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You may be wondering..
How is that the word,I met Sharukh Khan and narrated the Chandramukhi story to him,had so quickly entered the Bollywood world..Let me explain..Every top notch artiste like Sharukh Khan, Aamir Khan or Salman Khan have a set of personal assistants,always on their side,taking every little care of the needs of their bosses..
Additionally,they also have bodyguards who make the stars inaccessible at any point of time..Almost all these stars depend entirely either on their personal assistants or on their guards for literally everything in their life..
That way,these guards and the personal assistants always have first hand information of everything that is happening in the lives of the stars..
In most of the leaked out cases,it is either the guards or the personal attendants of the star who reveal a great deal of information,about the star’s day to day activities,to media and other producers..
And most of the times,they do so as part of their friendship with the recipient of the information and in rare cases,for money..However,I haven’t so far heard anyone leaking any info for money…
B T W,if you have a friend in Mumbai city,he will be forever your friend whereas in other cities of India,a friend will be your friend as long as you keep doing him favors,unconditionally..PERIOD
The next morning..
At about 6.30 am,my beloved writer friend,Ahsan Hyder,who introduced me to Shrukh Khan,called me from Delhi..In a very calm and composed tone,he boosted my happiness further,by saying,
“..Mubarak Narrenji..Aapne badhiya narration diye hain Sharukh ko..He’s happy with your narration as well as our proposal..Inshah Allah..Jald hi hume ek good news sun ne ko milega..Now it’s time for you to focus on the rights of the film..Agar Sharukh ne kal ke din haan kar diya aur hum rights ko haasil nahin kar paaye toh badaa lafdaa ho jaayegaa..Izzath ka sawaal hain Narrenji..Dhyan mein rakhiye..”
I said,”arey yaar Hyder..Subha subhaa kuch shubh shubh bolo..Rights ka tum mere vupar chod do par ye bataon…Tumhe kaise patha chalaa ke maine badhiyaa narration diya Sharukh ko..”
In the same cool tone,Hyder replied,”..Arey chodiye na Narrenji..Ye sab jaanke aapko kya karna hain..”..
In an irritated tone,I replied,”Arey yaar Hyder..Dhimag kharaabh math kar mera..Seeda seeda bataon ye baath tumhe kaise pathaa chalaa..”
Laughing loudly this time,
Hyder replied,”..Bade jaldee gusse mein aajaathe hain Narrenji aap ..Jinhone hume Sharukh ka mobile number diya hain unhone hi mujhe ye khabar bhi diya hain..Warna main kaise jaantaa bathayiye..Woh mere mama hain Narrenji aur Sharukh ka chief personal bodyguard who always follows Sharukh like a shadow wherever he goes..
He was standing at a distance when you were narrating the story to Sharukh and after you and Mahesh bhai left,Sharukh casually told him that you gave a good narration and the proposal is interesting..Mama says chances of Sharukh doing the film are good,however,he still cautioned us not to take anything for granted at this point of time..”..
Our call ended..
At about 10 am,the same day,I called up Sridhar,the personal manager of Appachchan,producer of the Malayalam movie,Manichitra Taazhu,based on which the Tamil film Chandramukhi was made..
For about ten minutes,I briefed Sridhar about my meeting with Sharukh..Finally,I once again requested him not to entertain any producer who comes forward for rights..Later in the day,I left for my beloved Hyderabad with so many happy memories to relish for a life beyond life..
And on my reaching Hyderabad,the actual game began..
Immediately after reaching Hyderabad that evening,I called Telugu producer,D.Suresh Babu and told him,”Sir..God evening..You wanted me to call you once am back in Hyderabad..Now am back..When can we meet sir..Tomorrow..??..”
He said,”Just relax ammaa Aditya..I will call you on Monday the day after tomorrow and we shall meet on that day..”..He disconnected the call..Later,Saturday passed and Sunday passed and finally the much awaited Monday too arrived for me..
However,to my surprise,I received the first call of the day,on Monday at about 8.30 am,from Sridhar of Chennai and not from Suresh Babu of Hyderabad..Sridhar said in a worried tone,
“Sir..I don’t know why,but suddenly there are a series of phone calls from all over Mumbai for the rights of the film..Many new people are now asking for the sale of the rights..The first call yesterday was from Aditya Chopras’s office and later from Boney Kapoor and also from one NRI from London by name Dr. Murali Manohar who called on behalf of Jayaprada..
