Who Could Have Imagined That The Showman Who Made Blockbuster Like “Hero”, "Ram Lakhan" And "Karma" Among Others Would One Day Make A Short Film On "Gandhi" For DD

The passion of a man totally dedicated to his art and craft of giving life to his art cannot be stifled, stymied or shackled by any kinds of storms,

By Team Bollyy
New Update

Ali Peter John

The passion of a man totally dedicated to his art and craft of giving life to his art cannot be stifled, stymied or shackled by any kinds of storms, turmoils, tribulation, threats and fears from within himself or from the forces outside himself. His passion gives him the courage, the confidence and conviction together his conscience to just go ahead and do what he loves. I don’t have to tell you who I am talking if you have been reading me anytime during the last 45 years. Yes, I am talking about my one of my favourite subject, Subhash Ghai, who I had the privilege of observing as a struggler making a few hundred rupees to a time when he was recognized as a failed actor and recognized as a director who would go on to make a place for himself in the history of Indian cinema. He could rise to new skies of success only because he never surrendered his passion to its enemies who kept trying to beat him and his passion down, thankfully without really succeeding.

Like I often said, God all whoever the power is who keeps blessing you, I have had the unique privilege of observing some of the greatest success stories during my long drawn out career which I sometimes feel like stopping, but again like in the case of Subhash Ghai, it is my passion that has made me ran around from public gardens to motor driving schools and even the steps of Muslim karbrastan to get my work typed by young boys who can type kill when I say dil.

I had closely watched Subhash Ghai doing his first film as a hero for which he was paid Rs 650/- and I have seen struggling as an actor and then rising as one of the most successful director of the commercial Hindi cinema. He had made all the name and fame and fortune and could build and rule in a world all his own, but he developed a new parallel passion in him, when others who made money siphoned off their excessive money into other businesses and other industries. Ghai, who could hardly be called a highly educated man, thought and dreamt and hoped to build an acting school and once he made up his mind, he did not rest till the last brick was placed in the proper place.

Strangely, it was during this time that I as a very closed observer and admirer found the man and the showman losing his grip over his passion to make the kind of films he was known to make. He had made films like “Kissna”, “Yuvraaj”, and finally “Kaanchi” – the unbreakable, which was the last feature film he made in 2015. All these have no patch on the film he had made earlier and some of them were so painfully bad that the same audiences which lapped up his films kept walking out before the films could end and being a close friend, I will remember crying when I too walked out with the angry audience after watching Kissna which was followed by another disaster called “Yuvraaj” which couldn’t be saved in spite of having the highly saleable and lovable Salman Khan in it. He was still not willing to give up and made Kaanchi – the unbreakable with Mishti Mukherjee from Kolkatta and Kartik Aryan who is now one of the celebrated new hero, which speaks volumes for the showman’s ability to recognize true talent, Kartik Aryan is a star today with his first big film, Love Aaj Kal with his alleged love, Sara Ali Khan as his heroine in the film directed by Imitiaz Ali. Kaanchi also had Ghai’s friends, Rishi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty playing major character actor and they too like me observed that the showman was showing the signs of losing his confidence and even going out to pray to see that their friends films succeeded. But nothing worked and “Kaanchi” was a bigger disaster in the showman’s illustrious career. He had decided to take a break from making films and had taken on another decision to concentrate on his acting school, “Whistling Woods International” into which he put all the money he had made and invested all the goodwill he had gathered.

He directed “Kaanchi” without his heart really being in it and anyone who knew him a little could see that he was just putting on an act as the showman he was once. It was this period of anguish and pain on his once ever-smiling face that finally got the better of me and I asked him where the Subhash Ghai once the good old days had got lost. It took him sometime to answer, but he spoke the truth when he said that he was facing a serious legal tangle connected with his school and his mind was in two places, in the school and in making of “Kaanchi”. He admitted that it was his fault to work and make a film under these circumstances and as expected, the film bombed like no other film of Ghai had and the film maker in him had to go into hiding, so what if it was in his golden cave!

He had not made a film for the last six years which was entirely under against his passion, but he became one of better known educationist of the country having tie-up with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and other institutions and he and his daughter, Meghna Ghai Puri literally did not rest till their school was declared one of the ten best acting schools in the world.

