By: Ali Peter John, IndiaFM
Friday, June 01, 2007
The man who started as a young iconoclast, a breaker of idols both of clay and flesh and blood, a man who lived a chaotic, confused, controversial and complex life has been blessed with many lives in this one life which can not be comprehended by even the most enlightened man who claims to know all about this man, Mahesh, a man who some say is mad and some call a mysterious miasma. Just think about the man (it is very difficult to call him just another man because he is a sort of messiah, a misfit in modern times desperately trying to fight and tighten the screws, nails, springs and bolts of a world he believes is falling apart with no one to care because of their multifarious motives and malicious missions).
Mahesh started life as an erratic genius who made films like Arth and Saaransh. He then surprised one and all by giving all that was worldly and joined a Bhagwan (a God) with a fleet of Mercedes cars and luxuries that came from some heaven he had created from himself. Mahesh was Swami Mahesh but he soon got disillusioned with his Bhagwan and his Bhagwan's 'Kalyug Ka Eden' and fled from that fake heaven. He came back to face the demons and demands of every day life. He was soon an expert in fighting wars to change the system and face and is still facing a line of storms and typhoons. He found them coming to him and he never gave up, he took up every fight and fought it with all the fire in him...
He changed his trend of making films. The filmmaker who was seen as a saviour of Indian cinema is now making corrupt entertainers to make money. He had found a new Bhagwan in money and he like the masses believed that it was only money that mattered, only money that made the world go round. It was his brother Mukesh who was his Guru who drilled this mantra into his mind and he fell for it. A new Mahesh was born. Mahesh who once used to walk to the studios for fear of losing touch with the realities of life was a tycoon now, the head of the Bhatt Empire, founded established and run according to his own rules, principles and standards. He has now almost given up directing films and spends more time in guiding young men and women to make films to expose the realities of life like rape, crime, adultery, lusts and all that was dark and hidden in society. The man who was looked upto as a messiah is a messiah now too but he is a messiah of a kind which I could never imagine he could change into. Mahesh also discovered a new Mahesh within him. He was a Mahesh who was hungry to find burning issues in society. He had to just find an issue or a problem and he had the expertise to churn it into a major controversy which some one called "the exploitation of an issue to make headlines and stay in the news" and the man who said this was once his very best friend.
I now find it difficult to recognise the Mahesh Bhatt who I looked up to as a genuine messiah once. I even find myself guilty of believing in him as a messiah during those great times I spent with him. I think it was one of those mistakes I made when I was a young man looking out desperately for a messiah to show the world a new way to live a new life. This man can still change into another life and change the pattern and system of life which is going, going and just going nowhere. I feel if a man like Mahesh Bhatt can make such a big difference to himself, he can also still make a difference which can be very positive, which can be very helpful to a world and a country which needs men with minds which can stay steady and keep fighting to smash and save everything that is wrong and is threatening to tear the future into tatters.