The Hawa Hawaii director who came to limelight for his tiff with Aamir Khan over Taare Zameen Pe talks of his passion for cooking, making children's films and his dream role in an interview with Brunch.
If you were not a filmmaker and an actor, you would've been...
A bus conductor or a pilot. As a boy, I was very fascinated with uniforms.
Screenwriting, acting or direction, what excites you the most?
Honestly, I am passionate about cooking and that excites me the most. My kitchen is like my laboratory where I get my ideas.
How easy or difficult is it to work with children?
Let me make one thing clear, I only have fun with children. There is no work at all. In fact, I hate the word work. Children are much more transparent and honest than guarded adults.
How has your son, Partho, inspired you?
He is the closest child companion for my wife, Deepa and me. When we study him, it is very difficult for us to keep our eyes off him.
What childhood memory do you carry with you while writing/directing films?
Every memory is important because memories have the potential to affect what you're creating right now.
One character you would want to play as an actor.
I'd like to re-enact the Balraj Sahni of Garm Hawa (1973), Do Bigha Zamin (1953) and Kabuliwala (1961).
You make sports films, were you good at sports?
I used to play a variety of sports, though I never excelled in them.
Your favourite sports movies.
There have been some great movies like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Chak De! India (2007), Lagaan (2001), Iqbal (2005) and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013).
The dish you love to cook.
A traditional crab curry. Partho loves it.
Hawaa Hawaai is a tribute to people who dare to dream. What is your biggest dream?
I want to try and do something about the way children are being abused in the media. Whenever I make a film, I try and do it like a workshop, unlike a regular film shift, which can extend even up to 12 hours.
Why did you cast Saqib Saleem in your film?
He is a very charming actor and reminds me of Shah Rukh Khan from Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) and Circus (1989).
The biggest risk you've ever taken.
Everything and nothing is a risk.
A dessert that describes you best.
I think I am a good mix of a gulab jamun and a rasgulla, or even a
Your idea of a great weekend.
Unwinding near the sea or the mountains.
If you could acquire a skill, what would it be?
I want to learn at least three European and two Oriental languages.
Your favourite street food.
The last line of your autobiography would read…
"Papa, I'm coming."
Place of birth:Mumbai
School/college:Hansraj Morarji Public School and Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai
First break:A short film called Chakkar Chandu Ka Chameli Wala (1982)
High Point Of Your Life:Witnessing the birth of my son, Partho
Low Point Of Your Life:I don't think one should talk about them
Currently I am...Excited about Hawaa Hawaai in Dolby ATMOS acoustics
From HT Brunch, May 25
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