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Birthday Special: Subhash Ghai, will those golden days come again Mr. Showman?

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SUBHASH GHAI…Kya Woh Sunhere din Wapas Aayenge Mr. Showman?
(My first  “OFFICIAL INTERVIEW” with my friend Subhash Ghai)  BY ALI PETER JOHN
The man who had a rough and rebellious childhood is now determined to see that he has the courage and the conviction to carry himself and the legacy he has created to their rightful destination. Subhash Ghai is a name synonymous with all that is grand, entertaining and enlightening in Indian cinema. He is a school and has his own internationally known school of filmmaking, Whistling Woods International. His filmmaking company completed 45 years on October 24 and it inspired him to take his company to another level. The Showman accepts the good times and the rough times and now wants to put them behind him and start off with a new slate. What comes as a piece of good news is that he is going to be back as a director who once gave eleven hits in a row.
I caught Subhash Ghai in a reflective and responsible frame of mind…

…..45 long years is a very long time, in fact, a saga in the history of Indian cinema where companies rise and fall within months and years and sometimes even within weeks. How has Mukta Arts survived with its head held high?

Subhash Ghai……It is all God’s grace and the willingness of man to keep working hard, keep on working even if there are pits and potholes along the way. Mukta Arts has had its own share of ups and downs, but we believe that the ups are a big boost and the downs are lessons to be learnt from and stand and fight back with double the energy and efforts. We are committed to the cause of cinema and can never waver from the cause which is the life blood of Mukta Arts. It is a company which is not run by me alone but a whole lot of dedicated and determined men and women who are aware of my madness to make cinema the prime goal of my life and the life of Mukta Arts.

…….You had once made more than 11 films in a row which were all hits and super hits. What happened to that magic of the showman during the last three films you directed?

Subhash GhaiI am not a superman or a man who is infallible who can never make mistakes. I am like any other human being the only difference is that I am in a field where I have to be cautious while taking every step and keeping in mind that I am making a film which has to satisfy millions of people. I being in the gaze of the people all the time because of the expectations I myself have raised have to be doubly conscious when I am planning a film. All was well till I was only focused on making films and didn’t have to worry about any other field or activity. I spent more than four years in planning and building Whistling Woods International which I wanted to be one of the best film schools in the world and I succeeded. But I did not know that success could be followed by trouble. WWI was doing very well. We had the facilities to train students in every sphere of filmmaking including media and communication and even fashion designing. We had started with seventy students and had reached a time when we had more than five hundred and then even seven hundred students being trained by the best faculty.

…….What was the problem that created problems for WWI?

A trailblazer in educational innovation, Whistling Woods International hosts virtual masterclass with the team of 'Gunjan Saxena The Kargil Girl'2The story is known by all those who are aware of what Subhash Ghai is all about. There was a problem about the land on which WWI was built. There was a threat to the very existence of my dream school and I was caught in a mess which I had never imagined.

……But even while you were facing serious problems and the entire industry and even certain sections of the media went all out to support you, the love for making films got the better of you and you made not one but three films like “Yuvraj”, “Black & White” and “Kaanchi” and to the utter shock of those in the business and especially the masses which had got addicted to your kind of films, all these three films turned out to be duds. What went wrong?

…. To tell you the truth, everything went wrong. Now when I look back I have realized that these films were not made by me at the right time. I was in a very disturbed state of mind because of my problems at WWI and you know no creative work can be done by even the most talented and creative minds under pressure and tension. It was all through the making of these three films that I was not the Subhash Ghai I was. I genuinely think that I should never have made those three films when I was surrounded by lawyers, financiers and Government officials who kept my mind occupied with the hazards at WWI. How could I think of a good shot, a good song or even a good line of dialogue when my mind was working on so many different tracks? I did not know that I was going wrong while I made these films and had to pay a very heavy price when the films fared badly which was an additional burden to add to the already existing problems at WWI.

……You seem to have got out of the woods in the case involved with WWI now.

Subhash-Ghai……Yes, with the recent ruling of the Court about WWI we are all relieved. We have in a way found our breath and our creativity. We are now in a collective frame of mind to do good work, work that we all love. If you visit WWI you will see a whirl of activities all around with each and everyone has a spring in their movements which is a symbol of the excited state the minds of everyone at WWI is. We have started life again as it were and I have full confidence that we will now reach out to conquer new goals which could not even be imagined some time ago. We have introduced several new activities at WWI which are loved by students and the faculty alike, projects like 5th Veda, Celebrate Cinema and the several Master Classes that we have with distinguished celebrities from different fields of filmmaking. In short, you will never see WWI in an idle stage at any time during the day which gives me and my daughter Meghna, the President of WWI all the encouragement to think of new ways of breathing new life into WWI.

……What about Subhash Ghai, the filmmaker and showman?

……If so much that was going wrong is finally going right now and I have won back my freedom to think freely, I will be back soon.  Mukta Arts will be launching three films. The first will be directed by myself and the other two will be directed by other directors. All other details of the films are being worked out on in a careful way but one thing is certain, all the three films will be wholesome entertainers for the whole family. They will follow the traditions of Mukta Arts and change wherever there is a genuine need for change. Another thing I can assure you is that all the three films will have some good actors  and some who have already worked with Mukta Arts which has set a budget of two hundred crores to make these three films.

……How do you, the founder of Mukta Arts see the future of the company which has a pride of place in the industry?

subhash ghai cover I have always been an optimist and as I told you I have never feared failure and worked my heart out to make films that will gladden the hearts of people who have always been happy with the films made by Mukta Arts. It will be the same spirit even now and with the coming  of  Rahul Puri as the new Managing Director of Mukta Arts and his  dynamic new ideas for the betterment of Mukta  Arts) I am sure that we at Mukta Arts will scale new heights of success and we are not just hoping or dreaming to achieve this goal, but are going all the way to make way for a bright new future for Mukta Arts in the time to come and certainly aiming to scale new heights and we are certainly not going to sit back on our past glory

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