What attracted me to Mumbai?
Mumbai has its own individuality. It has a plethora of moods blended with an iconoclastic lifestyle. The city has its own rules and an amazing pace. It is like a whole person in itself. There’s so much to gain from Mumbai, more so from the incredible learnings that are attached to it.
Best thing about Mumbai
Despite all the odds, the city is forever on the move. It goes through its share of crisis time and again… but Mumbaikars pick up the pieces. The people who abound here get their act together and the city is up and running again in a jiffy.
India’s cultural, religious as well as economic focal point. It is a potpourri of a variety of communities and cultures. To top it all, it is a city where more dreams are made and broken.
What I would like to change in Mumbai?
I wish the relocation plans were more successful since they would not only reduce the slums in the city but also provide a better standard of living for the slum dwellers. Also, I wish the people of Mumbai would respect the city and its monuments a little more. Problems like littering and destructive activity on monuments still haunt the city. It would be great if the people came together to make Mumbai an even better place to live in.
Mumbai’s best monument?
This is not really a ‘monument’. But I absolutely LOVE the Haji Ali Dargah. This spot is at its most beautiful during sunset. I could stare at it for hours as the sun goes down. It really fills me with peace.
Compared to other cities, Mumbai is?
exceptionally safe! I can’t think of any other city in India as safe as Mumbai. There are often times I have to return home alone at 3-4am after a shoot. This is something that would be unthinkable in any other city including metropolitans in India.
When away from Mumbai, I miss?
One of my most favourite feelings in the world is feeling warm sand between my toes. And the rhythmic waves crashing against the shore fill me with peace no matter how chaotic life gets. I often spent solitary time completely lost on the beach in mumbai, and fail to realise I’ve been there for hours. After family and home- the beach is what I miss most when away.
To be successful in Mumbai?
You need to stand out and yet fit in. The city does not have time for anyone lulling about and daydream that success will be served on a five-star platter. One needs to be constantly on the move. Threes no time to stop and think. Just keep moving if you want to keep pace with Mumbai.
The music launch of Saurabh Shukla’s first mass entertainer ‘Pappu Cant Dance Saala’ was truly massy amidst the flashes of the shutterbugs and ample media attention!
After that the singers from the movie took the centrestage one by one and entertained the audience with a variety of songs from the movie itself. This included names like Aakriti Kakkar, Shilpa Rao, Sangeet Haldipur, Kailash Kher and Mansi Scott.
Apart from the starcast ie Neha Dhupia, Vinay Pathak, Rajat Kapoor, the event was also attended by Ranveer Shorey, Raju Hirani, Arshad Warsi, Manoj Bajpai, Pritam and Manjari Phadnis. Ravinder Singh, the producer and the chairman of R vision films was also present.
Farhan Akhtar is leaving no stone unturned to get into the character of Milkha Singh, the athlete he will essay in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s next film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. To prepare for the film that will go on floors in mid 2012, Farhan spent a couple of days with the athlete, better known as The Flying Sikh in Delhi. The actor from Mumbai and the sportsman, who flew in from Chandigarh stayed in the same hotel in the capital.
A source told, “Farhan is an established actor now. He did not need to go through the basics. But it was important for him to have a long interaction with the athlete.”
However, this is not the first time the athlete has interacted with the cast and crew of the film. “Singh has given a lot of inputs during the scripting by Prasoon Joshi,” informed the source.
Milkha Singh’s meeting with Farhan is not the last either. “Now, Farhan has a good equation with Singh. They will meet again whenever required. The athlete will make Farhan understand the nuances of running and winning races and the various other elements of his successful career.”
When contacted, Singh informed, “Haan, we’ll meet again. Probably within a week. I want every child in this country to draw inspiration from this film and do what I did. The film should act as an inspiration for he kids of this country. They should make it to Olympics one day.”
According to sources, for the Movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag director Mehra has also written to various coaches in the country with the help of Milkha Singh. These sports consultants will prepare a training schedule for lead actor Farhan, who’ll have to go through rigorous exercises for the same.
Singh revealed, “Three filmmakers had asked me for my story. They all wanted to make a film on me. They were offering me lots of money. But I gave it to Rakeysh Mehra’ (Bhaag Milkha Bhaag) for Re 1. I trust Mehra. My son told me that we should share our story with him. Twenty percent of the film’s profits would go to Milkha Singh Trust, which helps poor and needy sportsmen. I want this trend to continue.” Farhan Akhtar remained unavailable for comment.
By: ARYEMAN RAJ
How has Mumbai changed over the years?
Mumbai was far more liberal and tolerant earlier. Ever since we seem to have changed the name to Mumbai (in a bid to return to your roots), the whole fraternity seems to have gone back in time. Going back to me is always very regressive. We should always think of moving ahead of the times.
Reason your statement as to why we have become regressive.
There is an over done emphasis on moral policing and trying to hold on to things. You have to see the nature and fabric of things in a society. Every city has its own distinct personality and the people who abound it evolve and change with regards to the city. As a booming city, Mumbai is poised for tumultuous growth and we should be surging forward. We need to think global and no longer be insular. I am not in favor of the divide and rule politics, which is rampant not just in Mumbai but also in, states acrossIndiatoo. This is utterly shameful for a city like Mumbai and not only does it take you 10 paces back but also put you down in the eyes of the world.
What deflates the spirit of the Mumbaikars?
The city goes up in fames when political leaders come and give inflammatory speeches. This leads to provoking their party workers who create chaos for the common man.
Your most horrifying moment about the city.
Recently we have been at the hands of lot of regressive moral policing. We have had to face the brunt with a lot of divide and rule politics. This has really saddened me as a citizen of Mumbai. The burning of (greeting) card shops during Valentine depicts a lack of respect of a citizen’s right to celebrate a day of love. It shows a complete fundamentalism and telling the city ‘don’t love’ and you are doing it through violence. Beating up couples (in love), bashing people on beaches or those sitting on rocks is sending out a message that you can’t be affectionate or be in love. Using violence to send out such a message is appalling and a denial of your basic democratic rights as a citizen.
What qualities do you need to be successful in Mumbai?
You need great PR skills. One needs to go out and network. Everyone is so warm and enveloping in every profession. If you manage your public relations effectively and have good interpersonal skills, you can work yourself up the ladder in a jiffy.
Where do you take you take your (international) friends when they visit Mumbai?
Oh, they see the works. I involve them right from experimenting with the traditional food (Gomantak cuisine to bhel puri), seeing Bollywood movies in Fame Adlabs or taking them tour Page 3 parties to show them our paparazzi. If they want to savor the local glamour flavor, I take them shopping from the high-end (local couture) stores of Mumbai to the streets of Bandra and evenFashion street. And of course, horse rides, clubbing – Mumbai is rocking with so much to experiment.