Being an actor can be tricky, realised Manoj Bajpai while on the sets of Lanka in Bijnor. The actor was preparing for a key scene and was engrossed in going through his dialogues. As usual, a bunch of people had come to see the actor and the film shoot in progress.
The Nawab of Bijnor too came to pay a courtesy visit to the actor on the sets, with home-cooked food specially prepared for him. Unaware of his visitor’s identity, Manoj asked him to wait until the scene was over.
He recalls, “No one informed me who he was. And being immersed in the film, I first wanted to finish the task at hand and then meet the people who had come that day.”
Though the Nawabs have long lost their kingdoms, their
(pride) is fiercely respected in the town they inhabit. A source from Asa Productions (producers of the film) says, “Understandably, the Nawab felt insulted, told his staff to put the food back in the car and left the sets in anger. Later, when Manoj heard the whole story, he tried to get in touch with the Nawab quite a few times, but it seemed he was upset and refused to answer any calls.”
The actor confirms: “I had no idea the Nawab had come to see me. I would have loved to meet him and savour the delicacies he brought. I had no intention of insulting anyone, specially a man of his stature. I tried calling him but was told he was upset, and I missed out on the food too. It’s entirely my loss. I apologise to him and the people of Bijnor.”
Interestingly, in Maqbool Khan’s Lanka, Manoj plays a warlord whose power is equal to that of a real Nawab. The film is a modern-day folklore based on Lanka’s real story of Raavan and Vibhishan’s relationship.