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Shahrukh with his trusted friend

 
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No one knows this. But super-cinematographer-filmmaker Santosh Sivan, who shot Shahrukh Khan's production Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and also directed him in the memorable Asoka, is one of the superstar"s closest and most loyal friends. But with a difference.

Unlike SRK's other chadhi buddies who make themselves visible and audible around the superstar, Santosh Sivan isn"t seen or heard. He just does what's expected from him. So when in the middle of the shooting of Billu, Santosh got a call from SRK to come to Mumbai. Santosh immediately set aside his own work in Chennai and headed to the mecca of entertainment.

It turned out, SRK wanted the ace-cinematographer to shoot the superstar's entry sequence on a mo-bike accompanied by the pounding sounds of Pritam Chakraborty's Ae aa oh. Though the cinematographer of Billu is V. Manikanandan, Santosh, who would normally never impinge on a colleague's territory, made an exception. For friendship sake. Quite a homage to a film that celebrates friendship.

Santosh said, "Shah asked me to. And no one says no to Shah. Also, I had shot last for Priyadarshan 12 years ago for Kala Pani. And that film had got me the National award. For Billu I shot Shah's rock scenes where he interacts with fans on a mo'bike. We shot at Mukesh Mills for two days."

Santosh is now planning to direct and shoot a film which Shahrukh will produce and play the lead.

The shy filmmaker said, "With Shah it's always special.".

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