Imtiaz Ali in a no holds barred Bollywood Hungama exclusive with Faridoon Shahryar speaks about his short film ‘India Tomorrow’ that was made for the recently held
‘India Today’ conclave and has been launched online today. Imtiaz shares some very interesting insights about the concept behind making the film. Ali also looks back at Tamasha and what does
Would you like to tell us something about the back story of the girl in your short film ‘India Tomorrow’ since she comes as an educated girl thrown in difficult times due to conditions in India
See I’ve met a lot of girls who get into the sex trade in big cities because they cannot support their ambition, because they cannot support their education perhaps. It’s not that they are dying of
hunger that’s why they do this, aksar yeh bhi hota hai unke saath ke unka ek plan hota hai, unki ek padhai hoti hai jinko woh support nahi kar paate. Mumbai, Delhi jaise badi jagaho pe jiski wajah
se woh log iss tarah ke trade mein jaate hain and ispe koi tarah ki moral judgement rakhna, main toh nahin rakhta hoon moral judgement, because har insaan ko ek haq hota hai ke woh apni zindagi ko
behtar kar sake, apne kal ko behtar bana sake. To aise logo se main mil chukka hoon, main unko galat ya sahi nahi bolta, magar aise log maujud hain is duniya mein so I am inspired by them because
they have hope in a situation that according to them is so dark. There’s somebody who has to do this for survival, for future and why people do that. What right do other people have to lose hope?
Hope is not something that anyone has for exclusive. It is something that’s available to all of us, everybody has the right to dream, and we should know that.
You also said a very interesting thing when you said that certain things are not happening right in India and they make people think as well. The guy in the short film points out that ‘kya tum
student ho’ as she comes across as a very intelligent girl. We’ve seen the entire JNU and Hyderabad University cases. JNU students are supposed to be extremely bright; can we draw parallels from
that? Because we have seen in the recent times how the student fellowships have been taken away, students are in a dismal condition right now, they are being targeted, and their intellectual
capability is being looked down upon. Something like that can make a student resort to selling her body just to feed herself?
I feel firstly students are the hope for us
Because you’re talking about India Tomorrow, Plan for tomorrow.
Exactly yes, so people who are students today are the hope for us tomorrow, their dreams, their plans are going to take our country forward. And mujhe aisa lagta hai ke, the struggle that is
happening (struggles do happen from time to time) we are a country we will have different policies. They deserve to fight; they deserve to win that fight if they are right. And each one
individually faces different challenges, although the film that I’ve made is not based on student struggle.
Apart from that the entire concept, the way you’re presenting it’s very metaphorical, you’re drawing hope out of in a way hopeless situation, you’re talking about India Tomorrow, and at the same
time you’re showing that present is a bit convoluted which is something that we expect from anything that comes from Imtiaz Ali, subtext has to be there.
I guess there is subtext in life, there are so many things that are almost symbolic in life and I’ve met people like these and it’s so easy for us to draw moral judgements, it’s so easy for us to
complain about things. I’ve seen the people who have all the reasons to complain never complaining. I get very inspired by those people, aise hota hai na ke aap ko dusre ka gham pata chalta hai to
pata chalta hai apna gham kitna kam tha, jaise Mir ka sher hai, kushahal unka Jo maadoom hai, ke aivhal apna toh maloom hai.”
One song in your short film ‘India Tomorrow’ is ‘Sadda Haq‘ from Rockstar, apart from that is there a new song which comes in the beginning, I haven’t heard that before.
No it’s the same one (Sadda Haq), You know yeh badi interesting baat hai ke actually jab hum log Rockstar bana chuke the toh Rahman sir and mera ek idea tha ke hum ek rap song bhi
banaye ‘Sadda Haq‘ pe aur ek kisi ladki ke saath hum ne usko record bhi kiya tha. Rahman sir ne kiya tha record toh abhi jo maine Rehman sir se pucha ke can I use something from ‘Sadda
Haq‘ for this one, so he said ke tumhe yaad hai humne us waqt yeh record karne ki baat ki thi darasal unhone record kia tha mujhe yaad nahi tha unhone record kiya tha. Unhone kaha mere paas
hoga main dhundke nikalta hoon, unhone dhundke nikala phir wapas us artist ko bulaya. It’s something which is new and fresh, and which is actually based on women, the women who have to cover the
faces and yet fight the same battle as you’re fighting.
I loved Tamasha, but it had a divided opinion as far as people’s opinion is concerned and even the box office the way you would’ve wanted it wasn’t there. Does it upset you that you go
out to make a film and you have some amazing performances and I think you shot it amazingly well, the way the songs were shot, it was outstanding, I feel it was very entertaining but people had
certain issues ke thoda abstract ho jaati hai at times. How do you deal with something like this?
Every movie I make I want everybody to just love it and maximum number of people to watch it to love it and be entertained by it, but at the same time I also want to make the movie that I want to
make, there has to be balance between ‘deen’ and ‘duniya’ over here. I tried that, certain times I’ve been more successful to come up to this balance, sometimes I am not. But aisa toh koi formula
hota nahi hai ke mujhe pata ho ke aisa banaunga toh special ho jaayegi, kuch logo ko kuch cheez pasand aati hai kuch logo ko koi cheez thodi kam pasand aati hai. Magar overall jo Tamasha ka
response tha woh mere liye zyada encouraging tha. Ab main us film ko dekhta hu toh mujhe lagta hai yaar itne saare logo ne us film ko like kiya hai aur jis tarah se like kiya hai woh number hi nahi
hota logo ke andar matlabâ€¦ Aaj hi mujhe pata chala Pritam se mila toh who keh raha tha ki koi hai jisne apna job chhod diya aur phir woh singer ban gayi after watching the film. Lot of people I
think actually got very affected by the film.
Now you’re working with Shah Rukh Khan in your next filmâ€¦
It’s not official yet,
Shah Rukh and Anushka are the star cast?
Abhi sign kiya nahi hai, paise de den phir main bolta hoon (Laughs!)
No but it’s being said that it’s a comedy, after three serious films you’re working on an out-and-out comedy, SRK is playing a Sikh touristâ€¦
It’s not an out-and-out comedy, NO it’s not a Sikh tourist as such. So I think I am gonna wait till at least things become completely official before saying.
But Shah Rukh and Anushka is something that you have finalised?
I can’t say right now.
I spoke to Shah Rukh Khan I said that there are rumors that you’re working with Imtiaz Ali. He said that he’s a very dear friend and we keep on meeting.
So see how he circumvented the issue, he’s smarter (Laughs!)
That was 4 months back. Now toh I think after Gauri Shinde you’re starting with Shah Rukh?
Abhi tohâ€¦ Once it gets decided then I’ll talk.