Jalsa, Mumbai Jan 27, 2017 Fri 10:35 am
Birthday - EF - Jitendar Shir ….. Fri, January 27 .. so dear Jitendar Ef we did wish you on the Blog last night for today, but as you may have noticed the post just decided to break away .. so here is wishing you for today all the vey best on your birth and may there be hundreds of such occasions ever .. with our love ..
So even though I absolutely detest recounting what I have lost in the Blog the previous night due to a technical problem, I am going against temperament and .. haha .. ‘tradition’, to relive those hours late at night when they were penned .. sorry .. punched .. !!
Mr Ratan Tata
Mr Tata and I are members of a Committee constructed by the GoM, that Government of Maharashtra, to monitor suggest and give advice to an initiative by it to enhance conditions of the villages and rural regions of the State - to enhance their living conditions, education, development, involvement, job opportunities, farming benefits et al .
The picture is a moment when the meeting got over, and the story is as follows :
Mr Ratan Tata and I are also involved in the campaign by the Government for the eradication of TB, and during one of its earlier meetings, when we were being led to the dias, I politely stepped back and urged Mr Tata to walk ahead first, before me, to get on to the stage for the press conference. He in his exemplary manner, insisted that I go first. I disagreed. And for a few minutes, this ‘pehle aap, pehle aap’ - ‘you first, you first’, for those that are Hindi language challenged - continued. [ Of course many of you that are familiar with that famous story that goes with this ‘pehle aap’ attitude, will be better placed to describe to the other Ef, its origins. If not here it is. LUCKNOW, the capital city of UP, the State of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, and from where yours truly had his origins, was and still is to some extent renowned for its hospitality and etiquette and Nawabi manners. The city and its environs were ruled by the Nawab’s before the British invasion, a class of regal rulers, known for their delicate and immense love for all the good things of life, food, music, dance, manners etc. They would find it rude and improper to lead or walk ahead of their guests at any invite or function or event. Much like the English say ‘ladies first’, the Nawab’s would always, with utmost courtesy, say ‘pehle aap’.. ‘you first’ … The story goes that two (2) Nawab’s during their erstwhile rule, were at a railway platform to board a train, and following tradition and etiquette, kept doing ‘pehle aap, pehle aap’ to each other, before getting on to the train. Neither relenting, this little conversational etiquette driven tradition, continued for quite a while, until both realised that in their formalities, the train had departed !! ]
where were we .. yes .. Mr Tata ..
So at this event when the two of us were on the verge of recreating that Nawabi railway station episode, I remarked to him, not the story of the Nawab’s, but in all politeness and regard : ‘Age before beauty !’ and he laughed and gave in.
This happened almost several months ago. But when we met at the meeting the pictures of which you see above, he came forward to shake hands as he passed by me standing for him respectfully, and said ‘age before beauty’, to which we laughed again.
I was surprised he had remembered … !
Haaah aah .. pheew .. end of story !
Next DEEWAR ..
The temple in the film was a set built at the Chandivalli Studios in Mumbai. It is a most remarkable studio. Has been existent I think form the day the first film was made .. hehe .. is just a vast piece of land, with a small area covered with lawns and a few pine trees and other bushes of varied colours, and a small area in the complex made into a rural village, with huts etc ., thats it. But I doubt if there is any film in the history of the Industry that has not used the studio for some shooting or the other. It has never been the location for an entire film, but in the entire film there shall always been a small sequence that has been shot there. Now, I am talking of my time .. now I believe it is mostly used by Tv and others .. but there we are ..
So the temple set was made in the outdoor at Chandivili, and the other made indoors on a floor at RajKamal Studio. The introduction shot of mine and the night scene when I crash my car on the steps is at the outdoor .. the ‘aaj khush toh bahut ..’ scene praying for my Mother’s life, and my death scene was done indoors .. BECAUSE .. we needed greater controlled light and liberty to shoot it any time .. and the benefit of silent shooting and the possibility of not having to dub the scenes for sound. Two scenes, that I shot in there, the prayer for Mother and the death, were never dubbed. I begged Yash ji not to. I would not be able to recreate the original sound, and he graciously agreed ..
There are two sounds in the film during these scenes which I wonder many have noticed. In the prayer scene - ‘aaj khush toh ..’ when I plead the God to give me back my Mother, the camera moves closer to me in a trolley shot, and what can be heard in a short portion of it is a wood sound, like someone stepping on a wooden floor plank, that has been either not firmly fixed or is loose. That sound is the sound of the track on which the trolley runs. Tracks in those days were made of wood, unlike what they are now, metalled and mechanised so there is smooth movement and no sound !!
The other is the death scene. As I say my last lines on the lap of my Mother, Nirupa Roy, you hear the chime of a clock. The audience and the connoisseurs of cinema, complimented Yash ji on the placement of the chime during the death scene, as back ground sound. WRONG ! it was never a back ground sound put in, it happened originally. You see, on the set of the temple as part of a property, there was a clock, and most coincidentally and almost in a most weird telepathic symbolic manner, went off on its own, at a most appropriate time while the shot was running !! We just kept because we could never remove it, for I had requested not to dub the scene. We had to go with the original sound. Many that do not know the detail, felt it was such a pertinent touch - ‘time telling Vijay that it was now running out on him’ .. !!
Nirupa ji played my Mother, and the scene where she slaps me in the early part of the film, is a real slap. And I have to admit that it was the strongest hands that I have ever encountered in a lady. My ears were ringing after that whack for days .. !!
Haaa .. another .. phew … !!!
and this scene was shot in Yash ji’s apartment in Pali Hill, where he lived during that time .. and this is the flat where I during the shooting of the film, met Adi Chopra, just born, for the first time .. today he has become this magnum studio head producer director writer .. and a most respected fraternity member !!
OH .. and the car that I drive in to the temple at night after getting shot by Shashi ji, was supposed to stop at the steps, but in my ‘josh’ I rammed it in and it climbed up a few steps , from where I emerged !! Got a speaking to by Yash ji and the stunt director, for doing that. They said the steering wheel could have given in because of the impact, and crushed me .. !!
OKAAY .. enough no more … !!!
Good morning and apologies for the disappearance of the post last night .. tonight of course there shall be another - unfortunately that too shall have to be tolerated !!
heck ! one more .. I shot for the climax at night at Ballard pier for DEEWAR, where I am running and get shot by Shashji .. finish shooting by 5 am, have the best omelette parathas at Tardeo a lane close by, with Yashji and Shashji for breakfast, drive to the airport catch a flight to Bangalore and shoot for SHOLAY in the day, take a flight back at night to Bombay and shoot for DEEWAR at night. Did that for 7 days !!