Posts tagged kolhapur
The sequel has now been delayed because creative differences have cropped up between producer Karan Johar and director Tarun Mansukhani
For those who were waiting for the sequel for Dostana, this one is for you. The film has run into trouble, owing to the creative differences between the producer Karan Johar and director Tarun Mansukhani.
There is an element of disagreement over the second half between the director Tarun Mansukhani and producer Karan Johar. A source reveals, “Karan is not very happy with the script and especially the second half. He has asked Tarun to re-work the second half and take as much time as he wants to.
|Tarun Mansukhani||Karan Johar|
The movie for now has been postponed to an indefinite period. Karan heard the script before leaving for London.”
The source continues, “The differences were quite storng. Karan did not encourage what Tarun had penned and despite Tarun’s repeated attempts Karan did not budge.
They both had different points of view and failed to come to a common ground. The movie has been getting postponed for some reason or the other. Sometimes there were date issues with the three stars and then the script itself.”
“In fact the immediate crew has been asked to take their time off from the pre-production till Tarun is ready with the script, approved by Karan. There were also supposed to shoot a grand song in a circus next month and were doing a reccee in Kolhapur for the same to get some references. Everything has been called off and cancelled,” adds the source.
While Karan remained unavailable for comment, Tarun said, “Karan and I have collectively taken a call to delay the start of filming by a few months so as to gain more prep time. Dostana will still release as per schedule in the second half of 2011.”
He adds, “There is absolutely no discord between Karan and myself.”
|A still from Dostana|
Is Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai about him or not? Read this life-sketch of the legendary smuggler and check for yourself
For Bollywood scriptwriters who tend to seek inspiration from the underworld, Haji Mastan would be hard to resist. Movies like Deewar and Mukkadar Ka Sikandar were loosely based on the life of this smuggler.
As Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai is all set to release next week – with a disclaimer as directed by court - we put together the stories from the life behind the legend.
Contrary to his eulogised figure in movies, Mastan was no dreaded don or gangster. He had never killed a man or shot a bullet in his entire life. He was merely a smuggler with money and connections. What turned him into our Don Corleone was his penchant for exhibition - of power in Robin Hood style and of luxury in the company of the glamour world.
|Haji Mastan with Sona, a starlet he fancied, financed movies for and later married|
Haji Mastan was born Mastan Haider Mirza on March 1, 1926 in Panaikulam village near Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.
His father, an impoverished farmer, migrated to Mumbai with Mastan in 1934. They ran a small cycle-repair shop near Crawford Market that barely fed the family.
As Mastan toiled through the day at the shop, Mumbai’s cruel wealth whizzed past him in luxury cars and beamed through the posters of art-deco film theatres. No wonder, he started nursing fantasies of breaking out of his circumstances.
In 1944, Mastan joined the Bombay docks as a porter - a job that turned his life on its head. Unloading cargo that came from Aden, Dubai, Hong Kong and other cities, amiable Mastan, developed good relationships with much of the staff and officers, and most importantly, regular travellers.
Because of heavy taxes on electronic goods, gold and silver, there was room for smuggling. This is where Mastan came in.
Retired ACP Isaque Bagwan, who saw the rise and fall of Haji Mastan, recalls, “People who came back from Haj brought electronic items like transistors and watches. Some of them even brought gold biscuits. Mastan helped them smuggle these items out of the port by hiding them in his clothes, headband or underwear. He was well rewarded.”
Mastan’s adopted son Sunder Shekhar, 54, shares a dramatic story of how his father earned the trust of the hajis and regular travellers. “A man was trying to smuggle gold biscuits with the help of my father.
|In the ’80s, Mastan had formed the Dalit Muslim Suraksha Mahasangh with Dalit leader Jogendra Kawade|
While my father managed to sneak out with the biscuits, the man was caught. After three years of imprisonment, when he came out, my father returned him all the gold. That man never did business with anyone but my father after that.”
The big game, however, started when Mastan came in contact with Daman’s fisherman-turned-smuggler Sukur Narayan Bakhia in the mid ’50s. Both became partners and smuggled gold and electronic items from Dubai and Aden.
By mid ’60s, Mastan had become rich and powerful, thanks to underworld friends like Karim Lala and Varadrajan Mudaliar and politicians who hobnobbed with him because of his influence over Mumbai’s Muslim voters. “Sanjay Gandhi never missed the opportunity to visit daddy, when he came to Mumbai,” says Sunder.
|Mastan with underworld don Karim Lala. Both were good friends|
Mastan was almost out of bounds for the law. However, there was one Customs officer who gave him a tough time. When Mastan could not buy his integrity, he got him transferred.
When the officer was leaving the city in a flight, a gloating Mastan went to the airport, climbed the flight ladder and waved the officer goodbye. “That was the clout and confidence that Mastan had in the ’70s,” says former DGP T Singarvel, who was in Mumbai at that time.
He adds, “Even when he was arrested in 1974, the two officers who arrested him gave him king’s treatment at a night halt in Kolhapur, with Mastan dressed in impeccable whites enjoying bowls of dry fruits. His arrest itself came after then union minister of state for finance sat on a dharna in Delhi.”
Since mid ’60s Baitul Surur, Mastan’s palatial bungalow on Warden Road in South Mumbai also saw a constant stream of stars.
“During ’70s, daddy had excellent relationship with Dharmendra, Firoz Khan, Raj Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar and Dilip Kumar. Salim and Amitabh often visited him while Deewar was in the pipeline,” says Sunder.
|All his life, Mastan lived in a 15×10 feet room on the terrace of his plush bungalow on Warden Road||Mastan when he was young|
Mastan married a starlet called Sona and financed a few films for her. However, neither Sona’s career as an actress nor his as a filmmaker took off. “His films either bombed or never saw the light of day,” says Sunder.
With these indulgences, Mastan was also trying to shake off his past -poverty and infamy. “He wore designer suits, ties and his hair was neatly combed back. He had a Mercedes Benz, plush with TV and radio, and puffed 555 cigarettes. If someone spoke to him in English, he would just keep saying: ‘Yeah, yeah’,” says Sunder.
The 18-month incarceration during Emergency, however, took the wind out of Mastan’s sails. He became increasingly scared of the law. Surrendering to Janata Party leader Jayaprakash Narayan, he quit smuggling. He went on a haj and started prefixing his name with Haji, which means ‘devout Muslim’.
While he held janata darbars in his heydey, in the late ‘70s, he went on a social work overdrive. “He doled out money to the needy or solved their problems through his influence. There used to be a queue in front of the bungalow every day for food,” says Sunder.
|Mastan with his son Sunder and actor Sunil Dutt|
In early ’80s, he made political forays by teaming up with Dalit leader Jogendra Kawade and formed the Dalit Muslim Suraksha Mahasangh, which was as unsuccessful as his films.
Before his death due to cardiac arrest in 1994, Mastan had started spending more and more time with his family, which he had ignored before. “Once he took me to our native place by train. He sat by the window like a child looking at hills and rivulets and animatedly calling our attention,” says daughter Shamshad.
Despite all his efforts, people didn’t accept him either as a filmmaker or as a politician. People liked him as the smuggler who played godfather. Mastan struggled to shake off this image, which Bollywood has since lapped up.