Kundan was totally focused on Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, remembers Neena Gupta
Actor Neena Gupta, who was part of the cast for the Bollywood cult comedy, shares her experience of shooting for Kundan Shah. Shah passed away on Saturday due to a cardiac arrest.bollywood Updated: Oct 07, 2017 22:59 IST
Kundan Shah was such a simple man that you won’t even believe that he’s the director of a cult comedy like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. I had been to his house, met his wife and kids and they are very simple and sweet people. It was great to know a man like him.
I remember when we were shooting for the film in 1983, we were all newcomers and in fact, Kundan was also a newcomer, in a way. It was an NSD (National School of Drama) street film and a very low budget one, so we were not really getting paid. We used to take our own auto rickshaws and go for the shoot. We rehearsed for many hours a day. And we knew all the people, as they were all mostly from theatre, so it was like doing theatre in the movie. Also, what you see in the movie – like how much fun it is – that much fun we also had during the shoot. But we had to really shoot hard.
I remember once we were in Alibag for a schedule and we shot for 48 hours at stretch. So, we used to sleep — whenever our shot was not ready — we used to sleep in one bed and there were like 10 people on it. Vinod Pradhan was the cameraman and I remember seeing him falling asleep with the camera in his hand. So, we shot like that because it was a very low budget film. But Kundan would not care and he was just totally focused on the film. He won’t take any tantrums. Since we actors were all known to each other, we used to joke around and he used to get bugged because we had to work, but it was such a nice and memorable experience.
Sadly, I wasn’t in touch with Kundan for all these years. But we met at Nehru Centre when the film was redone and its digitised version was released. So, that’s when all of us were called for a special screening and we got to catch up after so many years. It was great fun. Kundan was planning to make a sequel and I even got to read the script around two years ago. Kundan wanted to have the same star cast as the original film and my part was much bigger, and only Ravi Baswani and Bhakti Bharve would not have been there, as they have passed away. Some big producer was producing it and Kundan was supposed to direct, but unfortunately that won’t happen now. I am sad that this generation won’t get to see another Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.
(As told to Monika Rawal Kukrerja)