Subhash Ghai on Turning 80 and Still Making Movies: I’ve Never Seen Any of My Movies Until Now… | Bollywood

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Subhash Ghai is turning 80, but in his own words he feels “still 40 and still naughty”. He laughs and says he’s not a birthday girl. “It is a very intimate affair with family. But they want to celebrate it more than I do. A birthday is like any other day to me. I get up, exercise and leave for work. Even today I wake up at 7 and work 10 hours every day. I am as good as I was when I was 40, I never realized what my calendar age was,” he says.

The director of several hits like Karz (1980), Meri Jung (1985), Kaalicharan (1976), Pardes (1997) among others, is still working on a web series and movies. He is also the creative director at one of them. However, he surprises us when he reveals that he has never seen any of his work until now.

“I have always made different films. I made a Yaadein, and also a Black and White. Khalnayak, Ram Lakhan… each film was a different experiment for me. I never liked to repeat myself. The moment a movie is over, it’s over for me forever. You will be surprised that I have never seen my earlier films. TV par bhi agar kabhi aati hai I just smile and change the channel. I remember audiences back then, how in theaters there would be a lower and upper stall, a balcony,” he says.

But over time, the connection to the masses seemed to undergo a fleeting change. Movies today are mostly about the first weekend collections, rather than how long they stayed in theaters. A lot has changed. Ghai feels that the fascination with how it’s done in the West has definitely influenced our sensibilities. The filmmaker says: “We are Indians and we have an Indian audience. Main ek bhartiya hoon aur bhartiya cinema banata hoon, isme main clear hoon. I always make Indian films for an Indian audience.”

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He feels that makers nowadays think in English and write in Hindi. He continues: “The problem is that makers think in English and make in Hindi. Aise kaise chalega? Jis bhasha mein movie banani hai ussi bhasha mein sochna chahiye. Satyajit Ray never tried to win over the Hindi cinema market. He used to say, ‘I am a Bengali man, who knows the Bengali culture and language, hence I will make films in that language’. You see Korean, or any other world cinema, they make films in their own language, their own roots lie there. This is important.”

Ghai also says it’s similar to how a poor man is attracted to wealth, not knowing the problems that come with being on the other side. “Jitne hum gareeb hote hain, utni ameeri se attraction hoti hai. If you’re doing an Easter party, you should be having an Easter party. Hindustrani bachhe samajhte hain western ban jaayenge toh tarakki kar jaayenge. Yeh galat fehmi hai,” he says.

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