As Punjabi characters takes centrestage on the celluloid and Bollywood emerges as the new Punjab,Yash Chopras visit to Ludhiana helps put things into perspective. His reason for choosing Punjab as a backdrop in all his movies is a bit different.
I do not know much about other cultures. As the Punjabi culture is in my blood,I find it easy to think of Punjabi characters and base my scripts on them, says Chopra,one of the most successful directors in Bollywood with a career spanning over five decades.
All my films have Punjab and Punjabi characters in them. I am proud of this and not at all ashamed that I cant write stories about other cultures, adds Chopra,in the city on a personal visit to his friends and partners Anil Nanha Puri and Sanjeev Puri.
Praising his sons latest directorial venture Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,he remarked that it was an honest attempt. The movie begins and ends with the Golden Temple because we believe so much in it, he says explaining why his son also chose to tell the story of an ordinary man from Amritsar. As for Veer Zaara,it was my personal tribute to the Punjabs of both the neighbouring countries, he said.
And his take on Slumdog Millionaires Oscar success? Chopra terms it the greatest award for Indian viewers ever.
Indian cinema has finally come of age. It looked like an Indian festival was going on at the Kodak Theatre when the stage was filled Indian artistes,including A R Rahman and Anil Kapoor. It was a proud moment for India. I think Gulzar should also have been there, he says.
Slumdog is an Indian movie with Indian starcast and crew. But it might not have reached where it finally did had it not been an English film. Having said that,I would like to add that it was a brilliantly made movie by Danny Boyle with a very strong screenplay, says Chopra.
I have read the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup whose basic story is also very nice. But the movies screenplay was so strong that it instantly clicked with everyone across the world.
Plans for the future? The veteran producer and director will soon start a new project penned by his son Aditya Chopra. I have three movies in the pipeline and will be directing one of them. Two movies,New York and another untitled film,are almost ready to hit the theatres.