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Failure is an event... not a person, writes Vikram Bhatt

Bollywood director Vikram Bhatt writes on that important Friday morning in a filmmaker’s life.

entertainment Updated: Sep 07, 2007 11:49 IST

Anyone who wants to be a director really has only one burning desire.. the desire to tell stories and take the audience into a dream world, to have them at the edge of their seats or rolling in the aisles with laughter. This applause is the fix for any filmmaker.

But there’s another world for them — the dream world of the Friday morning.. that can turn his life into a dream or into nightmare.

Dreams to nightmares
Last Friday saw some dreams turning into nightmares. Every film office was buzzing with the news that the director concerned had lost it. I don’t want to take names here. In a way, it does not matter.

Every director goes through the same procedure—he makes a film and goes through the whiz kid phase. Then comes the loser phase, followed by the ‘comeback’ and ‘lost the public’ phase. Different names.. same story. But let me digress from this. What upset me most about the cruel jokes and insensitive comments was the fact that people were not running the film down, but were casting doubts on the filmmaker’s talent. I chose to ignore them but the rage within me lingered.

Condemning failure
Failure is an event, not a person. All success has been achieved after failures. TheWright brothers were dogged by failures yet they gave us airplanes. We lost the Sepoy Mutiny but won our independence. If failures were people then they wouldn’t have been able to turn their fortunes around to become successful. There’s no director who hasn’t seen failure but that does not mean that they will never tell us a story we would enjoy.

But let’s see this failure thing on a more macro level. Why do we condemn failure? Why does the world not forgive failure? The answer is simple. There are two kinds of people in this world. One kind that depends on others for their success and the other kind that depend on themselves.

The actor needs a director to succeed.. the producer is also completely dependent on the director. When he fails, all of them fail and they don’t like to forgive. I think this is true in every facet of life. There are those who only have the talent to gamble on others and then there are those who gamble on themselves. The question is, “Which category do you belong to?”

Do you want to be the artist or the man who buys the art? Do you want to be the sportsman or the man who is betting on him? Do you wish to seek talent or be the talent?

Be careful in your choice because if you want to be the talent, you will get famous when you succeed. You will have a huge following because you are making many people’s careers. But when you fail, they will lynch you.. they will call you names and step on your self-esteem.

If you should choose to be the talent despite these pitfalls, then look at yourself as the prizefighter in the ring. You win some.. you lose some, as far as those cheering and booing in the crowd are concerned. Don’t bother about them. Just pity them, for they have no talent of their own.

First Published: Sep 06, 2007 18:23 IST