FLASHBACK | 29 September, 2023
(From our issue dated 3rd October, 1998)


Siddhivinayak Creation’s Bandhan (UA) is a family drama about the bond of love between a brother and sister, which gets extended to cover the boy’s brother-in-law too. The boy, brought up by his sister and her husband, treats the latter as his be-all and cannot even dream of disobeying him. The brother-in-law, by the seductive designs of a girl of loose character, falls into the trap laid by her and from that point begins the confrontation between the brother and his brother-in-law who till then was like God to him. The brother-in-law throws him out of his house and even does not permit his wife to meet her brother and parents. A further misunderstanding between the brothers-in-law aggravates matters and the brother feels guilty of having brought misery to his sister. In the end, all misunderstandings are cleared and the brothers-in-law once again unite.

The story is of the kind one saw in films of the seventies and eighties. Its treatment, though, is more contemporary and there are four or five truly heart-touching scenes which have immense ladies appeal. The biggest drawback of the film, however, is the poor characterisation of the sister’s husband (Jackie Shroff). His shift from being a hero to becoming a villain looks less convincing and should have been much more well explained. Romance also takes a backseat, maybe due to censor cuts.

Jackie Shroff, despite a faulty characterisation, does a good job. Salman Khan is the life of the film and acts ably. Ashwini Bhave, as his sister, appeals in dramatic scenes. Rambha is passable as Salman’s girlfriend, and the film could have done with a better heroine, given Salman’s ‘A’ class image today. Shakti Kapoor and Ashok Saraf provide some light moments. Ashok Saraf, especially, is effective in the climax. Mukesh Rishi passes muster. Shweta Menon is alright. Himani Shivpuri lends admirable support. Anjan Shrivastava is good. Aasif Sheikh does a fair job. The horse has been made good use of.

K. Murali Mohan Rao’s handling of an old subject is nice. Some of his directorial punches make a straight entry into the heart for their emotional content. Of the songs, ‘Tere naina mere nainon ki’ is very appealing. The title song and ‘Balle Balle’ too are good but a couple of other songs are ordinary. Song picturisations are colourful but lack novelty. Action scenes are quite okay. Photography and other technical values are of a good standard.

On the whole, reasonably-priced Bandhan has Indian values and sentiments for ladies and family audience and will, therefore, keep everyone happy. It has better chances in Maharashtra, U.P., M.P., Bengal and Bihar, where it may yield overflow.

Released on 1-10-’98 at Minerva and 11 other cinemas and on 2-10-’98 at 10 more cinemas of Bombay thru V.I.P. Enterprises. Publicity: good. Opening: very good. …….Also released all over. It opened in Bengal on 29-9-’98 due to Puja holidays.


Distributors Gauri Pictures of Bombay and Nagpur have been declared ‘defaulter’ by the joint tribunal of the Indian Motion Pictures Distributors’ Association (IMPDA) and the Theatre Owners’ Association (TOA). The decision was taken after a complaint over non-settlement of dues of Usha Talkies, Kolhapur, came up before the tribunal. The complaint stated that Usha Talkies had exhibited Soon Ladki Sasarchi (a Marathi film distributed by Gauri Pictures) which incurred deficits for a period of six weeks. When a number of reminders, issued by Usha Talkies to Gauri Pictures, asking the latter to settle dues amounting to more than Rs. 38,000, failed to evoke any response, Usha Talkies lodged a complaint with the TOA. The Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association of India (CEAI) has also since declared Gauri Pictures a ‘defaulter’.


Sanjay Khan has been fined Rs. 54 lakh by the Karnataka Electricity Board for allegedly drawing more power than allotted for a resort being constructed by him and his relatives on the outskirts of Bangalore.


A new cinema, Eshwari Chitra Mandir, opened recently on Stadium Road at Chitradurga in Karnataka. It has 818 seats and a capacity of Rs. 6,826.45 (nett) per show. Nett capacity for 28 shows is Rs. 1,91,140.60.


