working with directors like  Buddhdev Dasgupta, Kaushik Ganguly and Anjan Das. Excerpts:

Have you managed to settle down in Tollywood?
I don’t know whether I have or not but yes, I am working here.

Aarekti Premer Golpo is going places…
I am elated with the response. When we were making the film, I was under the impression that the film would go to various festivals, win awards, receive critical acclaim, both nationally and internationally. But I am amazed that it has also got such a good response from audiences. People are buying tickets in black, and those who are unable to see it are going back home disappointed. It was a bold subject, alternative sexuality, and we never thought the public would accept it so freely. The movie is being watched by one and all. This isn’t exactly the commercial everyday love story that you see on-screen and people appreciate the difference.

How was Rituparno Ghosh as an actor?
Rituda is brilliant. As an actor he is absolutely amazing. Working with him gave me the impression that he must be a great actor-director. He is very patient and his acting style is completely different. I learnt a lot from him…..
Did he guide you on the sets?
To a certain extent he did, but when you are acting yourself, it is not possible to guide your co-actor constantly, because you are busy with your own lines and parts. But yes he did help me with a few things. The character that I played was very complex. I am looking forward to working with Rituda, the director because then he would have the luxury to guide his actors.

You have done very meaningful films in Tollywood and not just run-of-the-mill stuff. Was it a conscious decision?
It’s a two way process. I have been choosey with my films, and I have got offers for certain kind of films only. I am really lucky that such scripts have come my way. Tollywood had a good run in 2010. Many small and medium budget films did very well. There are many talented, creative people in the industry. We have brilliant actors and directors. For me as an actor, Tollywood is important because of the kind of characters and scripts that I get. Hopefully, 2011 will see Tollywood doing even better.
Your wife Barkha is also working in Tollywood…
Barkha is hosting a show on Zing and doing a lot of live shows in Mumbai and Kolkata. She is consciously avoiding daily soaps because it takes up a lot of time. Even I suggested that she should skip daily soaps at the moment. In Tollywood she has done a cameo in Dui Prithibi which won her a best debutante award. She is also doing a full-fledged role in Mahesh Manjrekar’s Aami Subhash Chandra Bolchi with Mithun Chakraborty. She is very excited about it. Language is not a barrier for Barkha. She loves acting. If she gets more opportunities in Tollywood she would definitely work here more frequently.

Do you get time to meet each other?
When I am not working here, I am in Mumbai. When I am shooting in Kolkata, she makes it a point to take some time off to be with me. So, in a month we are together for about 15-18 days. 
What are your current projects?
I have just finished a film called Uro Chithi. Only the dubbing is left. I have System which is an action film, so if you think I haven’t done any mainstream film, here it is. I have also signed a comedy called Le Halwa. Bedeni is going to release soon. In System I play an underworld guy.
Do you have any projects in Mumbai?
No. I think I am too occupied in Kolkata to market myself in Mumbai.



Diganta Guha

Veteran playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy was in town recently to perform at a concert organised by the Saradha Group of Companies. Excerpts:

There is no dearth of item songs now in Bollywood, but you are the pioneer of such numbers…
I wouldn’t call myself a pioneer. Yes I did sing songs like Hawaa hawaai, Jumma Chumma and Tu cheez badi hai mast mast. I believe those songs had better lyrics. Today’s songs just come and go, at least I can’t recall the lyrics and the antaras. 

How do you see the playback scenario these days?
Well, it’s always important for a singer to walk with time. I am not the type that says, “Oh! The old songs of my generation were far better.” You have to accept what we have today. But I do concede that there has been deterioration in terms of lyrics. We have grown up listening to Majrooh Sultanpuri and many other fabulous writers. Now we have just Gulzar Saab and Javed Akhtar. There is too much orchestra used nowadays. 

You have sung a number of Bengali songs. You should be happy to know that songs of Bengali films are again becoming popular.
That’s very encouraging. The songs are much better and more meaningful. I recently sang for a Rabindrasangeet album called Bhalobashi. It’s doing well and I have plans to sing a lot more in Bengali. 

What keeps you busy nowadays?
I am doing a lot of projects that are ‘non-filmi’. The film offers I get are all inconsequential songs. There are lots of new music directors and lyricists who have come up, but their offers are not interesting enough. But music is an integral part of my life and I am keeping that alive by singing in concerts and  for projects like spiritual albums. 

