Imtiaz Ali at Hindu College: My life is dangerous material, not a lead to follow

Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, director of Jab Harry Met Sejal, spoke about his films, how he creates characters, and his student days, on a visit to his alma mater Hindu College, under Delhi University.

bollywood Updated: Sep 19, 2017 17:36 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Imtiaz Ali,Hindu College,Delhi University
Bollywood film director and writer Imtiaz Ali was a student of English at Hindu College, Delhi University. (Satish Bate/ HT Photo )

Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali visited his alma mater — Delhi University’s Hindu College — on September 18, and the students of the English Department sat enrapt by his tales. “I was a good student and used to top [the class] during my college days,” says Ali, 46, recollecting his first two years at Hindu. “The [course] structure was very different then. But I’m not the perfect example for anybody who’s in college right now. My life is dangerous material, not a lead to follow.”

A student of English (Hons), Ali said that it was his college and Delhi University that made him what he is today — he is now one of the top directors of the Hindi film industry; his most recent film, Jab Harry Met Sejal, starred Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka.

“I am here to learn anew,” said Ali to the gathering of 70-odd students of Hindu College. “I have no agenda [for coming here], and I am in no hurry. DU taught me a lot and I had good, bad, ugly, romantic, and all kinds of time here. [I did] illegal and shameful things as well, some of which I admitted in front of the principal (Anju Srivastava) today. Many, I will not [talk about] because this is a very strong government,” he added.

‘DU taught me a lot and I had good, bad, ugly, romantic, and all kinds of time here’ — Imtiaz Ali

The interactive session allowed students to ask all kinds of questions, and Ali responded to each one patiently. When a student asked him how he perfects his scripts, Ali used the example of Rockstar (2011) and said, “I don’t do a lot of research while writing a story. My own experience and knowledge of a particular subject helps me. I know that Jordan (played by Ranbir Kapoor) can be a boy from Hindu and Heer (played by Nargis Fakhri) from Stephen’s (college). I already knew where the prostitutes can be found in Delhi and used all this in my film.”

Follow @htTweets for more

First Published: Sep 19, 2017 17:33 IST