A delegation of the Film Federation of India (FFI) comprising Santosh Singh Jain, K.D. Shorey, Shakti Samanta, N.N. Sippy, L. Suresh and R.M. Ramanathan will leave for Bangalore on 6th October, to impress upon the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (an affiliate of the FFI) of the need to do away with the imposed 7-week delay in the release of language films other than Kannada in the state of Karnataka. The KFCC had recently announced and implemented its decision that films made in any language other than Kannada will not be released in the state for at least seven weeks from its premiere release elsewhere. As a result of this stricture, Hindi as well as Tamil, Telugu and other language films are suffering.

The delegation will also meet Ramakrishna Hegde and Karnataka chief minister J.H. Patel.


Pahlaj Nihalani was elected president of the Association of Motion Pictures & TV Programme Producers (AMPTPP) at its annual general meeting held on 28th September at Citizen Hotel, Juhu, Bombay. Amit Khanna, Shyam Benegal, Shabnam Kapoor and Satish Kulkarni were elected vice presidents, and Kamal Kumar Barjatya and Yash Johar, hon. treasurers. Jimmy Nirula was elected hon. secretary.

Others elected to the governing council for 1998-99 were: G.P. Sippy, Subhash Ghai, Gulshan Rai, Ramesh Taurani, Ratan Jain, Bhappi Sonie, Manmohan Shetty, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Salim Akhtar, N. Chandra, Harmesh Malhotra, Vashu Bhagnani, Mahesh Kothare, N.D. Kothari, Subroto Bose and Jagdish Sharma.

Ramesh Sippy, Gordhan Tanwani and Nalin Kumar Gupta were co-opted to the council.


Gulshan Rai was unanimously re-elected president of the Indian Film Exporters Association at the first meeting of the newly elected council of management held on 30th September. Sunder F. Rai was elected vice president, and Manohar Bhatia, hon.secretary. Chandrakant Mehta was elected hon. treasurer. Earlier, at the 34th annual general meeting of the IFEA held on 26th September, the following, besides the abovenamed, were declared elected to the council of management: Rajinder Singh Hora, S.C. Mittal, J.K. Mittal, Shiv Laungani, Hirachand Dand, Amar Asrani, Mohan Chhabria and Prassanan Kumar Sajnani.

Subhash Ghai, Arjan Lulla, S. Narayanan, Malati Tambay-Vaidya and Sanjay Chhabria were co-opted to the council.


Notel Gujarati stage and film actor Vishnukumar Vyas died in Bombay on the morning of 29th September after a massive heart attack at a private nursing home. He was 78 and is survived by his wife, three sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

Popularly known as Guruji, Vishnukumar Vyas was an accomplished actor and had done a lot of stage, besides acting in a number of Gujarati films. Some of his well-known films are Visamo, Daku Rani Ganga, Mhari Laaj Rakhje Veera etc.

The actor had been admitted to the nursing home four days before the end came, when he complained of uneasiness and suffocation. Vyas, besides acting, had also directed a number of dramas and written some of them. Many of his dramas were popular even abroad.

He was cremated at the Hindu crematorium at Ghatkopar. Many Gujarati film and theatre personalities attended the funeral.


Mohammed Shafi Niyazi, pupular composer and noted qawwal, expired on 25th September in Bombay. He was 67 and is survived by his wife and three children.

Shafi had an impressive command over the Urdu language, and the Urdu repertoire that he was building for Venus was one of the most comprehensive. His most recent claim to fame were his compositions for Venus’ hit musical album, ‘Tum To Thehre Pardesi’. Born on June 8, 1931, Shafi hailed from a non-musical family, but soon learnt to play the dholak and started attending mehfils and mushairas. His family’s opposition made him run away to Nagpur in 1949, to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. That trip proved short-lived and he had to soon return home. He then migrated to Bombay where he met famous qawwal Bandey Hassan Aagreywalley. After a period of apprenticeship, Shafi got a chance to prove his mettle — at a qawwali contest with the popular qawwal, Abdur Rab Chaoos. He made his recording debut with the devotional song, Yun jo jahan mein lakhon nabi aaye hai, tumsa nahi aaya, in 1953, on the HMV label. He joined Venus in 1988. Soon, he was in charge of the Urdu repertoire and he, almost single-handedly, built the vast Urdu repertoire of Venus. The current singing sensation, Altaf Raja, is also his disciple.


Hema Malini will give a Durga dance performance on 11th October in Kota at the Nagar Nigam stage on the occasion of the Dassera fair.


