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From Russia, with love

From the heat of Mumbai- I have flown to the chilly climes of Russia where Fashion is the opening film of the 31st Moscow Film Festival, writes filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.

india Updated: Jun 23, 2009 17:35 IST
Madhur Bhandarkar

I have been living in and out of a suitcase. Last week was Macau, and now I’m writing this column from my hotel room in Moscow. I’ll soon be off to St.Petersburg. My body clock has gone for a toss with the messy time zones. From the heat of Mumbai — I was just there for a day to change suitcases — I have flown to the chilly climes of Russia where I’m the only Indian representative as Fashion is the opening film of the 31st Moscow Film Festival and I’m chairing a cultural event.

I’m missing my daughter Siddhi a lot, especially because I missed Father’s Day too. May be next year!

The Russians are ardent fans of Indian cinema for a long time now. The Raj Kapoor and Nargis classics had a huge fan following, which was later followed by Mithun Chakraborty as Disco Dancer became a rage. The reactions I got for Fashion overwhelmed me as people gave standing ovations. The subtle underlined emotion that we think are country specific, are experienced in the same way by the Russians too. They also enjoy our music — Awara hoon plays on the streets here even today!

This festival is also special because one of my favourite directors, Shyam Benegal’s, retrospective is being held. It is such an honour that the man whose work I have adored all my life is being honoured in the same festival where my film is being mentioned.

I must mention that Russia is a beautiful country. Warm people, great hospitality, and picturesque locales —Indian filmmakers must explore Russian locations for our films. I hope that every year I get an opportunity to screen my films here. With more such occasions, ties between Indian and Russian cinema would strengthen.

By the time I sit to write my next column I would be in the heat of Dubai. I have almost crossed two continents in the last two weeks. I’m missing India a lot and hope to catch the monsoons in Mumbai soon. But it seems that the monsoon this year is playing hard to get. But hope to catch it still!