How dreamy UPite drives into reel city
PIPEDREAMS DO come true and how? Ask Waqar Khan, who pedalled his way to celluloid glory. So what if they did not give him a chance to act in films? He toiled to save enough money to produce and act in one! His debut film Ishq Na Karna is attracting attention and crowds in Meerut, Etah, Etawah, Mainpuri and a host of other hamlets in ?Bhaiyaland?.india Updated: May 24, 2006 00:31 IST
PIPEDREAMS DO come true and how? Ask Waqar Khan, who pedalled his way to celluloid glory. So what if they did not give him a chance to act in films? He toiled to save enough money to produce and act in one! His debut film Ishq Na Karna is attracting attention and crowds in Meerut, Etah, Etawah, Mainpuri and a host of other hamlets in ‘Bhaiyaland’.
“It was my childhood dream to be a film hero,” says Waqar Khan, who hails from Shahjahanpur, a small town of Uttar Pradesh. “The burden of six family members to support notwithstanding, I continued to sweat with the far-fetched dream in my eyes that some day a producer or director would hop on my rickshaw and take me as his hero.”
That day never came. The dream, instead, drove Waqar from one city of the State to another till he realised that Mumbai is where he should be. “I would hand over whatever pittance I earned to my mother and go on with the day’s work, knocking the doors of one studio or the other only to be rejected,” he recalls. In the meantime, he had saved enough money to run a business of selling auto-rickshaws.
“I picked up a loan from the market and with support from fellow rickshaw drivers and went on to finish the film with a budget of Rs 65 lakh. But Gangster, made with a far more lavish budget, was held back for a few days in Etawah when I announced my visit to the town as a bonus to viewers of my film,” says Waqar, who could manage stars no bigger than Milind Gunaji to act in the film but roped in the likes of Udit Narain and Shreya Ghoshal to croon the songs.
“I am working along with fellow Shajahanpur citizen Rajpal Yadav and another well-known actor Mukesh Tiwari in an underproduction called Undertrial for which I was shooting till recently in Thane. Besides, I received a call from TLV Prasad who was in the US and he has shown interest in casting me in his future project,” says Waqar. His future production will be Aatma Samarpan for which he has sent feelers to Jackie Shroff.
People in Shahjahanpur mob him every time he visits his hometown. Doesn’t that give rise to political aspirations? “My only ambition was to be a film hero and that ambition is fulfilled,” he says.
His film may not exactly be worthy of even your home video collection. But the process of dream fulfillment is more than something to write home about.