Dev Anand’s birthday was celebrated on 26th September at Ketnav when the seventh song of Vijay Anand Productions’ Jaana Na Dil Se Door was recorded. Internationally renowned qawwal Fareed Sayeed Sabri of Jaipur sang qawwalis on the occasion, besides singing the seventh number for the film, which was tuned by Dilip Sen Sameer Sen. It was penned by Neeraj.


What do you think of the new IMPPA executive committee? Will it do something to improve the lot of the producers?

– The new committee can do something if it decides to be bold. For several years now, it has been seen that the IMPPA, as a body, has not been able to assert its position in its interaction with other associations.

Will this Diwali be lucky for the film industry?

– Be optimistic! Diwali will definitely bring cheer and joy in the industry. The festival of lights will brighten up the face of the film industry.

Is it right for a producer to not show his film to his distributors before release?

– It is not right but what can you or I do about it? It is the concerned distributors who can object, but the question is, will they?

Clean Sweep For Santosh Singh Jain

Santosh Singh Jain was unanimously re-elected president of the Central Circuit Cine Association (CCCA) at the first meeting of the newly elected executive committee held on 27th September in Nagpur. This is Jain’s 34th term as president. Vijay Rathi was re-elected vice president, and S.K. Surana, hon. secretary. Ramesh Sureka was re-elected hon. treasurer.

Earlier, at the elections to the executive committee, it was a clear sweep for Santosh Singh Jain’s panel. All 16 candidates of his panel were voted to power, with no seats for the opposition panel or the independent candidates. Since Jain’s panel comprised all sitting members except B.N. (Laloo) Kabra, the same executive committee of last year has come to power this year too, with just one new face — G.E. Naik who has replaced Laloo Kabra.

There was no election in the C.I. Distribution section as there were only two members in the fray for two seats. Santosh Singh Jain and Vinod Malhotra were, therefore, declared elected unopposed.

There were elections for the remaining 14 seats of the executive committee. A total of 691 votes were polled, less than the expected 750 to 800. Of these, 80 were declared invalid, leaving 611 valid votes. Uttam Nahar (C.I. Exhibition) polled the highest number of votes — 550. Last year also, Uttam Nahar had bagged the maximum votes in Jaipur.

The list of the winning candidates in the different sections is as under:

C.P. Berar Distribution: Bharat Khajanchi (polled 508 votes), Dilip Mudliar (406), Ramkisan Kasat (374) and G.E. Naik (329).

C.P. Berar Exhibition: S.K. Surana (488), Vijay Rathi (433), Azad Laddha (408) and Mahendra Jain (382).

C.I. Distributioni: Santosh Singh Jain and Vinod Malhotra, both declared elected unopposed.

C.I. Exhibition: Uttam Nahar (550) and Ramesh Sureka (547).

Rajasthan Distribution: Mohan Godha (453) and Nandu Jalani (296).

Rajasthan Exhibition: Kishanchand Jain (376) and Trilok Singh (327).

The vanquished candidates were:- C.P. Berar Distribution: B.N. (Laloo) Kabra (306 votes), Brijmohanlal Dewan (209), Sharang Chandak (208), Rajkumar Mansukhani (52), Tarachand Kanuga (52). C.P. Berar Exhibition: Munshiram Upaveja (224), Narendra Agarwal (188), Vishnu Prasad Agrawal (170) and Vinod Trivedi (151). C.I. Exhibition: Shivkumar Jaiswal (125). Rajasthan Distribution: O.P. Goyal (267) and Baba Ramdeo (206). Rajasthan Exhibition: Kishinchand Janiani (232), Rajendra Mamoria (188), Narendra Sharma (50) and Rameshchand Jain (49).

The voting started at 8 a.m. at the Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Sabhagriha in Nagpur on 27th. It got over by 1.30 p.m. and counting of votes commenced at the art gallery annexed to the Sabhagriha at 3 p.m. The results were declared at 7.45 p.m.

