DEATH ANNIVERSARY: AAJ KAL NABBE RUPYE KI CAFE KI CHAI PEEKAR SCRIPTS PAR CHARCHA KI JAATI HAI .DR RAHI MASOOM RAZA NE APNI BIWI KE RASOI MEIN BAITKAR MAHABHARAT KE SANWAAD LIKHE THE . KOUN JEETA AUR KOUN HAAREGA ?……Ali Peter John
There was a time when writers were called munshis and clerks and were paid very poorly . There have been a number of cases of some good writers living a very sad life and have ended up dying of drinking and mostly of neglect. When Pandit Mukhram and Inder Raj Anand charged a lakh of rupees for writing a script or the dialogue of a film , they made headlines and led the way for other writers to demand their price . When Sahir Ludhianavi asked to be paid more than the music directors all those who wanted his songs had to accept his demand or not have the privilege of having his songs in their films. When Salim and Javed were on the very top , they went up to the hills of Lonavala and sat in a hotel called the Taj where they lived till they had completed the first draft of their scripts.
Gulzar wrote his scripts and even his songs in his house, Boskiyana and gave the finishing touches to whatever he wrote at the West End Hotel in Bangalore and lived in his favorite suite till he was satisfied with what he had written. Dr Rahi Masoom Raza wrote the dialogue of the serial “Mahabharat ” sitting with his wife in her kitchen. By the seventies, it had become a custom for writers to demand for a suite in a five star hotel to write. The well-known writer and lyricist Rajendra Krishan wrote dialogues and song in the Shalimar Hotel at Warden Road and Anand Bakshi conceived most of his songs during his morning walk .
Sachin Bhownick who wrote some of the biggest hits of the seventies hardly wrote, he only watched Hollywood films in a five star hotel and narrated their stories to some of his favourite directors and producers. B R Ishaara who some times had five or six films on the floor could write anywhere he wanted, but when he had made some money, he had a room at the Seaside Hotel ( Gulzar gave it the name “Suicide Hotel”) where he could write one script a day , believe it or not, if he could shoot a film in a day, why coundnt he write a script in a day? In the seventies there was a writer called K K Shukla who wrote Amar Akbar Anthony and other hits of Manmohan Desai who discussed his ideas and gags with Desai and two other writers, K B Pathak and Prayag Raaj While having his swim at the swimming pool of the Sun N Sand Hotel.
Writers who came from the south had their “sittings” either at the Shalimar Hotel or at the newly built Sea Rock Hotel . K K Singh , a one time assistant of Raj Kapoor had become a saleable writer after he had written Ram Teri Ganga Maili and had several rooms and suites booked in his name and created a new trend when he told all those who had signed him that he wrote only during the night , he had taken to drinking heavily and landed in a nature cure clinic in Juhu where well known filmmakers like Feroz Khan Sunjay Khan and the actor Vinod Mehra visited him every day to get their work done. He however kept drinking and died young, but not before he directed a film with Salman Khan in the lead ( which flopped and before being thrown out of the Mehboob Studio where he had gone drunk to narrate a story to Amitabh Bachchan.
The only writer who worked as a regular writer was K A Abbas, my guru and everything. He worked on an old table and sat on a steel chair from 9 am to 1pm and then again from 3pm till he got dead tired and the next day ; it was the same routine for him . Kamleswar had gone crazy after the grand success of his T V show Parikrama and would not settle for anything less than a suite in a five star hotel with the best liquor and food coming in all through the day and even the night…
This was how some of the best and original writers worked in the good old days. Now , it seems like all the writing has shifted to places like Costa Coffee Day, Starbucks, Chaayos and a hundred other coffee shops and tea shops. And the result is very clearly seen in the kind of films that are churned out day by day.
JAANE KAHAA GAYE WOH DIN JAB YE LEKHAK LIKHTE TE AUR lLIKHNE KA TAMAASHA NAHI KARTE THE