Over the years that Vikram Bhatt has spent in Bollywood, he has time and again credited veteran filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt for his success, calling the senior Bhatt his mentor. On Teacher’s Day, the duo talks about their special teacher-student relationship.
You consider Mahesh your mentor. Tell us something about the bond you share with him.
Vikram: Bhatt saab is someone I’ve known since I was very young. When he would direct, I would go on the sets of the film with my father (Pravin Bhatt), who was the director of photography for most of his films. So, I’ve seen him at work even when I didn’t know what filmmaking was. He is everything I know about filmmaking.What I am today is because of him.
What’s the greatest lesson you have learnt from him?
Vikram: I learnt about life from Bhatt saab. He didn’t teach me things like ‘place the camera here’ or ‘put the lights there’. He just gave me insight on life and I think that’s what has helped me throughout my life.
Mahesh, how was Vikram as a student?
Mahesh: I remember, back in the ’70s,when Vikram’s mother once told me,“Vikram imitates you so brilliantly.” I never considered myself a teacher. I believe that I’ve been the kind of person who has always wanted to learn. I am what I am because of what I learnt from my guru, UG Krishnamurti (Indian philosopher).He was beyond God for me. And I guess you pass on all that you learn. Vikram’s father was very close to me. Because Vikram saw me at such close proximity, my way of working must have made an impact on him.