Those Glorious Days, These Gloomy Days

It was a sign of the bad times to come for some of the most successful and talented directors when a newly started corporate misbehaved and

By Team Bollyy
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Those Glorious Days, These Gloomy Days

Ali Peter john

(some of the best directors who are jobless today)

It was a sign of the bad times to come for some of the most successful and talented directors when a newly started corporate misbehaved and ill-treated legendary directors like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Ramesh Sippy.....

hrishikesh mukherjee 1

The directors had heard about the corporates waiting and willing to give them work. These two men who had set new trends to Indian Cinema had to approach the girls at the reception counters and they recieved the same kind of treatment. The girls who did not know anything but anything about cinema asked the directors their names and they looked bewildered. And they were asked to sit in the lobby and told that they would be called by their bosses when they had the time. The legendary men who once had some of the greatest stars, writers, music composers, lyricists and technicians willing to eat from te palms of their hands couldn't take the humiliation, however hard they tried....

ramesh sippy 2

Hrishikesh Mukherjee tried to make his last film called “Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate"with four stars of the new generation, but within no time, the director who had worked with almost every big star from Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor to Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor found a big change in the attitude of the stars he was working with and who were paid much more than him by the corporates lost interest in directing the film and he soon fell a victim to kidney failure and died. Incidentally, he was one director who Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya had given a signed document according to which he could sign them any time he wanted for any film. As if in protest, he started making TV serials like “Aa Baiil Mujhe Maar"and some others, but his heart had gone out of making films of any kind and he finally died a broken hearted man and out of the intense pain and suffering he had to go through due to the regular dialysis sessions he had to go through.....

Hrishikesh-Mukherjee 3

Ramesh Sippy was a very rare case of a director who made the ultimate film, “Sholey"and couldn't repeat even one-third of the success in any of the films he made during the next twenty years or more and finally gave up in despair as it were. When last heard of, he was trying to make a small film called “Shimla Mirch"but even this small film couldn't take off. These days, he spends his time being a part of juries of small and big award shows and taking part in seminars and symposiums where he sometimes finds himself out of place because of the rapid developments in the world of cinema. His son, Rohan Sippy followed his father and directed a couple of films and has not been heard of for a long time.....

ramesh sippy 4

Basu Chatterjee, who was one of the founders of good cinema which were also successful was forced to join the mainstream trend, but he couldn't succeed and continued making TV serials and is now eighty years old and does not even move out of his house....

shekhar kapoor 5

Even a director like Shekhar Kapur who had made it big both in India and in Hollywood with films like “Masoom",“Bandit Queen"and “Elizabeth"in the West is now back to India and has been working for a producer to back his film,“Paani"and some of the leading banners like Yashraj Films have not taken a positive attitude to his subject and he has now got into some kind of buisness, the headquarters of which is in Bengaluru.

basu chaterjee 5

Some of the best directors from the South who made several memorable films, names like K. Vishwanath, T. Rama Rao and even Mani Ratnam have stopped making films in Hindi or even in any other language. Even as I write this piece, I have received some heartening news about Mani Ratnam making the“biggest and most ambitious film in India", which is really good news for cinema in India. Rama Rao who holds the record of making nine films with Rekha, any number of films with Jeetendra, Dharmendra (he also has the record of directing Dharmendra while he is in a drunken state, throughout the making of a film), Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth, Hema Malini, Sridevi, Jaya Prada and many others is eighty and has retired from filmmaking and at eighty has his own buisness in Hyderabad and has vowed never to make films again. Vishwanath who added a touch of class to films made in the South and in Hindi has also quit making films alltogether and has taken to the divine path.....

Mani Ratnam 6

One of the biggest stories of the rise and fall of a director is the story of Rakesh Kumar who was an assistant of Prakash Mehra and had become a favourite of Amitabh Bachchan with whom he made a record number of six films which included “Khoon Paseena",“Mr Natwarlal",“Yaaraana"and “Do Aur Do Panch"for which the big producer from the South, Sandow Chinappa Devar had given him a bungalow in Juhu as his signing amount. However, it is said that he had grown too big and had even tried to humiliate Amitabh for which he is still paying the price. He has had no work for more than ten years. He has sold his bungalow to the one-time producer and lab owner, Manmohan Shetty and has moved into a small apartment in the Lokhandwala area in Andheri West. He has submitted eight scripts to Amitabh and has not even recieved any acknowledgement for them. He seems to be on the verge of a breakdown and is often seen walking the streets and meeting people like me to see if I can get Amitabh to agree to do at least one film with him. How can I tell him that Amitabh has moved into an entirely different orbit and doesn't want to work with the old school of directors and has signed six films, including one in Marathi when he is seventy-six and can be busy at least for the next three years? And besides, Amitabh now has a team of writers which first go through the scripts submitted to him and reads only the scripts recommended by his new team.