I know it’s tough, but if you are to list three of your favourite numbers, which ones would those be?
My selection doesn’t depend on the song’s popularity. It has something to do with my sentiment. There are certain songs that changed my career graph and I am very sensitive towards them. I like       Hawaa hawaai, the songs of 1942 A Love Story and of course the numbers in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. I would rate the songs of HDDCS as really special because they were so different and there was so much of variety in them.  
Who are your favourite singers from the current crop?
They are all good individually. I like Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal and KK.

What is it like to perform in Kolkata?
It’s always a wonderful experience because there is a strong culture of music here. Kolkata genuinely loves good music. It is always heartwarming to perform here.

Supreeta Singh
Imran Zahid is the latest blue-eyed catch of the Mahesh Bhatt camp. The owner of a media academy in Delhi, Zahid’s Bollywood debut will see him playing the role of assassinated political leader Chandrashekhar Prasad in Bhatt’s next venture Chandu. The film is supposed to hit the floors next month and is scheduled for a late 2011 release. Excerpts from a telephonic conversation:

Tell us something about your background. How did acting happen?
I am originally from Jharkhand. I came to Delhi in 1996 to study at  Hindu College. As for acting, it came naturally to me. I was always   interested in acting. In fact, theatre is my passion. While In college, I acted in a lot of street plays and have also trained under veteran theatre director, Arvind Gaur. The whole idea of a nine to five job never appealed to me.

How did you bag this role?
I was in Dubai for a media workshop when I met Mahesh Bhatt. This was four years ago and our rapport grew over time. Mahesh Saab wanted a new face for the role of Chandrasekhar Prasad and he chose me. Although I have always wanted to be an actor, I could never allow myself to go begging for roles. So, when Mahesh Saab offered me this role, that too without even an audition, I had to grab it. Otherwise, I was happy running my media academy.

Chandrasekhar Prasad was a Marxist leader in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who was brutally shot in Bihar’s Siwan in 1997. How did you prepare for the role?
In recent years, there have been very few leaders with such charisma as Chandrasekhar Prasad. As I researched about him, I was impressed by his resolve to bring about social change in Bihar. Hailing from Jharkhand myself, I could immediately relate to him and his predicament. He was shot dead while delivering a speech in his native town, Siwan, and till date his murderers have not been brought to book. Cases like those of Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo are freak accidents but there’s such hue and cry over them. On the contrary, Chandrasekhar’s death  was a deliberate attempt by some power clique, which has recieved no attention. Today, the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, and Sania Mirza are crowned youth icons. But Chandrasekhar is no less an iconic figure because he fought against all odds and gave up his own dreams for the cause of his state and country.

How are you preparing for the role?
Chandu is not a period film at all, as it is rooted in the current political scenario and that is what makes it different. It was only 14 years ago that Chandrasekhar Prasad was shot dead. His friends and relatives are still there. I often visit JNU and spend time with his friends and colleagues. The interesting thing is that the man still has a presence in the university. Students have not forgotten him. Besides, I am reading books on Communism and sifting through Prasad’s personal letters and writings to gain an insight into his psyche.

This is your first film and that too with Mahesh Bhatt.How is he as a person and as a director?
Mahesh Saab is the only person I am comfortable with in this industry. He is my friend, philosopher and guide. I was an ordinary person hailing from a small city. Can you imagine what I must be feeling now? I am indebted to him for giving me such a break. People are already talking about me. I am in the limelight. I have surrendered myself to Mahesh Saab. I will always follow his advice.

Shauli Chakraborty



Director Goutam Ghose talks about his latest venture Moner Manush. Excerpts:



Why Lalan Fakir?

 Lalan and the philosophy of his sect, I feel, are very relevant in our times. I thought of doing a film on him long time back — right after the Babri Masjid demolition. The communal riots that followed made me think how useful Lalan’s philosophy would be. I did a lot of research on the subject but the project didn’t work out at that time. Post 2001, the world has become intolerant. Political and religious intolerance is rampant. That is why we need Lalan more than ever. We need to preach his philosophy and his views. When Sunil Ganguly wrote Moner Maanush — a novel based on Lalan Fakir’s life and works — I decided it was time to take up the subject once again. I co-ordinated with him and began work on the film.

 Why did you choose Prosenjit to play the lead?

