Hum sab ne apni zindagi bech di hai aakdo ke liye: Ketan Mehta

Radhika Dhawad | Feb 14, 2017 19:00

Ketan Mehta - Supreet (2)
Ketan Mehta (Photo by: Supreet Kapoor)

In a career spanning more than four decades director Ketan Mehta has given us many films, documentaries and television serials. The National award winning director last directed the movie ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi who worked for 22 years and carved a path through a mountain. In a conversation with Nation Next, Ketan Mehta spoke about ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ and told us why he will always choose quality cinema over the ‘100 crore mark.’

Lessons from ‘Manjhi’

Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ was an inspiring real life story and so there’s a lot one can learn from the movie. Speaking about the movie, Ketan said, “The movie is a symbol of never say die spirit. I hope that from the movie, the audience learns that nothing is impossible. Manjhi makes you realize that if you put your heart into something, you can make the impossible possible.” Speaking further about Dashrath Manjhi on whose life the film was based, Ketan added, “I hope the government honours Dashrath Manjhi. There was a movement, which was started two years back in Bihar where the people wanted Bharat Ratna for Manjhi. I support them because I think he’s the biggest icon of post-independence India.” Interestingly, Manjhi’s producer Deepa Sahi had said once that she was afraid working for the movie in Bihar as Bihar is high on crime. Speaking about the location of the film, Ketan said, “Everybody had warned us against going to Bihar because there was a naxal-infested area in the remote parts. But when I came across the mountains at the location, I realized that it was the most apt location.”

Quality cinema first

It’s no secret that today the success of most films is measured by the 100 crore mark at the box office. Speaking about the 100 crore tag on films, Ketan said, “Aakdo mein kya rakha hai dost? (What’s there in numbers my friend?) Hum sab ne apni zindagi bech di hai aakdo ke liye. (We all have sold ourselves for money.) For me, cinema is a medium, which is bigger than the numbers. Today, the moment the audience step out of the theatres, they forget the film. If people remember my film and even one percent of those people get inspired, that’s a big thing for me.”