In an interview you told me recently that three people who deserve the maximum credit for Bajirao Mastani are Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra. Obviously you were
being modest. Once I saw the film, I realized the level of your involvement in the film and why it must have stopped being a mere movie. Your impeccable performance was smeared with the perfume of
sweat, blood and a manic madness that differentiates between Actors and Great Actors. I am writing down this letter because if I would have been in front of you, your detailed hugs and songs may
not have allowed me to express in detail.
I love watching movies. I want to be surprised and wowed. I get bored easily too. Being in the movie business we suffer many mediocre films. But I always wait for something that stays with me long
after the curtains have been drawn in a movie theatre. Bajirao Mastani is one film that continues to stay with me, the intensity, the flavour of the progressive content and a phenomenal love
story trapped in a tricky triangle continues to reverberate in the corridor of my mind.
I tried dissecting your portrayal of Peshva Bajirao. I may be fond of you as a person but since I'm on the other side of the fence I must always try and retain objectivity. To be honest I felt your
performance is flawless. There's not a single false note. The mastery over the diction, the majestic walk and body language (goes well with the 'Cheete Ki Chaal' claims), the consistency in taking
prompt decisions, the mad vulnerability when in love, the ferociousness of a ruthless warrior and how the demons of the mind get the better of you. The cool Ranveer Singh was not available. It was
Peshva Bajirao ruling the roost. All the way.
Tremendous praise is coming your way. You surely deserve the best of awards (though the credibility of popular awards will always remain contentious). I feel the biggest reason for the perfection
in your performance in Bajirao Mastani is your complete surrender to the genius of Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Despite the odds, you kept your head down and like a horse with the blinkers on, you
kept on following the direction of your Director who steered you in the right direction.
The tough part for you will be the choices that you'd be making from here on. In an extremely fickle industry that puts you on an esteemed pedestal when you are doing well and pulls the rug from
under your feet when you falter, you need to keep your blinkers on and stay focused on following your heart. The good news is that with this fresh burst of stardom coming your way; Aditya Chopra's
Befikre becomes a red hot project. You're moving from the magician Bhansali to the Big Dreamer Chopra. I hope you shall continue consulting the likes of Mr Bhansali and Mr Chopra in
selecting your future projects. The appreciation may take you on the sky of fortune but sage advice from well meaning well wishers shall decide your future graph.
I shall end this letter with an Urdu couplet by famous poet Allama Iqbal.
Tu shaheen (eagle) hai, parvaaz (fly high) hai kaam tera
Tere saamne aasmaan aur bhi hain.