He’s one of Bollywood’s best filmmakers, but it was cricket that got Vishal Bhardwaj college admission. The filmmaker-musician shares college tips from his Delhi University days.
Not many know that I got into Delhi University through sports quota. I used to play cricket and Gursharan Singh (former cricketer), who was the captain of my team during a tournament, told me that I should come to Delhi. I did BA Pass, which we used to call the ‘royal course’ at that time. Students from sports quota, aspiring artists, basically those who didn’t want to study, opted for it!
I had come from Meerut, and being from a small town, college was a totally new world for me. I met so many musicians and learned music here. I’d have never become a composer or a filmmaker had I not studied here. College also brought newfound freedom. But to the aspirants, I want to say that this freedom and liberty come with responsibilities. And hey outstation students, don’t ever feel like a misfit. Always remember that it is the people from outside who make it big.
Even in films, people who’ve come from outside Bombay have done better. I came from a small town, but never felt lonely because I stayed in the college hostel and everyone immediately became family, including the hostel staff. I remember living on bun-anda, roaming around till 4 in the morning, buying booze at 2 am.
Vishal claims he became a music composer to impress wife Rekha (she was a senior in college)!
Unlike most guys, we never hung out around Miranda House, because the girls in our college were so pretty. Rekha (wife, singer Rekha Bhardwaj) was my senior and just to woo her, I became a composer. But, she was not the first one I tried to woo. I had many heartbreaks before that!
I loved the campus so much that even after graduating, I kept coming back. In fact, I made Imtiaz Ali (filmmaker, Hindu college graduate), who was many years my junior, have his first drink. He still remembers.
College ke kissey
Marks in 12th: 52.2% (UP board);
College: Hindu College, BA (Pass) 1986
High point: Friendship with filmmaker Imtiaz Ali and getting him to have his first drink!
Low point: Heartbreaks before he met wife Rekha Bhardwaj.
Tip to outstation students: It’s always the people that come from outside who make it big.
Read: Choose course over college, says Manoj Bajpayee