Jaya’s memoirs of Hrishida, a ‘mentally’ violent enigma
Jay recalled that because of her attachment with her alma mater FTII (she was an acting student in 1970), she persuaded Hrishikesh Mukherjee to even shoot a scene of her debut film Guddi on the FTII premises.pune Updated: Oct 01, 2017 22:25 IST
A two-day commemorative event to celebrate Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s birth anniversary was held at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
‘Smarananjali’ concluded on Sunday with actress Jaya Bachchan speaking about the Hrishida she knew.
Hailing him as the greatest technician of his time, Jaya Bachchan, while becoming emotional as she remembered him, said Hrishida was not just not just as a filmmaker and an artist. “He used to call me Jayamaa and was like a father to me. He took great care of me and guided me throughout my career. Many a times he helped me to choose the films that I should be doing and he said something which remained with me and I still follow,” she said recalling his advise, “If you are unhappy about doing something, don’t do it.”
She also recalled that because of her attachment with her alma mater FTII (she was an acting student in 1970), she persuaded Hrishikesh Mukherjee to even shoot a scene of her debut film Guddi on the FTII premises.
Jaya also recalled that actors would improvise in the olden days, as there were no bound scripts.
“He was an enigma, but he was never violent. His violence was mental, it would hit you with his dialogues that too uttered by a comic character,” she added.
She was accompanied by FTII alumini Vishu Mathur, Amit Tyagi and historian Jai Arjun Singh on the panel discussion.
The two-day event was inaugurated by filmmaker and FTII alumini Kundan Shah in the presence of actors Ramesh and Seema Deo. Over a series of panel discussions, presentations and film screenings the unique comedy in his films, his mentoring of actors and his unmatched editing style were discussed by many film buffs.
“Smarananjali is FTII's way of remembering the departed icons of Indian cinema, of recalling titans who may have completed their earthly journey, but have left indelible impressions in the collective memory of the film community. The institute's editing department took the initiative to reveal the best-known and lesser known aspects of Hrishida’s life and work as an editor and filmmaker, recounted by those who were closely associated with him," said Bhupendra Kainthola, director, FTII Pune.
Kundan Shah remembers Tom Alter
Padmashree Tom (Thomas Beach ) Alter died after battling skin cancer at the age of 67. He acted in 300 films and numerous theatre productions. Kundan Shah was his classmate at FTII.
“We were together in 1974, studying together. He was not an Indian and often wondered how would he do it and survive an acting course? But, his sheer grit and determination to be an actor in India and to be a successful was indeed commendable. He was such an handsome boy and he has quite a personality. It was very difficult to visualise roles for him, but he has acted with my friends, especially with Dev Anand. He had a tremendous command over Urdu and Hindi and I liked him best on stage. As an actor, I best remember for his monologues and the strong characters he played on stage,” Kundan Shah said, paying tribute to the great Tom Alter.