Posts Tagged ‘The South Asian News’


He directs, writes scripts, produces, acts, sings, dances and writes poetry. With that powerhouse of talent, he is increasingly getting compared to the other genius multi-talented persona of Indian cinema, Kishore Kumar. “It’s just one life,” he says. “It’s totally fine to not have to do just one thing for your entire life, if you can do different things which you are passionate about. You can follow those dreams and hopefully, even do well at them.” With Wazir soaring to the box-office ceiling and his cult film, Rock On! 2 coming up, he is increasingly being recognized as the most cerebral actor Bollywood has ever produced. Kaberi Dutta Chatterjee had a long-distance mid-night chat with the actor-director-musician-singer-poet-producer-scriptwriter, Farhan Akhtar.



Farhan Akhtar needs no introduction. The IMDB website states in his profile that he worked as a cameraman in Yash Chopra’s Lamhe in 1991 and then in 1997 as assistant director for a strange film, Himalaya Putra.
With such a humble beginning, you’d hardly think this is the son of the famous lyricist Javed Akhtar and scriptwriter, Honey Irani. Javedji’s work as dialogue writer in Sholay and Deewar have set the benchmark for dialogues in the Hindi film industry.

After this inconspicuous start, Farhan arrived in Bollywood in style with his baby project, Dil Chahta Hai, which he wrote and directed and which is still thought to be one of the cult movies of Indian cinema.
There was no looking back for him after that as he soar to new heights with acting, singing and producing skills in Rock On! and directing iconic films like Lakshya, Don, (with Shah Rukh Khan) and Don 2. He acted in several noteworthy films, like Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Luck By Chance and Karthik Calling Karthik, the latest being Wazir, where he plays an army protagonist in tandem with the legendary, Amitabh Bachchan. His upcoming film, Rock On!2, written by the same writer of Rock On, Pubali Chaudhuri, and directed by Abhishek Kapoor, has the country waiting in baited breath for another rock musical to hit the mass.

I was just lucky to catch the very busy persona as he had just completed the shooting of Rock On!2. Speaking to the actor-director-producer-singer at midnight (morning in Mumbai) was the most thrilling experience for me. He came across as a thorough gentleman, polite, patient with the questions and my excitement in talking to him, as not just a journalist, but also as a huge fan and admirer.

You direct, you sing, you write poetry, you dance, you write screenplays and you act with such intensity that you make each character etched in viewer’s minds and in the history of Indian cinema. Playing which role is most fulfilling to you? Which action makes you the happiest?

Farhan: You know, it’s quite an impossible question to answer. It’s all about (more…)


No this is not the title of a bizarre movie I watched in Jaipur (of all places!) that was released sometimes in 2014. I don’t know what prompted Shah Rukh Khan and sweet Deepika to exist in that film. I just remember wanting to let the film skim over the top of my skull as the scenes went by, which is why my frail brain doesn’t have any memory of it today.

But I did try to watch ‘Dilwale’, since it featured my favorite actress Kajol in it. Well, she was my favorite… till I saw the film.

Surprisingly, ‘Tamasha’, took me off guard with its incredible storyline and touched the heart at the softest place. No wonder it didn’t make it to the box-office… Audience surely don’t want to feel that vulnerable.
Why am I talking of Bollywood films in this new year column?

Because otherwise the world looks bleak. The sadistic face of Kim Jong-Un laughing as he sets his “thrilling New Year sound” off the Pacific Ocean with a series of N-Tests, hit a pit in my stomach. So did Donald Trump’s recent views on Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein and Gandhiji. I am wondering where the world is headed when I watched a YouTube video about how a man gets bionic penis for the first time and he is set to lose his virginity with a celebrated UK sex-worker. They’ll probably now upload his live intercourse, making it a sensational scientific watch.

Somewhere something is not going right. As I always say, time doesn’t know it has become a New Year, it’s just another day for it. So I cannot stuff this shifting trend in a timeline box. But there has to be a line (‘Lakhsmanrekha’ as they say) somewhere, and the world is crossing that line a hundred times over.

Happy New Year readers!

(Published as Editor’s Column in The South Asian News, Toronto, January 8, 2016)new year