Auto driver, film star | india | Hindustan Times
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Auto driver, film star

It?s a dream come true for auto driver-turned-actor Waqar Khan, who is working on final promotions for his maiden release Ishq Na Karna, a film that he has produced along with his brother Naeem Khan, who has also directed the movie.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2006 05:20 IST

It’s a dream come true for auto driver-turned-actor Waqar Khan, who is working on final promotions for his maiden release Ishq Na Karna, a film that he has produced along with his brother Naeem Khan, who has also directed the movie. “Naeem has assisted director Aziz Chhabra in the past,” says Waqar Khan.

“I invested all my savings and took loans. About one lakh auto-drivers are involved with this film in various ways,” he adds. “We approached model coordinators who helped us select Rinkle Tyagi for the lead.”

“Actors like Milind Gunaji, Mustaq Khan and Ehsaan Khan had to be convinced that this film was worth their time. We also told them of our circumstances and how we were making the film, so they co-operated and worked for a lower remuneration.” That’s also how he got singers Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Shaan, Shreya Ghosal and Sukhwinder Singh. “Lyricist Sudhakar Sharma helped me sell the music rights to R Music, a Delhi-based label,” Waqar says.

“We couldn’t afford an art director to make sets. So we shot at Filmcity, Madh Island, Lonawala, Khandala etc,” he says.

Waqar’s troubles began at post-production stage. “The editor, Mangesh Chauhan, cheated me. An official showed me evidence that Chauhan had stolen government electricity. He was sued and had to hire a lawyer to avoid jail. I paid his laywer’s fees. Also, he had not paid the Editor’s Association for eight-nine years. I helped him pay that, too. He still demanded more money from me.

“When I refused, he called the lab posing as the general secretary of the association and told them that I hadn’t cleared my dues. I had to complain in writing to the association but lost a few days before work resumed.” Then the sound recordist, too, harassed Waqar.

All is well now, however, and the film is releasing in Maharashtra on March 31. “Being the vice-president of the Rickshaw Chaalak Maalak Sangh in Navi Mumbai, I’ve got tremendous cooperation from its members. So far we’ve sold tickets for over Rs 1 lakh.”

“At the release of Ishq Na Karna,” he says, “I’ll announce my next film, Ishq Bada Be-imaan.”