At a recent press conference, makers of the film Hey Bholenath donated Rs 51,000 each to writer Subhash Indori and lyricist Salim Bijnori. But the duo says they don’t need grants from publicity-hungry donors. They want to work and earn their livelihoods.
Indori, 67, came to Mumbai in 1963. After a 19-year struggle, he got a break with Sanam Teri Kasam (1982) and then wrote Do Waqt Ki Roti (1988), Dard-E-Dil (1983), Kundun (1993) and Maidan-E- Jung (1995).
Now living in Khar, he is surviving on help from friends, but that is fast drying out. “I know many actors, but no one helps. I know Salim Khan and have even met Salman Khan,” says Indori. Bijnori, 43, has been out of work after suffering a brain haemorrhage in 2010 that left his body’s left side paralysed.
His monthly bill of Rs 20,000 for treatments comes from donors. Currently, he has run out of donors and has shifted to Jogeshwari to avoid high house rents. He says, “I desperately need work. People don’t answer my calls as they think I can’t work due to my condition. Aneesbhai (Anees Bazmi) has promised me work in Welcome 2."
A while ago, Salim’s request for help was rejected by the Federation Of Western India Cine Employees. He says, “I spoke to Dharmesh Tiwari from the organisation. He said that since I never paid any money to them, I wasn’t eligible for any grants."
When contacted, Tiwari says, “We don’t directly pay anybody. The person should approach us through an affiliated association. I don’t even know him.” But Salim counters Dharmesh’s claim, saying, “This man knows me well. He doesn’t want to talk about me to the press."
Salim has written songs for Krantiveer (1994), Maine Dil Tujhko Diya (2002), Nehlle Pe Dehlla (2006) and Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar (2002) among others.