I was not able to answer them..They were asking too many questions..They are ready to come to Chennai immediately and pay any amount of money for the rights..I think the news,”Sharukh is interested in the movie”,started doing rounds in Mumbai film circles..Otherwise why would so many people be calling so suddenly that too on a Sunday,sir…
Sir,you must do something at the earliest..Otherwise it would be very difficult for me to hold the rights of the film for a long time..Am answerable to my boss..He’s already asking me why is that am not finalizing with any producer when there is so much demand for the remake rights..I can’t help you any more if he suspects me..I will have to be loyal to him,sir..Hope you understand..”
I was tensed..I grew nervous..Still I told him,”..Don’t worry Sridhar garu..Am already on the job..Will keep updating you frequently..But please manage up to this weekend..If needed please tell your boss that I have already met Sharukh and he’s interested..”..
Saying,”will try”,Sridhar disconnected the call..Later on that day,I waited for Suresh Babu’s call but as I feared,he didn’t call..What to do..??..With so much pressure on me,from Sridhar,I was growing restless with every passing minute..
How long can the poor guy,Sridhar,too keep waiting for me..??..First of all why is that Suresh Babu, who’s so eager to take the rights of the film is now not calling me on time..Is everything fine in my life or is there anything fishy that’s already happening..I was going mad with so many doubts and questions in my mind..
Whom should I share my doubts with..???..Who will understand me..???..I didn’t want to share them with my wife and spoil her mood..Of course Hyder is there but he will terrify me further by adding a few more doubts..
Next day,on Tuesday the 26th of July,2005,
I called up Suresh Babu and said,”Sir..I waited for your call yesterday..But you didn’t call..There’s a lot of pressure on me from Appachchan’s office in Chennai..There’s a great demand for the rights is what they say..We will be losing Sharukh if we fail to grab the rights of the film,sir..”
In a cool tone,He said,”Don’t worry ammaa Aditya..That’s how they speak to increase the demand for the rights..I personally know Appachchan well and in fact I have already told him to keep the rights for me.. He cannot dare to give the rights to anyone after I told him to wait..Right now,am busy with a new film release..We shall meet in the next couple of days..Am there to take care of you..Don’t worry..”
How can I not worry and how can I remain silent..??..Like Casabianca sat on fire I too was literally siting on fire,those days..However,I couldn’t dare to say all that to Suresh Babu..Hence,I just said “okay fine sir ” and disconnected the call but my mind started throwing so many doubts on me,one after the other..
“What if Suresh Babu says something similar after two more days..What would be my fate..??..What will happen if I cannot take the rights..??..What will Sharukh do..??..Will he tell the producer,who ever owns the rights later,to take me as director..??..
Why should that producer listen to Sharukh and why in the first case would Sharukh be recommending my name..For him doing the film is more important than Aditya..Any big director in India will jump and come forward to direct Sharukh’s film so why would he need me any more..Am just a nobody..”
I was going mad..Literally mad..
But fortunately,am sorry to say,an unprecedented rainfall began in the city of Mumbai,on that Tuesday, and that came to my rescue..Mumbai received the biggest rainfall of the previous hundred years that day ,that drowned most parts of the city,including the plush area of Juhu..
Even the legendary Amitabh Bachchan’s house in Juhu drowned in water that day..Many people died in those rains and life was completely paralyzed in the ever busy city of Mumbai,for almost three full days later..So no phone calls from Mumbai went to Sridhar as everyone was busy in Mumbai negotiating the rains..
However,my life was not getting any better,with the passing of time,although there was no pressure on me from Sridhar..After two more days of restless waiting I heard a shocking news..Suresh Babu,who was supposed to meet me in the next couple of days,left for Colombo along with his star brother,Venkatesh, to watch the Asia Cup Cricket matches..
I was benumbed..The itinerary for his Colombo trip must have been chalked out at least one week or so in advance but why is that Suresh Babu did not even bother to inform me about it..Why did he do so..??..
Did he do it deliberately knowing well that grabbing the rights of Chandramukhi is more important than watching Cricket live in Colombo or did he completely forgot his commitment to me..Who knows and how to know his plans..Is this film not on his agenda..???..How can he do that..???..”
So many doubts in my mind..Then I told myself,”what is that Suresh Babu has to lose by not doing this film..His hands are full and his coffers are also full..He will do many more films in future as well.. But for me this is a life and death game,man..If I do not grab the rights of Chandramukhi by hook or crook now Sharukh is gone forever from my life..”..
Exactly,at that moment,a dangerous thought rather a dangerous doubt about the games the big players of the film industry play crossed my mind..Am sorry..For reasons of privacy I cannot share my doubt here,however,that made me further more restless..
