"My First Assistant Director who has her family in the US had a family crisis and had to leave immediately. There we were, without a first AD with 22 actors on location in Jaipur. News about our crisis spread fast and Kiran immediately offered to come to Jaipur to serve as First AD. She got to know on Sunday morning and by Sunday evening she was in Jaipur sorting everything out. This is the spirit in which Dilli 6 has been made." Rakeysh seems to be surrounded by super-efficient women during the making of the film. There's Rakeysh's editor-wife Bharathi.
"I've now left Dilli 6 to her. She's now trying to make sense of my nonsense," chortles Rakeysh. "Seriously I've a great team on board for Dilli 6. My cinematographer Binod Pradhan who was 21 during Rang De Basanti is now 19. The childlike enthusiasm of the whole team has to be seen to be believed."
Ask him about reports of Rakeysh losing his temper and flying off the handle on the sets, and he falls quiet. "I'd say I lost my temper as much as I've the right to with my own child at home. Losing my cool on the sets is a manifestation of our team effort to create something we'd all be proud of."
Incidentally, the RDB writer Rensel d'Silva was on board to write Dilli 6. "But then he got busy. And the scripting was passed on to Kamlesh Pandey. Finally, it's Prasoon Joshi who has put the script in place."
Friday, March 28, was the last day of shooting for Dilli 6. Ab Dilli bilkul door nahin hai. Rakeysh Mehra has just about ten more days of shooting left. Tell Rakeysh that an infinite number of films are now being shot in Delhi and he shrugs, "Delhi is beautiful, vibrant. But so are many other parts of India. I'd love to shoot in Bhopal or Patna for that matter."
But Rakeysh isn't holding his breath about the Friday when Dilli 6 will be released. "Such pressures don't do the film any good. I'd rather work at my own pace. The film will be complete when it will be complete. Why fret about it? No, I've no date of release for Dilli 6. The film will be released whenever it's ready."