Location: 250 feet from Chinchpokli Station
Ensconced in a private resort under the blue skies and relaxing on a beach with their drinks in hand and eyes scanning the beach. That’s how you’d expect the cast and crew of the latest extravaganza Blew to be living, isn’t it? But we found them in a dinghy and shady hotel called Majestic Diamond, near the Chinchpokli railway station.
As soon as I enter, director Anhonee Diffusa issues a statutory but polite warning, “Please, no jokes or puns on the colour blue. I’ve had enough.” I agree (of course crossing my hands behind my back) to not crack any jokes there (and having said nothing about the piece I’d write). One look at the man and one could never believe he’s the one who’s directed the English version of Maano Ya Naa Mano and many a music videos.
So how has life been, post Blew? “Don’t ask me a question, and I will tell you no lies.” I reminded him that I already had. He answers, “Life’s been tough. When I started shooting for Blew, I had everything in life. Now even my wife refuses to recognise me. I’ve had to move to this place now”, he says. I turn to Producer saab to ask him about the film, but he doesn’t speak at all. Anhonee says, “He’s in a trauma currently. Uski poori kamayee barbaad ho gayi is picture mein. He’s had to sell all his cars, homes etc. He’s come down to usal paav and kaanda bhajiya from trouts and shark soup.”
Finally Producer saab decides to talk.
“We spent so much money on the sets and underwater shooting and all those kind of things that we actually forgot many things that were equally important”, he opines. Is he talking about the script? “Ba*****, jale pe namak mat chidak” is the angry retort. I decide to move on. While the promos were on, one could hear the strange chorus in the title song. What’s with all the “Balooo”? There came the revelation. Anhonee replies, “Actually, when we signed Khiladi, Enjoy Dutt, Lawruh and Rahman saab, we had no money left to get any good playback singer. So we had to get the best we could for the money we had left. The song is sung by Dayashankar Tripathi, a famous Bhojpuri singer of yore from Jaunpur, who had to drink 5 bottles of energy drinks before he sung the song, because he was so old. Ab hinterland ka koi banda gayega, to uska accent to hoga hi na?” How many takes did the song take then? “To be fair, it took only 9 takes. So that’s a total of 45 bottles. That’s still cheaper than getting an established singer”, calculates Producer saab. Infallible mathematics that.
What about Zayeda Khan? Producer saab says, “Oh, he came for free (thankfully). He said no one was giving him any roles, so he just asked if he could join in. Usne bola sir, mereko lelo, mera vacation bhi ho jayega. Biwi bhi qafi din se keh rahi hai, chhuti pe le jaane ko aur main bhi beach
Khiladi Kumar decided to open up, “When we doing this film, I very…..” I say, “You can speak in Hindi. No issues.” Relieved, he says, “
And why was Enjoy baba so silent today? “I’m a bit tired today.” Shooting? No, he says. He has just gotten back from breakfast. But it is lunch time. Yeah, that’s right, he adds, with a slight embarrassment. I press on, “How was it working with all the kids, especially Lawruh, who’s almost your daughter’s age?” “What kids? Except for Lawruh and Zayeda, everyone else is of my age! But I did have a lot of fun, especially the underwater shoots.” Did the paunch help him stay put in the water? “Yes it did. It really added to the dynamics of swimming. Actually it wasn’t really supposed to be shown. When we got Tharak Kumar as a cameraman, we gave him strict instructions to capture full body shots of only Lawruh and the sharks. But I think he had a gay moment and shot me too.” We agree on the point that full body shots of others would have been scary and the audience would have died of shock. Baba’s judgement of the audience is exemplary.
Lunch arrives in the form of oily sabji and paapadesque chapaati. I refuse and move on. Khiladi says, “Yaar. Sab itna serious kyun ho gaye. Tumko pata hai? Main aur producer saab ne jab pehli baar Chuggy Wuggy suna tha, to humein laga yeh Gujarati logon ke bare mein hai. Aur Kylie ka naam bhi aisa hi hain, ji?” It can happen to anyone, I add. The song name does stir up an image of two Gujjus in their star studded shirts and red jeans with intricately woven embroidery. But that is a different matter. What about Lawruh? “I enjoyed it thoroughly. And since I have already got my fees, I couldn’t care less what happens to the film”, she adds with a whisper.
As a final word, I ask everyone what their future plans are. Lawruh will continue with her comedy genre with Govinduh. When you have a co-star twice your size and half your height, it makes you look four times hotter, doesn’t it? Khiladi also has similar plans, mostly with Cutreena. And what about baba? He doesn’t have any plans of retiring yet. He has plans of opening a School of Rock. But more about that in the next edition. Zayeda is looking for newer avenues to enter. Producer saab wants to produce a film of the type Reshma ki Jawaani, Khooni Haseena etc. His Raat ki Kali Subah ko Khili is already being shot with Rockhee Sawant. I suggest he change the “Kali” part to something realistic. I at least have hopes of recovering my money, he says. I have to agree with him.
And Diffusa? He plans to make a serious hard hitting drama film, this time on land, and costing one fourth the budget of Blew. And who will be the producer? Sohell Khan, he informs. So there will naturally be Dullman? I guess, he says.
I wish him all the very best, and leave instantly to dying strains of “Abey, tere ko fir se doobna hai kya?” from the ever youthful, Khiladi Kumar.