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All in good humour

Upcoming film Swaha parodies Asaram Bapu, Govinda, Subhash Ghai and politicos.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2010 20:28 IST
Hiren Kotwani

Producer Pravin Bharadwaj’s soon-to-release movie Swaha, a parody, will upset a fair share of high-profile people. Bharadwaj admits that actor Ishrat Ali’s character in the film, Asanandji Maharaj, has been modelled on spiritual guru Asaram Bapu. Directed by Manoj Sharma, the movie also has characters admittedly inspired by actor Govinda, filmmaker Subhash Ghai and two netas who go by the names of Deshmukh and Shinde.

Subhash Ghai, who is still to recover from the debacle of Yuvvraaj, is parodied in a scene in which a filmmaker by the name of Sudesh Ghai goes to Asanandji to mourn the failure of Yugraj. He is told that it flopped because of the title.

The two politicos, Deshmukh and Shinde, consult the guru over distribution of seats in the elections. Bharadwaj denies allusions to former Maharashtra chief minister and current Union Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

“I brought them in to underline the fact that even politicians consult these babas, whose ashrams are important power centres,” says the producer.

The idea came to him after watching news channels. “Sant-mahatmas become God Men with assets worth Rs 3,000-4,000 crore,” he points out, adding that a couple of his friends went to Asaram Bapu’s ashram in Goregaon undercover to dig out information. Bharadwaj spent almost Rs 1 crore to replicate the ashram at Madh Island for the shoot.

Govinda, known for his obsession with auspicious timings, dates and colours, is parodied through the character of Chi Chi bhaiya, who is advised by the guru to report late for his films as he’s a star.