As Subhash Ghai turns a year older today, he speaks to Subhash K Jha:
Yes, just a year old wiser by mind and one year younger by heart. I have had the most amazingly eventful journey. Iâve enjoyed every bit of my life so far. Iâve seen the worst fall and the best rise. I am now writing a book with utmost truth about me and the others who had been and have been part of the agony and ecstasy of my life... I feel the book would be hilarious, enlightening and full of surprises and inspiring. Every event was a landmark in my life. So I canât choose one event as special.
My films themselves speak of my growth as a person and as an artist in me. Iâve evolved as an individual during these 35 years of my professional life. The best part in me is that I am a great student of life and I learn something new every day, be it be on technology, content, people, youth, nation and cinema, I am clued in. As a filmmaker I am always ahead of times, whether it was
I know showbiz knows you by your last film. But the audience knows you by your body of work of all these years. I know I have to march ahead as best as I can with the same confidence and spirit as before, to keep me up there where I belong. The failure of my films at the box office do not shake me in my quest to make quality-conscious blockbusters with a message. Currently I am full on my latest film
. I am sure I shall maintain my dignity in the eyes of audience with all my forthcoming films I direct.
Sure, I am proud of the fact that I could groom them and present them as among the best talent in the industry. Shaping an ordinary boy and girl into a star is huge high for me and I love it. May be thatâs why I opened such a huge film school Whistling Woods International in Mumbai. I am happy when I find more than 90 % of our graduates are in high positions in many film and media companies. I feel happy when I see Madhuri Dixit still occupying center stage at the Filmfare Awards function. Today I am working on my new heroine of
. I am excited. She has a great potential and sheâs a good student. She will be a big star after the release
, I guess.
I and my script say so. By the way like my other heroines Madhuri, Manisha and Mahima, my new discoveryâs name also begins with âMâ. I canât help it, ha ha ha.
That was the best part of my life as a director. Here was an actor who used to teach me, groomed me as a person and filmmaker and advised me to opt for mainstream cinema but with dignity and artistic qualities which according to Dilip Saab were more important than box office. He told me, âYou can only make more money by focusing only at box office. But you will be remembered only by your great work.â Irrespective of success or failure I never want to be ashamed of my films. I feel humbled when I hear that my movies are among the most favourites and have a repeat value on TV channels.
Yes, I regret not working with him. He is the finest talent we have today I will wait for the time when we work together. Right things have to happen at the right time. We will make a great film together, I am sure.
By nature I am a positive person. I function the best in the worst crisis. Whistling Woods has emerged as one of the best film schools in the world. While I share this vision developing talent and providing the right education to coming generation to save the country from degeneration, some people think of involving me in land scams and favours and all that. I feel sad. I wish they could understand my honesty and vision. I am positive that Whistling Woods will get from the courts eventually.
I am a spiritual person too, so I do not get depressed with people's negative behaviour. Instead I smile at them and believe in forgiving those who do not know what they are doing. But yes, I do miss my associates like Sachin Bhowmick, Ram Kelkar, Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant and Ashok Mehta when I am working on a film. But change is inevitable and I have to change myself to stay in tune with the next generation. The students of Whistling Woods help me a lot in this aspect. I feel as young as I was when I directed my first film
. You please come and watch me directing
Dilip Kumar, Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff apart from other few others. We grew together and our personal shared joys and sorrows. We talk heart-to-heart and spend time laughing and laughing at ourselves and others too. I am also close to Manmohan Shetty and Pradeep Guha.
Yes, cinema is changing rapidly and, so are the audiences. They now consist of more than 60 % youth. Values are changing. But I feel cinema will come back to the roots of human wisdom and spiritual growth. Life and age is a circle. I confess that today cinema is getting away from fantasies and sentimentalization and getting more real. Filmmakers want to show us the dark side of society. But we also have the âSpidermanâ cinema like
which entertain people.
for their new expression. I love watching today's cinema in Bollywood and admire Anurag Kashyap, Raju Hirani and a few others for their belief in their cinema. Though I believe in wholesome entertainment which caters to every section of society, I must also say something in my movie. There has to be a message. That is important for me.
I miss them a lot but I cannot live in the past. I am a man of today and work with current talent. I use and share my experience and learnings from those legends with new current talent and try to bring out something extraordinary, contemporary and interesting for today and future audience.
His son Rakesh Bakshi is working on that and I wish to help him. Anand Bakshi deserves every honour we can give him.
All good filmmakers of the 1950s and 60s when I was a student by status. I always loved watching David Leanâs cinema and films by Ritwick Ghatak and films like
had a great impact on me. I worked with many top actors of the 80s and 90s. All these actors and technicians have made a lot of contribution in making Mukta Arts a monumental triumph. I am grateful to them all for their love and affection that they still have for Mukta Arts. Today I am connecting with a new generation and Iâm very comfortable with them. I feel the director always remains young as his hero and heroine are always young.
Yes, Mukta arts has been a pioneer in so many sectors whether it was insurance, corporatization, technology, talent grooming, exhibition and above all education.
All young actors are good. Just go through the list of award winners and nominees of this year.
"A student who becomes a teacher on his own campus and remains a student on the same campus only!!"