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Shekhar Kapoor talks about Elizabeth

By: Subhash K. Jha, IndiaFM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shekhar Kapoor is ready to make films out of Mumbai again. "I long to make all those films that I wanted to make in Mumbai years ago and was stopped by well-wishers who said, 'Tu bahut aage ka sochta hai.' When I made Mr India I was told, 'Who'd see Invisible Man in India?' But it was very successful. Now I'm reviving my old Time Machine, though I'll only be producing it."

The Elizabeth sequel has intrigued, angered and fascinated Western audiences. "I've taken up the story from where the first film ended six years ago. It isn't an easy thing to do. Everybody in the West wants to know why certain elements in the first Elizabeth film are not there in the second. But it's the studio that controls the script. My personal subtext for the story was this. If you say you're divine then how you do avoid the worldly things like falling in love, having sex, babies…how can these urges be controlled? How do you interpret divine rights? I notice politicians today have begun to believe they've the divine right to make decisions on people's behalf. I now understand why George Bush went to war against Iraq. He believed he was doing the just thing because a lot of people around him believe that a battle between Islam and Christianity is on the cards. That's what they're getting ready for. And that belief in divine rights and justice is one of the themes of my film."

The release of his elegiac stately serene and often sublime Elizabeth: The Golden Age has brought Bollywood's most prized import Shekhar Kapoor back to his roots. "Yes I'm here to promote my film. I've been with the film all over the word, Australia being my last stopover. But there's a much larger reason for being here in Mumbai. And it's my daughter Kaveri. For now Suchitra and I share the same house, until we work out another arrangement. The financial arrangements have been made. We now have the huge responsibility of bringing up our daughter. At the moment my highest priority in life-much higher than making movies-is to give my daughter a sense of security."

Shekhar doesn't want to miss out on Kaveri's growing years. "When she was born she lived with me in London for three years. After that I was traveling and filming. So yes, I did miss out on a part of her growing up. As a father I feel it's my responsibility to make it up to her. You know there's a tradition in all families of fathers going out on bread-earning adventures and missing out on their children's childhood. I want to change that. I want to develop a relationship with Kaveri and get to know her. She's seven. While I've been traveling across the world Kaveri would come along, be with me during holidays. She was with me in Turkey for the film festival and now, at this very minute, Kaveri is coming along with me to Goa."

Kaveri has just got a dog and she's busy playing with it. "The affection for me has now been deflected to the dog. But that's okay," says the proud and affectionate father.

Shekhar's ex-wife Suchitra was quite bitter about their parting. Shekhar is reluctant to talk about her. "What's important right now is that we both behave like very responsible parents. We're divorced and leading our own separate lives. Hopefully one day we'll find the happiness that we're both seeking in our lives. That's the time when the angst will evaporate. But we've to remember; when we've a child we've an incredible responsibility."

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