Apparently, the director was dead against slipping in the steamy stuff into his film. But Mahesh Bhatt insisted. And now when the film Tum Mile is on the verge of release, Kunal has put his foot down about the inclusion of what he sees as an embarrassing titillating intervention.
Initially hesitant to discuss the pow-wow with his mentor, Kunal Deshmukh finally conceded there was problem with Mahesh Bhatt. "It's true, I never wanted the song “Dil Ibaadat" to be filmed in that steamy way. In fact, I shot it completely differently in the way Bhatt Saab had shot the song “Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar" in Arth. My film is about an estranged couple who meet after six years in the July 26 deluge that swept Mumbai."
But when Bhatt saw the song, he put his foot down and asked Kunal to re-do it. Says Kunal, "I was very uncomfortable with the idea. But I had no choice because Bhatt saab is a pro. He has been in the business for thirty years whereas I'm just two films old and completely new to these marketing strategies."
Though Deshmukh gave in to Bhatts' pressure, he now wants the song removed. "The way I shot the song earlier as homage to Bhatt Saab's “Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar" makes more sense in my film. I won't let them release the film with that steamy song."
However, Mahesh Bhatt refuses to relent. "Kunal is bright director. He shot “Dil Ibaadat" as homage to my Arth song. But imitating my work does not flatter me. It's over and done with. I left direction to get away from myself on screen. The last thing I need is to see clones of my work. Kunal and I are fighting it out."
What happened to Mahesh Bhatt's non-interfering clause? "I still maintain it. But when an exceptional talent like Kunal Deshmukh uses older references I owe it to him to nudge him to his own idiom."
Kunal however remains adamant. "I'll have my song restored in my film in its original form. Like I said I'm not used to all these eyeball-grabbing tactics. Recently, some media linked me to Kangana Ranaut when all we were doing was meeting up for a coffee. Some would consider that to be good press. But I cringed."