'I've withered my desire to make films'

TURNING SPIRITUAL

VERSATILE: Mahesh Bhatt. DH photo by Anand Bakshi

Producer, scriptwriter, author Mahesh Bhatt dons many hats with ease. But most people remember him as a film-maker par excellence. In the City recently to launch his latest book on guru U G Krishnamurti (UGK) called A Taste Of Life — The Last Days Of U G Krishnamurti, he candidly spoke about his association with Bangalore, and revealed that he has given up directing films.

“I had come here long back for a film shoot. When I first came to Bangalore, I was a nobody,” he recalls. “But as my career graph rose, I could afford more luxurious rooms in different hotels every time I came to the City, from a single room in a modest hotel to a suite in a five-star,” he laughs. He makes it a point to express his love for the dosas of Vidhyarthi Bhavan as well.

A Taste Of Life is Mahesh’s second book on UGK. “It’s my record of his last days.” He just can’t stop praising the man. “Nothing has stirred me more than him. I am just amazed by the way he had no anguish or reluctance to leave the world.” What’s his fondest memory of UGK? “His courage to be absolutely wanting to live and die on his own terms,” he quips. Mahesh has also tried to explore the process of dying in the book. “The phenomena of death is always lied about. It is either feared as morbid, or yarns of fairy tale are spun around it,” he feels.

Mahesh admits that he is very close to his daughter Pooja Bhatt. “She has spent the maximum time with me. I was only 21 and unemployed when she was born.” Hadn’t Pooja expressed her wish to make a documentary on him recently? “She says she wants to,” he answers with doubt. But one thing he has no doubts about is his daughter’s talent. “I recently went to Jordan, where she was shooting for her upcoming film Kajra Re and was amazed. She is a brilliant designer and has all the leadership qualities. She is very different from me as a film-maker.”

Known for his witty one-liners, Mahesh had also said that Bollywood isn’t the sole representative of Indian cinema. “It’s sheer arrogance on the part of Bollywood. How can the industry claim such a thing? What about films in other languages? But the tragedy is that even regional films have started to look like Bollywood films,” he sighs.

How did he react to his friend Shiney Ahuja being accused of raping his maid? “Shiney is not a friend as such, but yes I have worked a lot with him and the Shiney that I knew didn’t show any signs of being a rapist,” he says. “But injustice anywhere harms justice everywhere,” he adds.

Why has he stopped making meaningful cinema like Saaransh, Arth and Daddy? “I have withered my desire to make films. Besides, there are younger and smarter directors out there,” he is quick to answer.

Who are his favourites amongst the new age directors and actors? “I will always be partial to my boys — Kunal Deshmukh and Mohit Suri,” he laughs. Amongst actors, he considers Adhyayan Suman as “sensational”. “He is very good in Jashnn. Even Emraan Hashmi is evolving as an actor.”

So what’s next for him? “At the moment, I am just celebrating my book’s success,” he laughs. What’s the secret behind his never-ending energy? “I have this demonic energy coming from unknown waves,” he laughs again. But on a more serious note, he points to his book and says, “I think it was the time that I spent with UGK.”

Mahesh may even write more books on him. “I will write only about him as I have only one song to sing,” he signs off.

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