The annual general meeting on 26th had its share of heat and fury. But while opposition members criticising the ruling group is understandable, what was surprising was that an opposition member openly criticised the candidature of another member of his (opposition) panel. Baba Ramdeo decried O.P. Goyal’s candidature from Rajasthan and felt that since Goyal belonged to the C.I. region, he should have contested the elections from C.I. Baba Ramdeo also announced in the open session that Rajasthan distributors and exhibitors would not support Goyal for this reason. To make matters worse, another candidate from Rajasthan, Kishinchand Janiani, announced that O.P. Goyal was not on their (opposition) panel. And all this even as Goyal had become a self-styled opposition leader! Reportedly, Santosh Singh Jain had incited Baba Ramdeo and Kishinchand Janiani against Goyal. Mohan Godha of the Santosh Singh Jain panel was at the last minute taken by the opposition panel as their member too.

On 26th, at the 45th annual meeting, legal advisor B.G. Dave was felicitated. Dave, who has been associated with the legal work of the CCCA and is also the legal advisor to The Kalyan Pictures Pvt. Ltd., Amravati, will soon shift to Jodhpur to lead a retired life there.

A demonstration show of the English film Species II was held for the CCCA delegates on 26th at Smruti cinema, Nagpur. To drive home the effect of Dolby digital sound, some scenes were shown alternately in mono and Dolby sound.

The arrangements for the annual general meeting and the elections, supervised by the CCCA’s reception committee, were very good. The venue of the meeting was well-decorated.

Following Landslide Victory At IMPPA Elections
Shakti Samanta Elected IMPPA President
Sultan Ahmed Faces Defeat

It was a near-clean sweep for Shakti Samanta and his Dynamic group in the IMPPA elections on 28th September at ISKCON, Juhu, Bombay. The group bagged 13 of the 16 seats in the Ordinary Class and all but one of the five seats in the Associate Class I. Sultan Ahmed’s United group faced a miserable defeat with only two of their candidates (Sandeep Sethi and Preeti Sapru) making it in the Ordinary Class and one (Anand Girdhar) in the Associate Class I. Sultan Ahmed himself lost the elections. He was the sitting IMPPA president. Dara Singh, the independent candidate who was being backed by both the groups, made it in the Ordinary Class.

Actually, the well-attended annual general meeting that preceded the election, gave an indication that the voters wanted a change this year and had come to vote the group led by Shakti Samanta. The annual meeting itself was a stormy affair with firebrand speeches made by Rajeev Kumar, N.N. Sippy and Vinod Chhabra. Although the speeches of Sippy and Rajeev Kumar were not really aimed at any individual, they did go to expose the ineffectiveness of the IMPPA. Obviously, therefore, the voters interpreted that as the ineffectiveness of Sultan  Ahmed as IMPPA president. Vinod Chhabra made an emotion-charged speech and lamented that he was never treated with respect by IMPPA president Sultan Ahmed and even by some of the employees of IMPPA. He recalled how effective Shree Ram Bohra and Ramraj Nahta had been as past presidents of the august body and said, they would come to the rescue of their members no sooner they sensed trouble. All the three speakers were lustily cheered and, in fact, their speeches cleared the decks even more for the change which members were looking for and had come for.

The elections started soon after the conclusion of the 59th annual general meeting around 7.30 p.m. A total of 123 votes were cast in the Ordinary Class, of which three were declared invalid. In the Associate Class I, all 56 votes cast were valid.

Pappu Verma and Suresh  Malhotra, the two returning officers, began the counting of votes soon after elections were over and it was clear from the word ‘go’ that it was the day of the Dynamic group. K.D. Shorey bagged the maximum number of votes — 81. In the Associate Class I, it was Darshan Sabarwal who polled the highest number of votes — 41.

Those elected in the Ordinary Class were: K.D. Shorey (81 votes), Shakti Samanta (79), Vinay Kumar Sinha (73), Pranlal Mehta (70), Satish Khanna (68), Sushama Shiromanee (68), Rajeev Kumar (67), Saawan Kumar Tak (67), Dara Singh (64), Preeti Sapru (64), N.R. (Babloo) Pachisia (62), Pawan Kumar (61), Madan Mohla (60), Sandeep Sethi (57), Mukesh Bhatt (56) and Surendra Bohra (56).

In the Associate Class I, the winners were: Darshan Sabarwal (41), S.K. Kapur (40), Surjit Aujla (33), Dimppy Ramdayal (31) and Anand Girdhar (25).