 He was keen to work with me for a very long time. I told him to wait till I had a suitable role and he was patient. His age and his looks make for an interesting Lalan. His eyes are expressive and I knew he was a good choice for the role. However, Prosenjit needed a lot of grooming. For six months he did not take up any other project and preparation time for the role was three months. For an actor this role was one of a kind. He is a star but good roles are rare. I am happy with his performance.

The music…

Lalan lived in a subaltern world. He had no connection with Renaissance Kolkata or 19th century Bengal. He was neither a preacher nor a politician. He was a reformer who quietly worked in rural Bengal through his music. Composing music for the film was a challenge. There were no notations and I went all the way to Bangladesh to meet Sudhin Das at Kusthia. I found 90 songs by Khuda Baksh Shah. In Bangladesh songs sung by baul fakirs are based on the basic ragas but I was in search of a particular kind of tune. I wanted a particular gayeki and when I met Karim Shah I knew I had found my man. He sang 30 songs at one go for me in a hut and I was delighted. Lyrics for Lalan’s songs were hardly ever penned down. They were handed down as recitals from generation to generation. I had to recompose the songs. There is one song based on raag Bhairavi where I used polyphonic tones. In the film songs are part of the dialogue. However, in the CD we have compiled 21 full songs. Latif Shah who is Khuda Baksh Shah’s son was a discovery. He agreed to sing for the film even though he had no experience in recording songs in a studio. I brought him to Kolkata and took him to the recording studio. When he walked in he said, “Chaari dikey to khaancha…tumi amay khaanchar bhetor achin pakhi gayte bolcho (there are cages on all sides…you’re asking me to sing about birds from a cage)”. But he was completely comfortable from the second day. The other singers are Farida Parveen, Antara Choudhary, Upali Chatterjee and Dohar group. A couple of songs were composed by Shiraj Sahi who was Lalan’s guru. Even though the texts are not available Shohajat Firdous has transcribed two songs of Sahi. There are 10,000 songs of Lalon but we used 27 of them for the Moner Maanush.

The other members of the cast…

We have Paoli, Raisulli, Subhra and Champa. There are two youngsters from Bangladesh who deserve special mention — Zeeshan and Tathoi.

What are you exploring – Lalan the man or Lalan and his fame?

The narrative is such that we have a young Jatindranath Tagore confronting an octogenarian Lalan. It is more of a ballad on Lalan’s life. Ananda Shankar Roy once said of him, “Lalan is in no way inferior to Raja Ram Mohan Roy. Both were reformers in their own ways.” That is what the film is about. There is a lot of curiosity about the film.

What should people expect?

Expect love, music and compassion. This is the age of greed and hypocrisy. Youngsters are looking for love and that is exactly what they will take home after watching the film.

Cooking up a laugh riot

Sudipta Dey
The movie has an instant brand recall. And the brand recall value is so high, that the producers decided to change it into a film after five years of being off air (not taking into acccount the numerous re-runs). Khichdi has been one of the most popular comedy sit-coms in Indian television for many years. In 2005, it went off air because the producers, JD Majethia, who also plays Himanshu in the series, and writer director Aatish Kapadia, found it was getting monotonous. But in their last episode of the series, they promised that they would be back with a bang.  
You can call it a bang, if you consider the fact that this is the first television series in India that has been made into a film. Khichdi, which is releasing today, is the cinematic adaptation of the series that went on air in early 2000s on Star Plus, and came back with a second season called Instant Khichdi on Star One. But it went off air in 2005.
JD Majethia, producer-actor-playwright, shares his excitement, while jet-setting through the country attending the paid previews and special screening of Khichdi, in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai. “You would not believe, for the special preview we had in Ahmedabad the Chief Minister also attended the show,” says JD, exhilarated with excitement. He also adds, that Chitralekha, a Gujarati weekly magazine, which was supposed to celebrate its millennium issue (it started in 1950s) did a cover story on the film, postponing their plans of the special issue.
“In Mumbai, we had a word of mouth preview, where we didn’t publicise the preview, there we had 150 people extra than what we could accommodate in the theatre. We had to arrange for another show to seat them,” he added.
The line up remains the same except, Vandana Pathak, who played the the widowed daughter Jayashree, is replaced by Nimisha Vakharia, who is also a known face in television. “She had other family commitments for which she could not be a part of our film,” reasons JD.

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