I’ve always maintained that it is a privilege to meet Ajay Devgn. He’s not merely a superstar. He’s a rare actor who internalises his role so much that his silence, his body language, his moist eyes convey far more than what words can convey. As he languidly walked in for an informal chat with a select group of journalists at the beautiful Sitara hotel in Ramoji Rai Studio in Hyderabad, I stood up from the seat (as I always do in his presence). He spent time with all the journalists giving them individual attention while nibbling on the delicious chicken tikka. There was fun and bantering and pranks that were best devoured with chicken tikkas and not shared in the public domain. As is famously said, “Whatever happens in Hyderabad stays in Hyderabad.”
The title song of Golmaal Again was to be shot in the magnificent Ramoji Rao studios the next day but the rain played a spoilt sport. There were fancy colourful cars, a big train engine and a festive air that was injected with enthusiasm. In walked Ajay Devgn, Parineeti Chopra, Arshad Warsi, Shreyas Talpade, Kunal Khemmu and Tusshar Kapoor dressed in white and ornamented with cool shades. The palpable energy that the team shared was markedly noticeable. The relaxed atmosphere was relentlessly punctuated with laughter and hugs.
Director Rohit Shetty was in his element as the trademark smile and an assured confidence was clearly visible. When I spoke to him, he made a very valid point that many people associated with movies don’t even think of. “I make films for families. I understand there are many families with a limited source of income and they are willing to spend a substantial amount of money to come and watch my films. I must entertain them; ensure that they have a great time. I only want to spread happiness,” Rohit said.
A special mention has to be made about the state of the art Ramoji Rao Studio. What a professional set up for movies. It gives the requisite respect and a professional flair to what movie making is all about. Mumbai is known for Bollywood which in turn is known the world over as a representative of Indian films. But we don’t have any film set up that comes remotely close to what Ramoji Rao Studio is all about. The question is why do we take Bollywood and its reach so frivolously?