The losers in the Ordinary Class from the the Dynamic group were B. Subhash (who polled 45 votes), Satyendra Pal Chaudhry (54 votes) and Vinod Talwar (50 votes). The other losers in the Ordinary Class, all of Sultan Ahmed’s United group, were: Sultan Ahmed (51 votes), Kulwant Jani (43), Nitin Manmohan (42), Boota Singh Shaad (39), K. Pappu (35), Deepak Shivdasani (33), Anil Ganguly (32), Kant Kumar (30), Prakash Jha (30), Shanoo Mehra (28), Sujit Kumar (23), Avtar Bhogal (19) and Sharukh Mirza Beig (16).

Those who were not elected in the Associate Class I were Johny Bakshi (22 votes), Surendra Mohan (18), B.R. Ishara (14), Ranjeet (9), Kamal Sadanah (5) and Rajiv Suri (4). All except Johny Bakshi (Dynamic group) and Rajiv Suri (independent) belonged to the United group.

Before the annual meeting, five veterans viz. Gulshan Rai, Gulshan Behl, Anand Bakshi, Suraiya and late Aspi Irani were honoured, the last posthumosly, by the IMPPA for their contributions to the film industry. Chief guest B.R. Chopra, paying rich eulogies to all the five honoured veterans, handed over special IMPPA trophies to them. Late Aspi Irani’s trophy was accepted by his widow.

The first meeting of the newly elected executive committee for 1998-99 was held on 29th at IMPPA House, in which Shakti Samanta was unanimously elected president. Samanta had chaired the organisation for four terms earlier. Saawan Kumar Tak was elected senior vice president, and Sushama Shiromanee, vice president. Vinay Kumar Sinha was elected hon. treasurer.


** Ex-IMPPA president Sultan Ahmed gave a feel of his sportsman spirit when he sat in the election hall all through the vote counting process even as it was clear that he and his group were facing defeat. He made an exit after the results were announced formally.

** That producers who make Hindi films prefer to use Hindi as the language of communication was clear when several of them booed Rajiv Suri for making a speech in English. Another thing that went against Suri was that his speech was too lengthy and was too general to make any impact. On the other hand, producer Rajiv Kumar was applauded even though he spoke in English, perhaps, because he made valid points and was also short and sweet.

** The election results of IMPPA this year were as unpredictable as the box-office fates of many of the releases this year. Like producers, like products!

** Sultan Ahmed’s non-election has shocked the trade. It is, perhaps, for the first time in the 61-year history (although this was the 59th annual general meeting, the body is 61 years old) of the IMPPA that a sitting president lost the election.

“Filmmaking is all about crisis management.”
Caught in action in wet Chamba

Rain rain go away
Come again another day

Subhash Ghai must’ve sung this couplet a thousand times last week as he and his huge unit of Taal sat in Chamba, waiting for the skies to clear and the rains to stop. The cold morning of 22nd September started on a wet note. Even then, Ghai and his unit had reached the scenic location a few miles away from Chamba city, hoping that by the time they’d be ready to shoot, the weather would have improved. But did it? It only worsened. The drizzle turned into a downpour and the convoy of cars that had wound its way to the top (the location was at a great height) had to soon take an about-turn, now winding its way downwards. The unit headed for another location, a few kilometres away from the earlier one. Ghai announced, he had to picturise a scene and two lines of a song at that location and, in fact, needed to shoot them in the rain.

The new location was as heavenly as the earlier one. The huge mountains, green fields, overcast skies, thick fog and the light drizzle (the downpour had stopped), all these provided the perfect backdrop for Ghai’s scene-and-song shooting. Choreographer Saroj Khan and her assistant, Jojo, instructed Aishwarya Rai and her two screen sisters, Jividha and Tanya, about their dance steps. All the three of them were dressed in white. A few rehearsals and a few retakes later, the shot was finally okayed. It was then time for the scene for which Aishwarya quickly changed her costume. Akshaye Khanna was ready by then.

