For the past week, I've been getting lots and lots of phone calls from over excited journalists about Anurag's Gangs of Wassepur going to Cannes. It's really funny because when they call they ask me, 'How do you feel about your film going to Cannes?' I try to explain that it is not my film, but my husband's film, that I'm so happy for him, but that no, I am not joined at the hip to him.
Very suddenly, in one week everybody is telling me how Anurag is the most successful director in Bollywood today. I find that ironic considering that after the frustration of Paanch and Black Friday being banned, Anurag was labelled the angry kid of Bollywood, after No Smoking they accused him of being an indulgent director, after Dev.D worked, people wanted him to make Dev.D 2, then again with That Girl in Yellow Boots, no one stood up to finance the film, nor did anyone care to know about it until it had been to film festivals abroad.
Now with Gangs of Wassepur, nobody asked about the film in the two years that it took to make this epic two-part story, no one knows how difficult it was to shoot and just a month ago Anurag was the offbeat director working with new comers who didn't understand anything about box office or success.
But this week all that has changed, this week he's a superstar. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled for him, and I know how incredibly talented and honest his work is, but it is the extreme change of opinion people have developed overnight that makes it difficult not to be cynical.
Why do we think so little of ourselves? Is it so hard to form our own opinions, and not following the bandwagon of prestigious outside recognition? It's like when I step into Accessorize, I'm always amazed by how much people pay for the little hats and bags there which are Made in India, then exported and priced abroad and then returned to India and priced with tax for twice the amount. You could probably find the same thing from Lokhandwala market for Rs 200, but that would be cheap. The other thing that gets to me speaking to media is how impertinent journalists are when they tell you that your success is based on your contacts and not at all on hard work or talent. Last year, I was told that I only work in films that Anurag makes, this year I'm told that I only work in films made by Anurag's circle of friends, next year will I be told that I only work in films made by the friend's friend of Anurag's circle of friends? At the end of the day no matter how well connected anyone is, to keep doing good work you must put in some amount of hard work and also have a bit of talent.
Just as everybody called Shaitan Anurag's film because he was the producer, ignoring the fact that he did not step on the set of that film even once and that it was completely Bejoy Nambiar's film, so this year people have actually asked me how it is to work in Anurag's film 'Shanghai', a film made by Dibaker Banerjee! All from reliable sources? I've got to laugh to refrain from crying.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you for your wonderful letters every week. Hi Paul, I'm glad you can relate and I think we have to just take the good with the bad. Deepinder, first of all, HI and thank you for following my work and I hope I don't disappoint. Gothic punk princess, I love that name! Gurjeet, it's so sad that kids have to face discrimination and I can imagine your frustration, but keep fighting. Hi Akshansh, I have HT to thank for giving me a space to be myself and yes it is refreshing to not be misquoted! Thank you for following my work.
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