It was in this light that the good news about Subhash Ghai a short film on Gandhi for DD at a time when Gandhi is in the news for all the wrong reasons and there are attempts being made to portray and paid Godse, his killer and a hero and Gandhi being pushed under back burner that Subhash Ghai taking up the challenge of making a short film on his own perspective of Gandhi came as a shaft of light.

I had always wanted to make a film or two which would make him known as a serious film maker too and he found in the opportunity to make the 35 minutes long short film on “Gandhi” a bigger challenge than some of the biggest he had made. He knew make a short film on “Gandhi” on whom hundreds of films, including the one by Sir Richard Attenborough had been made. But as a free citizen of independent India, he felt it was his duty to specially, that the young generation knows what his perspective about Gandhi was. The director who once only spent time on writing scripts based on fictional characters had now to work on doing research on various aspects of Gandhi’s life on politics and was satisfied only when he realized that he had something share and say about Gandhi.

He wanted the film to be story of a father trying to explain the importance of Gandhi to his teenage son who has a very negative attitude towards Gandhi and his teachings. Ghai needed a sensitive actor to play the role of a father and he chose Manoj Bajeyee to play the father and when he saw the final result he realized that there could have no better actor to play the role of the father.

In his efforts to present Gandhi according to his perspective, Ghai who once raised questions about fantasy characters raises very controversial and sensitive questions about Gandhi like why he was for the Partition in 1947, about why he couldn’t prevent the hanging of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and why he was silent about the mystery of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose and many other questions which critics of Gandhi are still asking behind closed air-conditioned doors. Ghai was fully aware that there would be some lapses in the film he has made, but he defend himself by saying that Gandhi is an endless subject and there have been many who have told his stories in the past and will continue to tell them now, in the present and as long as the history of India is told. Ghai’s only wish is that his film could serve the purpose for which his film has been made. He is a little worried about how Gandhi is being turned into a butt of jokes among an increasingly growing number of youngsters and it is the duty of all those who know anything about the truth of Apostle of truth should come out in the open before Gandhi faces the threat of being forgotten in his own land even be looked at as a just statue or a photograph on currency notes which in today’s times are more used for notorious activities conducted by the Netas who swear by his name and don’t even know his full name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

The film was shown on DD on 30th Jan. on Gandhi’s death anniversary and I am seriously interested and worried about how many young and interested Indians would have seen the films because 2.30pm for most of them is either time to be seen in a Café or better still in a booze bar and the millions of youngsters in the villages don’t even have a TV set where they can watch DD and our dear Bapu always said India was in our villages.

It was an impressive and a worthy effort made by one of our most well-known film maker. But it will not serve the proper purpose unless it reaches the maximum number of Indian now than our great leaders like Gandhi and Nehru are being blamed for all the mess that is being created by leaders today and Sardar Patel, the first iron man of India has in a way has been silenced forever by giving him a Zamin se aasman tak statue to stay silent and for which the Government has spent Rs 3000 crores and the statue has been constructed by a engineers from China….

And from all this that Ghai has done to keep Gandhi alive, I am happy to know about the coming back Subhash Ghai, the filmmaker. He has been talking about directing his own film after a gap of six years and his waiting for the script to be ready before he officially announces the film. Ghai is only 75 years young and the spirit of the youth that surround him all day at his school must have certainly pumped the spirit of waking up, rising and going into challenge for all the young filmmakers of today. Ghai has many ideas up his sleeve and three other films which he announced and did not make, they were “Devaa”, “Shikhar” and “Motherland” are still very much alive in him. He has to pick up one of these powerful subjects, polish them, give them a new look and then take the nation by a big storm. Who says a film cannot create a storm ? It can and it certainly can if it is made by a maker like Subhash Ghai who still has the passion burning bright in him and for whom age is just a number?

AN AFTER THOUGHT. After seeing Ghai’s “Gandhi”, a strange idea takes charge of me. Why can’t “Gandhi” according to Subhash Ghai be shown to more and more Indians and a tricky time when all out efforts are being made to wipe out the existence of the Indian who Albert Einstein once called, the kind of man who will never walk the space of this earth again.

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Hero, Ram Lakhan, Karma, Gandhi, Subhash Ghai

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