The scene showed a despondent Aish sitting quietly and Akshaye asking her what she was thinking. When Aish refused to divulge her thoughts, Akshaye continued that he was aware that she was thinking just like the heroine of a Hindi film would — a hero comes from the city to the village, hero and heroine fall in love and then it’s time for the hero to return to the city to never come back to the village. Realising that that was exactly what she was thinking, Aish wondered aloud whether the same would happen in their case as it was time for Akshaye to return to his city. But Akshaye put her at ease by saying, this was his life, not a Hindi film. He acknowledged that both of them would have to fight it out with their respective families before they finally united in matrimony. At this point, Aish presented a red muffler to Akshaye with the word ‘Manavsi’ neatly embroidered on it. To Akshaye’s question about what the word meant, Aish explained, “Manav jaisi….. Manav jaisi Mansi”. Manav is Akshaye’s name in the film, and Mansi is Aishwarya’s. “The two of us will always be together now,” concluded Aish as Akshaye fondly touched the muffler and finally prepared to leave.

There were plenty of retakes of the shot. At times, although Ghai and his genius cameraman, Kabir Lal, were happy with the shot, Akshaye wasn’t. Thinking he could better his performance, he asked for some more retakes. Ghai sportingly agreed till at last, all of them were convinced that the best shot had been okayed.

Since the day’s shooting had started only in the evening, it began to get dark even as the shot was being taken. A few close-ups and other shots were wrapped up quickly before it got too dark for shooting. The last shot required a fan, to show Aish’s loose hair being blown by the wind, and Ghai’s efficient unit hands had installed the fan atop the terrace (that’s where the shooting was being done) in no time. Even as Subhash Ghai was instructing Aish for the last shot of the day, the strong breeze, stirred up by the huge fan, blew off his hat. Perhaps, it was the fan’s way of saying, “Hats off” to Ghai and his unit, who had wrapped up a lovely scene and two lines of a song in such a short time and despite the worst weather.

Had the weather been good, Ghai had also planned to shoot using the huge ‘Akela’ crane on another location. The ‘Akela’ crane, which can reach a height of 85 feet, had come to Chamba all the way from Madras. It was in the process of being installed for the shooting, from early morning even as it drizzled and rained, but at the end of the day, the dismantling process began when it became clear that the unclear weather wouldn’t permit shooting from atop the crane. The Akela crane, which takes a few hours to set up, is remote-controlled and can do without a cameraman perched on the top alongwith the camera (read details in 3-E column in this issue).

As if the rains weren’t bad enough, the camera and generator vans were caught in a terrible traffic jam while they were returning from the morning location to where the actual shooting took place. The traffic jam along delayed shooting by almost three hours. It was once again the efficient unit hands who literally pushed a stalled lorry to clear the way for the vans to pass, that ultimately made shooting possible that evening.

Call it a coincidence or whatever, just the previous evening, Subhash Ghai, while talking of Taal, had said, a lot of unforeseen circumstances and happenings at the time of shooting necessitated one to constantly adapt to and make the most of the given situation. “Film-making is all about crisis management,” explained Ghai. As if to prove his point, the rains created the crisis the following day. And sure enough, Ghai managed the crisis well enough to be able to at least shoot what he finally did, rains and traffic jam notwithstanding.

To say that the music of Subhash Ghai’s film is extraordinary is to state the obvious. But to say that A.R. Rahman’s music sounds different is to state the unbelievable. Yes, Rahman’s music in Taal has the North Indian flavour, something which Ghai has been able to extract out of the whizkid.

After shooting, Subhash Ghai spoke of his hero and heroine. He was all praise for Aishwarya Rai whom he described as very, very professional. “I’ve not worked with a more professional actress,” said the veteran producer-director and added, “Her professionalism reminds me of Nutan.” Ghai is aware that Aish tends to act childish in front of the camera at times and is guarding against this very consciously. About Akshaye, he dispelled rumours that the boy was a difficult actor. “He is very co-operative,” said Ghai, “and a tremendous actor.” But the best comments were reserved for his other hero, Anil Kapoor. Although Anil was not in Chamba, Subhash Ghai and Saroj Khan praised his down-to-earth attitude and described him as a producer’s delight. They spoke proudly of how Anil Kapoor would double up as a production hand whenever the need arose, especially on outdoor schedules.

