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Jahnu Baruah- In and across the boundaries....

 


? You mentioned once that you have two weaknesses- Ocean and the other that the characters in your movies should be those whom you have at least seen once. Did you ever meet ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara’s main character?

J.B : Though it is exactly not similar to the character of "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara", yet i have experienced one such character in my life. I have tried to portray that experience through the character of Anupam Kher in the movie. Here I would clearly like to state that if I would have not met that character, my planning would have been totally different. Before making "Konikar Ramdhenu", I often went to some of the ‘Juvenile Home’s to exchange views with the people staying there. Due to one special cause I had to go to a "Juvenile Home" in Pune three times. There only a very good relation grew up between me and one of the employees. Exchange of views with that employee became a regular routine. One day when I was talking to him on a completely different topic suddenly he started shouting- " I did not want to kill him sir. I did not injured him with the churi in my hand. But he died. He was a very good friend of mine...." I did not understand anything. But I came to know from the principal of the Juvenile Home that a certain incident has occurred in that persons life which keeps disturbing him were often and he starts shouting like that. I met that employees doctor also. All this points I have tried to bring out through the character of Uttam Choudhury (acted by Anupam Kher) in "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara."

? But after the release of your movie, the critics questioned the reality of the story and the character.

J.B : The psychologist and people who have met that employee who have talked to him could only pass such comments about the reality of the character. Not going into the depth, it is not legitimate to raise question on reality. I would like to mention here that before starting the movie, I talked to the psychologists about the matter. In our society there are many people like Uttam Chaudhury. There are even examples of people keeping a person hidden from others if the society due to various reasons. After talking to the psychologists it became clear to me that many do not feel even anything about this disease. Any ways, in answer to your question if any psychologist raises any question on my movie or its characters I will definitely pay attention to it.

? "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara" was not your first Hindi movie. As I know your worked on "Butterfly Chase" and two more Hindi movies. As I the base of the film lies on " Kashmir." Was there any difficulty if it would have been "Assam" instead of "Kashmir."

J.B : Actually, the problem is of Assam. Taking the problem of Assam in view, I wrote the story but the subject is universal. In the film I have tried to depict how has "terrorism" affected the society. I have tried to capture through the camera how terrorism has lessened the pace of development of the society. I wrote the story in 1989.

? Another two movies of this production..?

J.B : Talk is going on, not finalized yet......

? Anything about the subjects...

J.B: Have patience, I will definitely open up but after sometime. Before completing the initial tasks, I would not like to speak about the subject to the audience. Will it not be letting the audience know everything if I speak to you about the subject? Just keep in mind, both like "Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara" will be serious movies.

? You once stated in a answer to one of my questions that you will not make any more Assamese movie. Bur later on, I have seen a completely opposite answer in a newspaper that you are planning to make a Assamese movie.

J.B : Sometimes it happens that I become very angry seeing the response of the audience and the business done by the movies. At that point of time, if you or somebody else come to talk to me, the anger gets exposed. May be during one such moment I commented like that. You can take those as my perturbations. But never in my life I can give up making assamese movies. If i was not interested in Assamese Movies my carrier would have definitely started in Mumbai. I am a child of Assam and i am definitely responsible towards the state. But the present situations of Assamese Cinema have disrupted me in starting to direct a new Assamese movie. In further times, I will definitely think about it.

? What is your present difficulty? The producers......?

J.B : I do not think that there is any scarcity of producers. Many producers have even talked to me. But as a director, do not I have any responsibility towards the producers? Should not the producers get back the money they have invested? I think that it is the directors responsibility to make the producers get back their money. In todays date there is no way of a producer of Assamese movie getting back the invested money.

? ..Let us come to another topic. Renowned director of Bollywood Prakash Jha once stated that there is no scarcity of money in the Bollywood market but yet the directors have to make compromises in each and every step. Did you ever faced this difficulty?

J.B : Yes, but the boundary lines fixed by the producers are not important to me.

? Since the words "boundary lines" have come into discussion, do you believe in the line of boundary between commercial and serious movies?

J.B : There is definitely a distinction between the two classes. A director is also an artist. A directors thoughts are always different from others. As an artist his aim is always to give something worthwhile to the audience. His way of thinking may not be same as those of the common people. If the directors likes to work according to his own views ,his creation will naturally be something different from other works.Now I must have been able to make it clear how both the classes of movies differ from each other.

? We can definitely say that you are a director who never compromises. Now, I would like to know-has any work of any director ever impressed you.

J.B : It is not possible for me to state here the name of any one director. During the first stage of my life (college days)i never watch the movies keeping in mind that one day I will become a director or never due to any liking towards the medium. But I watched all kinds of movies. During my college days the question that often come to my mind was - how do people make movies? I started studying the subject. I never had any attraction towards glamour but when I started watching movies in Guwahati, I understood that this medium is a very powerful one. Slowly I started bringing books from Kolkatta and concentrated more on the subject. On the other hand, I became a regular viewer of the movies screened by Guwahati Cine Club. During this period, one movie greatly attracted my attention. The name of that Romanian movie is "Bamboo Stolen." It was shown in the movie how can atomic energy be helpful to the people if used in a proper way. I was a student of science. The knowledge that I gained by watching the movie, even ten years of academic study was not able to give me that much of knowledge . That movie developed in my mind an attraction towards direction of movies.

? At last , I would like to know one thing - who is the Indian Director whose selection of subject matter and treatment of the subject has very much attracted your attention.

J.B : Not any special director, but special works always attracts me. Every director has got his or her own style. Ritwik Ghatak s choice of subjects is really astonishing and have always attracted me. Regarding treatment of the subject directors like G. Arabindan, Girish Kasrawali really

attracts me. In every sequence of their movies , their responsibility towards the movies pours forth.

-By Utpal Mena.