Manmohan Shetty 7

The one big loss to Indian Cinema is Gulzar giving up direction for good. He took this decision when he was directing a film for producers Dhirubhai Shah and Pravin Shah. The film was called“Hu Tu Tu"and was a political satire starring Suniel Shetty, Tabu and Nana Patekar. Gulzar who was the king of his own kingdom as a director was known for not vowing to the whims and fancies of any of his producers and that is exactly what the producers of“Hu Tu Tu"wanted him to do and he completed the film half-heartedly and then decided never to direct films again. He is now busy as a literary writer and poet and works only for his daughter, Meghna Gulzar and his disciple, Vishal Bhardwaj.

Gulzar 8

Among the other one-time well-known directors who can and are still capable of directing films are Partho Ghosh (“Dalal",“Agni Sakshi"and “100 Days"), Lawrence D'Souza (“Saajan"), Esmayeel Shroff (“Love 86",“Thodisi Bewafaai", “Aahista Aahista"and“God and Gun"), Mehul Kumar who holds the record of making over 40 films in Gujarati and Hindi, which includes (“Krantiveer"and “Tiraanga"),J.P Dutta (best known for his ambitious films made in Rajasthan and his wars films like“Border",“Refugee",“LOC-Kargil", the recently released “Paltan"which was made with the same passion and the same stars, but was one of the biggest flops. He had also made his own version of“Umrao Jaan"which was earlier made by Muzaffar Ali, who is another director who could never make a known, classy or a bit film again), Rahul Rawail (“Love Story",“Betaab"and many others), Pankaj Parashar (“Chaalbaaz") who later quit films to concentrate on ad films),Sai Paranjpye (“Katha",“Saaz"), Aruna Raje (“Gehrayee") and Saawan Kumar Tak(“Saajan Bina Suhaagan",“Souten",“Souten Ki Beti",“Sanam Bewafa",“Khalnayikaa")and Anand Sagar, son of Ramanand Sagar, Umesh Mehra (son of F.C Mehra who directed big films like “Alibaba Challis Chor"and the last released film of Dilip Kumar,“Qilla"with Rekha, Jyotin Goel (son of Devendra Goel who could hardly leave a mark) there are too many others who are now living in worlds of their own and spend most of their time dreaming of the glorious past and moaning over their grooming present......

J-P-Dutta 9

There are some directors who have given up after directing only one film and among them are Shammi Kapoor (“Manoranjan"), Shashi Kapoor, (“Ajooba"), Randhir Kapoor (“Kal Aaj Aur Kal"and the completion of his father's film“Heena"), Rishi Kapoor (“Aa Ab Laut Chale"),Rajiv Kapoor (“Prem Granth"), Simy Garewal, Nana Patekar (“Prahaar"), Anupam Kher (“Om Jai Jagdish")and Hema Malini (who could complete “Dil Aashna Hai"in which she introduced Shah Rukh Khan and “Tell Me, Oh Khuda"which she could complete with a great deal of difficulty and now that she is one of the right hand women of Narendra Modi, it seems very unlikely that she will direct or act in a film)....

I can go on and on, because every time I walk around Juhu, Yari Road or Lokhandwala or sit in one of the cheap hotels and bars, I see many more faces of men who were once ruling their own worlds, but are now ruing their fates.

Have you ever heard of a man called J.K Bihari? I don't know how he can still smile when the truth of his life is that he was the first director who had signed Salman Khan only because he was the son of his friend, Salim Khan?

jk bihari 10

There are hundreds of members of the film directors association of which ninety five percent have never directed a film and there are others who have almost made it, but there are most who have tried their best and have only lived on in the list of directors even after they have finished playing their game or have wasted one whole life chasing the elusive dream of being a director one day and see their dreams of shouting LIGHTS, CAMERA AND ACTION at least once in their lives.

This is not a piece to scare away the directors who are standing on different borders to start fighting their wars, this is an appeal to all young men who dream of taking to direction to take every step very carefully, because this is one field where you can be the captain one day and run looking for shelter, security and dal roti within a few days. Walk in, only if you have the courage, the confidence and the conviction to make it or walk out before it is too late and the world called the industry throws you out. I have seen some of the best of them losing their minds in their quest to find success and glory and I have seen many more cases of men and women being crushed under their own dreams and illusions.

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