(Later this doubt of mine turned completely true but not in the way I suspected it,but in the way that I didn’t expect it at all)
That doubt made me all the more restless,as I had a feeling deep inside my mind that the Hindi remake rights of the film Chandramukhi have already gone out of my hands..With severe palpitation knocking my whole body frame down,I have immediately called Sridhar in Chennai and said,
“Sridhar garu ..Hope everything is fine in Chennai..As you must be watching on T V,entire Mumbai city is closed now..Am unable to reach anyone there..Everyone is helpless rather..So nothing can happen this week..Will close the deal next week.. Please inform your boss..”
I was praying to God that he shouldn’t say,”we have already sold the rights to so and so”..To my relief,he just said,”Yes sir..I know nothing can happen this week..I have already informed my boss the same..But please see that our deal is closed at least the next week..”
With great joy in mind,
I bluffed saying,”Of course Sridhar garu..Producer is ready in Mumbai..Once life comes back to normalcy there and flights start operating normally we both shall come to Chennai and close the deal..Thanks for your nice cooperation..I can never forget you in my life..”..
Although I felt relieved that moment,I still know that it was the last chance given to me by Sridhar and there’s no way he can extend that time beyond the next week..
Although I some how bluffed to Sridhar and took time from him for a week,I honestly do not have any alternative producer ready to come forward to buy the rights..Then what to do..??..
I was feeling too sickly that time with stress..Therefore,I have decided to just relax that evening without doing anything and start all my efforts fresh from the next morning..I have by then realized Suresh Babu was a closed chapter for me..
I would be lying if I now say I didn’t thought that moment that,”Suresh Babu wasted four full days of my precious time with his vague promises..”..PERIOD
It was a Friday and was raining heavily in Hyderabad that day..Just to kill my time and divert myself from that enormous stress,I went to watch a Telugu movie,with my family,in Devi theater in Hyderabad, that evening..
At about 8.30 pm
A friend by name Guru Prasad called me from Ananthapur town of Andhra Pradesh..Seeing his call I just walked out of the theater to talk to him..Since Guru is going to play a vital character in this whole drama, it is important to know a few points about him..
Guru did his engineering from Bangalore and further did his post graduation in business administration from the same city..
However,Guru has great passion for films and film making and is still maintaining good deal of contacts with many big names of the Telugu film industry..His dream is not to work as an employee under some one else but to earn a name for himself in the film industry as a director..
Since am his senior in direction and worked in many big projects he would treat me like his elder brother and used to spend a lot of time discussing with me over phone about many aspects of film making and the new media technologies..
Guru also belongs to Kamma community,a caste that is ruling the Telugu film industry,hence has access to many big film production houses in Hyderabad..Right from meeting Sharukh to trying for the rights of Chandramukhi to my negotiations with Suresh Babu,Guru knows every bit of everything I was doing those days..
He just called me,on that evening,to know the updates of the day..I briefed him about everything Suresh Babu did to me and finally said,
“Now,he’s out of the scene,Guru..He may have many compelling reasons to do so and we too have no right to complain about him..Let us forget him..However,my only worry is that our entire problem came back to square one ..We have to begin our search for a new producer all over again..”
Guru replied saying,”That’s okay sir..Why would he care for us..He is a big man and this film is only one of the many films for him..Let us not waste our time discussing about his bigness..If you want I shall talk to both Aswini Dutt and K S Rama Rao..They are big names in Indian film industry and have delivered many block busters with big heroes in Telugu film industry..Shall I talk to them..??..”
Left with no other option,I said “okay”..Next morning Guru called me at about 8 am and said,”Sir..I just spoke to my childhood friend,Raja who is son of K S Ramarao and briefed him about our project..He’s very excited listening to Sharukh’s name in this project..He will call you in five minutes..”
Guru disconnected the call and after five minutes,Raja (Alexander Vallabha) called me and introduced himself to me first..I briefed him about my meeting with Sharukh and his response to my narration..Raja concluded the conversation saying “I will get back to you after I discuss with Dad..”
He called me at about 5 pm,the same day and said,”I spoke to Dad..He’s interested..Please call him right away..He’s waiting for your call..”..Saying so,he gave his Dad’s mobile numbers to me..
Exactly,at 5.30 pm on that day,
I called K.S. Rama Rao – the Chairman of the Telugu film producers council,who in his filmy career had produced many Telugu block busters like “Abhilasha”,”Challenge”,”Rakshasudu” with Chiranjeevi and “Chanti” with Venkatesh – without knowing that he who also produced super hit Hindi film “Criminal” is a big criminal by himself who would be ruining my career and against whom I would be filing a criminal case in Hyderabad,after exactly an year..
Please Click Here to read “Why Did Lord Venkateswara Prevent Me From Directing That Sharukh Khan Film – Part Four”
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