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When is Nagesh Kukunoor most nervous? On the first-day shooting of his new film? Gauging the first-day feedback of the paying public? Or going through the first-day box-office collections [the opening response at movieplexes]? None of the above! "I used to be a bundle of nerves when the first show [of his new film] would conclude, waiting impatiently for the audience reaction to my film. I try not to think about these issues today," Kukunoor admits.
But what makes him nervous is the censorship committee's reactions. "I've sleepless nights before they [censors] watch my film. I don't know how the panel that watches my film would react to it," he states. In the past, Kukunoor's films have faced problems at the censors. "It's only after Iqbal that they [censors] feel that the kind of cinema I make won't really hurt the sensibilities. But I am genuinely petrified when they watch my film," he smiles.
His new film, Bombay To Bangkok, had its share of hiccups as well. "One of the censor panelists objected to the usage of the word 'underwear' in a sequence. I didn't want to lock horns over a non-issue, so I decided to dub the word into 'kapde' [outfit]. Had they objected to the word used for ladies' undergarments, I may've agreed to their viewpoint since that's one word we Indians don't really use in our day-to-day conversation. But 'underwear'?! Aren't the television and newspapers full of ads of undergarments?" he chuckles.
Well, one has heard of models being asked to dress civilly by the moral police, but the usage of a word ['underwear'] in a dialogue can also be objectionable in Hindi films.