Instead, Rakeysh Mehra together with his leading man Abhishek Bachchan headed for New York on Sunday morning for the Sunday-night screening of Delhi-6 at the super-prestigious Museum Of Modern Art.
Rakeysh spoke in transit from Dubai, "We wanted to finish with this NY screening before having our first screening for cast crew and family. I'm absolutely proud that it's being screened at MOMA. Very proud that they chose Delhi-6. MOMA is not a theatre one can hire for a screening. Their curator saw our film. He sent an email saying it'd be a pleasure to screen our film at MOMA."
No other film from any part of the world ever has been premiered at MOMA.
Rakeysh refused to take the credit. "It's not about just Delhi-6. India is doing well all over the world. So our cinema is bound to benefit from that. Happily for us, Delhi-6 is as Indian as it can get. I haven't designed the film for Western audiences. We need to cultivate a taste for our recipe among western audiences and not cater to their tastes."
But before that on Saturday evening, Rakeysh watched the entire release print on his own. Not even the film's lead pair or the director's wife Bharti, who edits his films, were allowed to join Rakeysh.
"Just me in the theatre with my film. For the sake of watching my film all alone before it's given over to the world, I cancelled my flight to New York on Saturday. I was supposed to leave for NY on Saturday night, I left on Sunday night, just so that I could watch my film with me all alone. I didn't want anyone else with me. After this I don't think I'll watch the film again."
Rakeysh liked what he saw. "I deserved this opportunity to have the entire theatre to myself and watch my baby before it's given over to the world. I've never given this leave-taking to any film of mine earlier. Yeah, I feel the baby can stand up on its own feet now. Not that one can ever be satisfied with what one makes. Rahman once told me getting 90 percent of what you want to create is very hard. But getting from 90 to 91 percent is just as hard. That last lap is impossible to achieve. There's no finishing line. I wish I had one more month with Delhi-6. But it has to go out now."
Rakeysh and his team return to Mumbai on Tuesday for a screening for the cast and crew. "And then we've a formal premiere of Delhi-6 on Thursday, not in Mumbai but Delhi. Why Delhi? It is a film about Delhi, isn't it? My film belongs to Delhi and all the small cities of India."
Concludes Rakeysh, "We've done as much we could for the film. The rest is not up to us."
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra missed his Saturday-night flight to New York for a very special screening of Delhi-6, when the flight left it carried producer Ronnie Screwvala, Sonam Kapoor and Rakeysh's wife Bharti, but not Rakeysh and Abhishek.