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"I'll never work with Ramu" - Manoj Bajpai

By: Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaFM
Friday, March 02, 2007
"I will never work with Ram Gopal Verma again," stated Bhiku Bhai Manoj Bajpai in response to being asked when the cinegoers can see him working with his one-time-mentor Ram Gopal Verma. While he kept his answer to this query crisp and clear, Bajpai spoke elaborately and exclusively about his next film 1971 at its music launch on board the majestic IMS Vikrant at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. This ship which happens to be a museum now, participated during the 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the partition of Bangladesh into a separate nation. The film is based on the lives of Prisoners of War captured by Pakistan forces during the India-Pakistan war of 1971. Ask Bajpai about why he is doing so few films off late and he shoots back, "Pinjar happened two years ago...it's not such a big gap....this year you shall see several releases featuring me starting with 1971."

Apart from Manoj Bajpai, 1971 also stars Bigg Boss of Bhojpuri cinema Ravi Kishan and Deepak Dobriyal. Grandson of legendary film maker Ramanand Sagar, Amrit Sagar turns director with this unusual subject. "It's a film with a purpose. If we can honour 54 POWs who haven't come back after the 1971 war, it will be great," he said amidst applause from dignitaries mostly comprising of high ranking officers from the Indian Navy.

Here it must be added that the setting for this music launch was unusual. It gave a high to be in the close proximity of big ships, big naval machinery and smart disciplined officers in pristine white uniforms enjoying their well served drink on an open air cool evening. And when singer Shibani Kashyap unleashed the mesmerizing theme song Sehlenge Hum from the film, the air was rife with goose pimples and pin drop silence. One could feel the loud silent Cheers to the spirit of freedom. Kashyap later profusely praised lyricist Dev Kohli and debutante music director Akash Sagar.

One must also say that Shibani Kashyap is a singer to watch out for. For the range of her vocals, the texture of her voice and the presence of genuine heart-felt-emotions that she displayed in the live rendition of Sehlenge Hum is highly commendable. The 19 year old music composer Akash Sagar must be lauded for his effort as well. He started playing piano at the age of seven. And for the last two years he has worked only on the music of 1971 which boasts of four tracks and two remixes. He also does his own orchestration while laying the music tracks. "Composing music for this film has been the best experience of my life," he said.

The music was formally launched by The Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Sangram Singh Pyce. 1971 seems to be an interesting film. With an intense actor like Manoj Bajpai heading the credits, it must be something to look forward to....Come 9th March and you shall find it out for yourself....

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