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    Feb 2010


    Default Anil Dhawan and Rakesh Pandey remember B R Ishaara

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    Anil Dhawan who was introduced in B R Ishaara’s path-breaking film Chetna about a prostitute’s rehabilitation says, “I shudder to think what would have happened to me if Babuda had not given me a break. I was introduced to him by friend philosopher and guide Shatrughan Sinha. I was fresh out of the Pune film institute wondering what to do next when Chetna happened. It was a small film with a big impact. I still remember the long queues for the film at the opening at Naaz cinema. Suddenly Babuda and I heard heckling when my character was singing a serious song Main to har mod par tujhko dhoondh na saka. Babuda was very agitated. ‘Why are they doing this?’ he said. This went on for three consecutive days. Later we got to know those hecklers were sent by rival producers. They felt threatened by this small film doing so well. They felt if a small film like Chetna has such an impact their big films would suffer. Despite these attempt to sabotage it, the film chali aur bahut chali. It opened the doors for many generations of small films with a big impact. The heroine, played by Rehana Sultan, moved around wearing the hero’s shirt in his apartment. Today when I see the heroine in Cocktail behaving the same way I smile. Babuda lived, ate and slept movies. He was man of simple needs. He travelled in a chappal. His only luxury was one packed of 555 cigarettes which lasted the whole day.”

    Remembers Rakesh Pandey: “I am in New Mumbai and I had no idea B R Ishaara is gone. When I got married in 1973 he had done my wife’s kanyaadaan. So we go back a long way. He was very fine filmmaker with a keen eye for acting talent. I was fresh out of the Film Institute and had just done my first film Saara Akaash. He signed me and took my career ahead. It is said that Dil Ki Raahein was based on his own marriage because it was about Hindu man and a Muslim woman. He was constantly seeking excellence in his work.”

    We will all miss the great man!!!



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