Remember that scene from Chak De when the girls get a pep talk from their coach? And all he says is what you all are going to do in the next 70 minutes will stay with your for ever. No one, and just no one, can take that away from you. So, go and have a good time.
The above introduction comes from a piece Hindustan Times carried some days ago to introduce the nominees from the entertainment category for the Indian of Year award instituted by CNN-IBN in partnership with the Hindustan Times.
But it referred to Shah Rukh Khan, the intrepid hero of the film about India’s women’s hockey team and its rise from ashes. He didn’t make the cut. Voters and the jury picked instead the film’s director and scriptwriter, Shimit Amin and Jaideep Sahni.
The film’s theme song has become a sports anthem and is played at all international events involving India – it was a constant at the Twenty20 world cup in South Africa, inspiring India to greater glory with every game.
The film had no songs, no villains, no car chases or fight sequences. Yet it went on to capture the heart of the nation. No wonder then that Amin and Sahni beat the film’s superstar actor to the big prize.
Jury member Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair said of Amin and Sahni: “They have delivered the best film of the year and demonstrated how a simple idea can be made into a successful film…it is also an inspiration for a lot of people...”
Amin and Sahni now join finance minister P Chidambaram and State Bank of India chairman Om Prakash Bhatt as contender for the Indian of the Year award and they will now wait for the winners of the remaining categories.
Amin and Sahni beat back a very tough field of competitors that included Chak De hero Shah Rukh Khan, Rajnikanth (for his blockbuster film Sivaji), Indian Idol finalists Prashant Tamang and Amit Paul, actor Akshay Kumar and the Big Brother reality show winner Shilpa Shetty.
The members of the jury are actor Mohanlal, lawyers Soli Sorabjee, Hindustan Times Media Ltd vice-chairperson Shobhana Bhartia, Infosys co-chairman Nandan Nilekani, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, billiards champion Geet Sethi and former police officer Kiran Bedi.