Nothing impossible for uncle Dev Anand and me: Shekhar Kapur

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS,

Mumbai: Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who has made up with his uncle Dev Anand after eight years, describes the legendary actor as a “karmyogi, completely fearless” and says he is in many ways like the evergreen star.

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“It was a time of great reflection for me. As I looked back, I suddenly realised I hadn’t met this amazing man, Dev saab, for almost eight years. I told myself it’s time to learn a little bit about life from Dev saab,” Kapur told IANS.

“He’s a karmyogi, completely fearless. I admire myself for being completely fearless. But I think he is even more fearless than I am,” he said about his 86-year-old uncle.

Kapur regrets not having been in touch with Dev saab.

“I didn’t even meet him after Goldie (Vijay Anand) saab’s death. My fault. I was constantly travelling in recent years. I needed to re-connect with this amazing man who has gone through so many ups and downs in his life and yet continues to be tireless in his enthusiasm to make films.

“Wherever he goes, he’s cheered and applauded. Maybe people don’t like to see his films any more. But the love for the man simply grows wherever he goes,” he said.

One of the greatest stars of the Hindi film industry, Dev Anand epitomised the suave, urban gentleman’s image in Hindi films in movies like “Munimji”, “CID”, “Hum Dono”, “Jewel Thief” and “Johny Mera Naam”. He also directed hits like “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” and “Des Pardes”.

Kapur says he loves challenges just like his uncle. “Tell me something can’t be done and I’ll do it. Ever since I was a kid, I’d swim into the deep ocean. I’d ride the motorcycle the wrong way to see if death can get me. Don’t turn to me or Dev saab and say something is impossible. They told me it was impossible for an accountant to be a director. I proved them wrong.”

Kapur made his mark as a director in Bollywood with “Masoom”, “Mr. India” and “Bandit Queen”. Later he moved to Hollywood and carved a niche for himself by making “Elizabeth” and “Four Feathers”.

The talented filmmaker has come away from his meeting with his indefatigable uncle determined to correct the sparseness of his output.

“I know I haven’t made that many movies. Look at Dev saab’s output. But the the fact is after directing ‘The Golden Age’ (sequel to ‘Elizabeth’), I became keenly interested in New Media.

“Two guys in a garage got together and conceived YouTube. That made the way we access the world completely different. I started learning and lecturing on New Media because I thought sharing information and not harping on copyrights was the new mantra,” said Kapur.

Kapur will now concentrate on making more films.

“There’s no point in doing something unless your heart is in it. Right now my heart is completely into making movies, and not the Hollywood comic book kind of spectacles, please. Such films merely use my skills.

“And I’m a very skilful visualist. I’ll make the films that I’ll come out of satisfied after two years. I made three short films that gave me immense satisfaction,” said Kapur who recently made the short film “New York I Love You”.

He says it taught him the value of experimentation.

“Why can’t a film be like a symphony? Why are we stuck on telling stories. Nobody looks at a painting and asks what’s the story. I want to make films that make suggestions and create an emotional connect with the audience.”

He is also designing a whole array of art on the theme “Frozen In Time”.

“They are all in celebration of how we use water. I had become a water activist, led greenpeace movements against global warning. I led a conference and designed a chandelier which will soon be in the market. Now it’s time to make movies.”

Kapur, who turned 64 on Dec 6, says he has also resolved to spend more time with his nine-year-old daughter Kaveri. The father and daughter have been travelling extensively together.

“It’s fascinating to get into a mindscape so young. Kaveri is inquisitive, defiant and wise. I must say being with her is of prime importance at this stage of my life.”

(Subhash K. Jha can be contacted at [email protected])