Trailers of his films, loud cheers and the clicks of countless cellphones of students welcomed filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, as he made his way to the stage at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). An alumnus of the college, Mehra was a guest at the SRCC Youth Conference 2016.
Much like the students in Rang De Basanti, the National Film Award-winning filmmaker wanted to change the world back in his SRCC days. “I had joined college in 1980, just after the emergency of 1977. We had gone through the darkest ages of democracy. So the only thing that we wanted to do was change the world,” he said.
In fact, he was also a revolutionary of sorts, just like actor Aamir Khan aand hid gang in the film. He said, “Humara itna bada ground tha aur poora khaali rehta tha. We would wonder kya ho raha hai, koi khelta kyu nahi. So we got all the students together in this very hall and pledged that we would win the Vice Chancellor’s trophy. We started a Then a new movement in college - that of getting meritorious sportspersons admission in to college. We fought with our faculty, and got about 10 sports admissions next year. Three years later, we had won the trophy.”
Students related to him when he shared that he was a serial bunker. “Our professors would rarely see us in college and when we would enter, they would ask us ‘tum log ho kaun bhai. Where are you from?’ Attendance toh humari hoti nahi thi,” he said.
Despite being absent from classes, he would score well. But the filmmaker still managed to get good scores. He credits it to his teachers, adding, “We had great teachers so we didn’t have to go back home and study. They took away the fear of exams. And we would do a lot of debating in class. Humein kuch aata tha nahi, and our teachers would smile at us for it. But debating se usse humare funde clear karte the.”
Talking about the song Havan Karenge (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), a number that became an instant hit with the youth, Mehra that the song was inspired from his own college days. “I like to keep my films close to reality, that’s why my actors don’t lip sync in my movies. but the only exception is Farhan Akhtar lip syncing to Hawan Karenge. Hum college ke dino mein aise hi masti karte the so I thought that Farhan should lip sync. Otherwise I don’t believe in making actors lip sync to songs because that is not real. Asli mein kaun aise karta hai?”
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