The Man Who Never Died... My moments with YC
As I walked in to Chandan Cinema at Juhu for the 1st Day 1st Show of Jab Tak Hain Jaan, it was me venturing to a single screen theatre after ages… I couldn’t recall when the last time I had been to a single screen theater. As the lights dimmed, well into the first few reels, amongst the hullabo of a day 1 crowd, a man gingerly walked in and sat next to me… white shirt and trouser along with the Dev Anand cap. Was disturbed by the late-comer walking across me for in front was Akira (Anushka) stripping to her bare essentials in the picturesque Ladakh. As I rudely gave him a stare, I felt I have seen him somewhere… Yesss… Yes… Yes. It’s… realizing that I recognized him, he put a finger across his lips and as if to tell me… “do not shout… please”.
At the interval, I told him, “I am not going to let you go without a byte”. And as soon as the 3hr 10 minute epic saga ended, I rounded him to the nearby CCD for a chat.
GP: Yash Ji, what are you doing here?
Yash Chopra: Just came around to see how the final product looks like.
GP: But did you not go to the premiere last night?
YC: Nahin baba, yesterday night we were having our own party… to celebrate our spirit. Don’t you see I have got Dev Saab’s cap… so that people don’t reckon me but then even then you recognized me.
GP: Who will not recognize you, Yashji… after all we are (GO)(MO)vie(LO)vers. But why did you choose Chandan, a single screen theater? You could have gone to any of the multiplexes and watched it.
YC: Single screen theaters give you the real feeling and moreover, they are charging exorbitant ticket prices at the multiplexes this Diwali… I wanted to protest this.
GP: So how did you find the final product? How did you like?
YC: Thoda lamba ho gaya yaar. Bit lengthy… I was getting restless. Don’t you think so?
GP: But, this was an epic saga of love… epic hain toh thoda lamba toh hoga hi.
YC: Thanks. Thanks a lot. You are correct. The scale is big… top ka hero heroine liya, we shot in Kashmir after so many years, saath mein A R Rahman & Gulzar. It had to be an epic movie.
YC: First half thoda jama nahin. I had told Adi when we were scripting, that the script needs to be tight… but then ab aur post-mortem karke kya faayda.
GP: Yeah, you are very correct… the script looked flawed and without reasoning at times… Your hero moves out of London and suddenly becomes a bomb expert… and it seemed as if only Samar Anand (Shah Rukh Khan) knew how to diffuse bombs in Indian Army. Later, the hero out of nowhere goes and fixes bombs on a train in Britain was simply outlandish.
YC: I told Adi repeatedly to be careful… par kya karein… bachche ab bade ho gaye hain.
GP: But, aap toh Director ho?
YC: Sorry yaar… kabhi kabhie ho jaata hain.
GP: Btw, it was good to see your kabhi kabhie couple (Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor)… very interesting.
YC: Yeah, small roles but good to see them back.
GP: Par Sir… Yash Chopra romance mein infidelity ko certification? Heroines mother runs off with another man… gets married… settles down!
YC: Ab kya karein… zamana badal gaya hain… ab toh yeh ghar ghar ki baat hain… Adi ka hi script hain… hamare zamane ka Raja-Rani ki prem kahaani toh raha nahin. They know what is better for them.
GP: Hmmm… Ladakh and Kashmir looks ethereal.
YC: Yeah, Anil Mehta (Cinematographer) has done a fabulous job. He has picturised Ladakh and Kashmir truly beautiful.
GP: Very true… you had a very strong support system… AR Rahman and Gulzar did create magic. The songs are good.
YC: Ab Rahman aur Gulzar ke baare mein kya bataaon… they are champions in their own rights.
GP: Yeah… you are right. Aur batao Sir… Katrina is a revelation.
YC: Yes, she performed very well. She looks very glamorous and pretty throughout the film. This must be her best performance ever.
GP: What about Anushka? Isn’t she getting type casted?
YC: She is young... she will improve with time.
GP: What about your Hero?
YC: Shah Rukh is like my son… He kept telling me to make films… phir wohi puranawala Shah Rukh… puranawala Raj… this is for him. He is the backbone of the film. He is just too good.
GP: Absolutely, SRK is the best part of Jab Tak Hain Jaan… he emotes so well. Just, he looks to have aged…
YC: Yeah, he looks aged in the 1st half… 2nd half, he is far better with the beard and the stubble… where he plays his age. Ab, he has been playing Raj for 20 years now.
GP: Right Yash Ji… so how does it feel?
YC: I am happy… audience ne ceetee khub bajaayee. Happy for them.
GP: Ek shikayat hain aap se…
GP: Yash Chopra ka film aur heroine ek baar bhi saree nahi???
YC: Kya karoon beta… ab hamara zamana raha hi nahin… Adi ka script hain, Adi ka story hain… usme tha… lekin Bhagwan ka script kuchh alag ho gaya.
GP: Thanks, Yash Ji. But, why did you come late? Mujhe toh gussa aaya tha tab… saamne Anushka aur aap view obstruct kar rahein the…
YC: Sach mein zamana badal gaya hain… Kya karoon beta… maine bola tha Adi ko… Yash Chopra ke film mein heroine bikini mein… dekha nahin jaayega mujhse!
GP: Thank You, Yash Ji. You know what I liked about your movie… the Hero is an idealist… the Heroine is an idealist… they are utopian… too good to be true… but then, somewhere between our hearts, we all want good things to be true.
YC: Thanks, beta.
GP: Yash Ji, felt nice talking with you. Rest in Peace.