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04-26-2009, 08:31 PM #1
Marriage is not important for me: Imtiaz
In the jet age, he still swears by the Railways. Success indeed sits lightly on Imtiaz Aliís curly mop, finds
Both Socha Na Tha and Jab We Met are about journeys. Do journeys fascinate you?
They do. I am a keen observer of my own films; I also try to discover myself through the movies I make. Itís a subliminal process, everything that is there in the movies I have made is not deliberate, but Iím sure there is a psychological and emotional reason why itís there. Often the journey can be emotional rather than a physical one. For instance in Soch Na Tha, there was very little physical journey, Jab We Met was all about journey and Love Aaj Kal is also about a journey; may be, because I just feel that I can never get enough of traveling personally.
What was your journey to films like?
It started off when I was in Jamshedpur, having been born and brought up there. I was called to audition for a play when I was very young, following which I continued to act as well as write and direct. When I moved to Delhi and joined Hindu College, theatre became a very big part of my life. Eventually when I moved to Mumbai I did a course in marketing and advertising, took up a job in Zee TV as somebody who had to carry tapes from one place to the other. After doing some TV for Anupam Kher, during which time I wrote many film scripts, which didnít get made, one night on the spur of the moment I wrote Socha Na Tha. It was for a TV channel for a slot that never happened. Eventually, Sunny Deol got to know about it and the film got made.
The success of Jab We Met brought in its wake many benefits like a new car, a flat ...
But what is more important is the way Jab We Met turned out and that people liked it and everybody associated with the film has gained from it. I think the movie has done a lot for me than I have done for it. More than anything, I am here to tell stories and be involved in this process and as long as I get an opportunity of doing that, Iíll be fine.
So are you saying that the material benefits that come with having a success is not important?
It is important, but to an extent. Money has its own place in life but thatís not the reason why we are here.
So what is the reason why you are here?
Itís a quirk I think, it could be a biological defect that some people have that they need to be involved in their imaginative process more than other people, and they wish to articulate the same. I enjoy looking beyond the obvious and look at the stories happening all around me ó you kind of formulate things in your mind and get excited about them.
Your lifestyle has remained unchanged and rooted despite your success. Isnít this a bit unreal?
Thatís my life; that is how I live. I donít think of myself as a director all the time, you know. Expenditure canít really guarantee a great experience. I donít even like shopping; Iíve never bought stuff for myself and everything I wear are gifts from my brothers, friends and people. Sometimes I buy gifts for other people, which is when I do get into a shop. It is not particularly enjoyable.
Thatís such a guy thing.
Yes it is, but Iím not really embarrassed about being a guy either.
Marriage has been an integral element in your films. Is it important for you?
Marriage is not important for me at all.
But your films state otherwise.
Socha Na Tha is about arranged marriage which ultimately breaks so itís actually a kind of anti-marriage. In Jab We Met, the traditional concept of marriage, that two people have to be together, is juxtaposed with the feelings of the people involved. I really hadnít realised that marriage had been a part of Soch Na Tha and Jab We Met. And yes, the girl is obsessed about marriage in Jab We Met.
You, one hears, had a sort of runaway marriage.
I didnít have a runaway marriage but I got married at the age of 23. We were from a small town, it was a Hindu-Muslim thing, nobody was really sure of what to do. Then, there was also the thought that ĎIím seeing her so I have to get married to her.í I soon moved cities and thought to myself that the only way we can be together is by marriage. I started the process of convincing everybody at 21, at 23 when I did get married, people were ok with it.
So it wasnít really a runaway marriage?
We did not have to ultimately, although we did consider it. Which is why people keep running away in my movies ... thatís what you are coming to, which is fine. This thought struck me even when I was shooting Socha Na Tha.
Does this happen in Love Aaj Kal too?
No. Actually itís a question mark.
In the film, is this kal yesterday, or tomorrow?
Whatís significant about yesterday?
The film has two contexts actually. Aaj kal is now-a-days and Aaj kal is also today and yesterday. Somebody elseís story in the past is juxtaposed with a contemporary relationship in the film. Thatís why Aaj kal is apt.
You may not be aware of this but you are considered very hot amongst women.
I hope you are right, thatís all I can say.
I think itís the hair and the attitude.
Whatever it is, point it out, Iíll make sure that it doesnít change.
Do you plan to act someday?
No, Iím not interested in acting. Iíve done enough of that, though I do get offers. When I came to Mumbai, I was very clear that wanted to direct. I really enjoy direction much more than acting; except for that odd slip, which was Black Friday, there has been nothing.
So much of your script comes from your own life, do you ever see yourself in any of these characters?
No, itís usually a person who I have perhaps never met but understand completely. Then when an actor starts to play it, I see that person in that actor which is when ultimately Jai (Love Aaj Kal) becomes Saif.
Do you want to do TV, maybe a chat show?
I don't know. Right now I am really happy with films. I have been approached for judging, but I don't see myself in that role. Maybe a travel show; Anurag Kashyap and I were toying with this idea of doing a travel show together in which we shoot and there is nobody else and we have fun meeting people. But this year has been like a travel show in any case. There are lots of things I want to do. Sometimes I feel I should write a chronicle of my experiences with the great Indian railways. Just to write it as a novel or to make it as a series on television. But then if I made it for television, probably the censors wouldn't pass it.
Why, what was happening on the railways?
All kinds of things happen on the train. For 36 hours you have the ability to be with new, strange people who don't know you, you could be anybody. I can say my name is Rajesh Khanna. I can say any s*** I want and be anybody I want to be. Anything might happen and much of it was, you know, during the growing up years ó women, fascination, all kinds of things.
You wear your success lightly but do people come to you with stacks of money?
Yeah, that threat is always there. A producer carried a cheque in an envelope for me. He said ĎJust take it. I am not asking you to do anything.í Man, this was like, ĎI will never make a movie with you, since you have done this.í
What was the amount?
I donít know. I donít remember.
Must be some huge amount?
I am sure it was. Then there have been others. One said, itna deta hoon chal, agli picture kar. I am surprised at my ability to navigate through all this. When somebody speaks along those lines, I say, Ďaccha, Ok chal, I raise the bar.í I feel sometimes I am somewhere between a chamiya who has to dance because of the offer, and sometimes a distant observer who looks at the perceived power of money.
04-27-2009, 12:40 AM #2
Thanks !!!<img src=http://www.orkut-scrap.net/img/Animated-Dolls/1.gif >
04-27-2009, 02:16 AM #3