One rose up the following morning to be greeted by heavy rains. Waste of another day? Not for Ghai! The guy was up at 6 a.m. and was busy shooting instructions to his unit to reach the location (Dalhousie), more than an hour’s drive from Chamba. He was confident that the weather God would not let him down again and he’d be able to shoot a couple of hours later. In other words, he was preparing once again to manage the crisis. Even when the shooting schedule started in Delhi (from where the unit then shifted to Chamba), there had been a crisis of sorts — Ghai was running high temperature and had been advised rest by his doctor in Bombay. But rest he did — after his daily shooting which he refused to postpone. As Ghai joked, “All these days of shooting, I was sick. Now that I’m feeling alright, the weather is sick.”

Anyway, it was time for us to bid goodbye to the Taal unit. We left by road to Jammu to catch a flight to Delhi (and from there to Bombay). After barely 45 minutes of the 7-hour drive, we missed being hit by a boulder that came rolling down the mountain on the road and ultimately fell down into the valley hundreds and hundreds of feet below. We missed the boulder that must’ve weighed over 50 kgs., by barely 10 seconds. It was a crisis we had least expected. Thankfully, God had managed this crisis for us. Or else….. the  very thought now sends shivers down our spines.

– Komal Nahta



IMPPA: A Different Scene

Elections for three important associations in the industry were held over the last two weeks. The Indian Motion Picture Distributors’ Association (IMPDA), the Central Circuit Cine Association (CCCA) and the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association went to the polls with great fervour. While members of the IMPDA and the CCCA voted the sitting members again to their executive committees (the only exception being G.E. Naik who replaced B.N. (Laloo) Kabra in the CCCA), the scenario was quite in contrast as far as IMPPA was concerned. Last year, it was the members of the United group who swept the polls but this time, the same United group faced defeat at the hands of the Dynamic group. It’s a different story that several sitting members of last year had left the United group this year and have been re-elected this year, but under the aegis of the Dynamic group.

‘Dil Se..’ Triumphs…. In Britain

There is hope for Dil Se.. yet. The latest reports indicate that Dil Se.., which bombed in India, has proved to be a huge success in Britain. Its phenomenal run there can be gauged from the fact that the film collected more than £67,000 in just three days of its premiere release in London. The film ran to packed houses in a number of Asian-dominated suburbs all over Britain and, in the process, became the first-ever Hindi film to break into Britain’s weekly Top 10 films. The film’s tremendous success among British-Asians is seen as largely due to the popularity of its hero, Shah Rukh Khan, and A.R. Rahman’s hit music. Chhaiyyan Chhaiyyan, the foot-taping number from the film, has become a big rage among Asians living all over Britain.

The ‘Bade Miyan’ Of Fashion

Arguably the most outrageous costume designer in Bollywood, Firoze Shakir is known as much for his wild and wacky personality as for designing the flamboyant costumes of Govinda. Firoze, who changes his own appearance so often that some people have trouble recognising him at times, has currently designed the new-look costumes for Amitabh Bachchan in David Dhawan’s Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. His costumes for both, Govinda and Amitabh Bachchan, in the film have been so well-appreciated that he has been flooded with offers for a vast number of new films. On a recent publicity campaign of BMCM, Firoze travelled all over Bombay, distributing posters of the film. He says, he did this out of love for producer Vashu Bhagnani who provides him with a lot of inspiration for his work. Speaking about BMCM to Information, Shakir said, “The magic of Vashu Bhagnani, David Dhawan, Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda, and a sprinkling of the wild clothes designed for the duo — is just the right recipe for success!


Film Information, born on 6th October, 1973, has completed 25 years of its publication this week. Started with the blessings of industry stalwarts, by founder-publisher-editor Ramraj Nahta who promised, “There will be a strong emphasis on timely information and news, news that affect the business in a variety of ways, tightly edited with proper consideration to the needs of the industry.” And if one goes through all the issues of the magazine, it can easily be said that the promise has been kept, not only by the founder-editor but also his successor, Komal, who is currently editing the paper.

Being associated with the paper from its first issue, rather, even prior to that — from the planning stage — as a moral support and contributor, it is a matter of pride for me to say that the paper faced with a smile all the storms that came its way and never allowed any force to affect its moral strength, its honest reporting and its pursuits for the betterment of the industry.

Keep Ramraj’s flag flying high, Komal!