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How Rekha-Nana sparred in Yatra

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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bipin Kumar Bohra's Yatra has been a wonderful experience for the production house, director Gautam Ghosh, and music director, Khayyam.

But some of the film's memorable moments came when the two powerhouse performers of the silver screen, Rekha and Nana Patekar, had some fiery moments off screen - though all in good fun.

Nana's jig

What happened between Rekha and Nana? Says Ghosh, "Nana likes to fool around and crack jokes. Every time he did a shot, and I cried 'Excellent!', he would get up and do a little jig, and raising his hands, clap them in the hair. While we would laugh at Nana's antics, Rekha would get irritated.

But it was all in good fun. These things happen with producers, directors and stars. When you have two temperamentally different people working in your film, such things happen. It is up to the filmmaker to handle it."

So, how was it working with them both? "It's a wrong impression that people have of Nana, that he is interfering and gets too involved in the filmmaking process; he never interfered. In fact, while Nana hardly looked at the video monitor, Rekha would want to take a peek every now and then - but I told her not to look, as the images are very bad.

She would say 'na dada, let's have one more take', but I said no, the shot was fine. Nana never bothered, but left the shots to me. But I was very impressed by Rekha's professionalism. For every dance sequence, she would rehearse four to five days before the scene, and come completely prepared. I found Rekha's range of emoting simply amazing.

When she performed a dance choreographed by Saswati Sen, she was a perfect picture of poise and grace. Her histrionic confrontations with Nana are worthy of being watched."

Rekha's 'suggestions'

Adds Vohra, "It's been a great experience working with Nana and Rekha; they got along very well. I remember a particular scene where both had high-powered dialogues. Nana meets Rekha after getting the award. They both carried it off so well. In fact, Rekha never threw tantrums on the sets. She had suggestions for the betterment of the film, which we accepted.

For example, she thought that since people would go to see Rekha, they would expect her to do a mujra. We incorporated these suggestions. I am very satisfied with the way the film has shaped up. Nana, Rekha and Dipti Naval went out of their way, cooperating fully to complete the film."

Yatra: Storyline

The story revolves around Dasarath Joglekar (Nana Patekar), a renowned author who is travelling to New Delhi to receive a prestigious literary award for his novel, Janaza. During the journey, he comes across a young and enterprising director (Nakul Vaid) who is his ardent admirer.

The central character of Janaza, Lajwanti (Rekha), becomes a point of attraction for the filmmaker, and he decides to film the book. The story takes dramatic twists and turns to unfold into a gripping climax.

Says Rekha, "I was really fascinated by the character of Lajwanti in Yatra. It has given me various shades of a complete woman, and I truly enjoyed performing it. Saroj Khan's choreography is really praiseworthy, as I have been able to put in my best." 

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