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By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
No Smoking producer Kumar Mangat has just returned from a shooting schedule in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and has a hilarious tale to tell.
Apparently, John Abraham tried to rescue director Anurag Kashyap and Mangat from sliding down a snowy, 20-foot slope, but ended up joining them in the slide until the unit could manage to pull all three of them back to the top!
Cause and effect
Says Mangat, "We were shooting for No Smoking in Punkunt, which is about 80 kms from Tashkent. It's bitterly cold there with tempera- tures dropping to minus 25 degrees and only miles and miles of snow.
One day, while walking around, my feet slipped and I went sliding down a slope. Fortunately, Anurag managed to grab my hand but he too got pulled down. John chased us and caught hold of Anurag, but he too lost his balance, fell on the ground and started sliding down with us!
We were all laughing so much that we forgot the gravity of the situation. Finally, some unit members managed to pull us back up. If they hadn't managed to catch us, we would have continued sliding and fallen off a steep cliff."
Mangat says that the cast and crew could only travel using jeeps and horses there. He says, "It was so chilly that even the generator would freeze up in the night. In the morning, it would be covered with icicles and we would have to keep heating it till it sparked back to life!
Even our sets would freeze and change colours because of the bitter cold. We had to repaint them every morning. But we had a blast shooting the film. Every day, John and the rest of the crew would have snowball fights. One day, we even buried our photographer Toto in the snow!"
Talking about the film, Mangat says, "Since No Smoking is about the hazards of smoking, I would impose a fine of Rs 500 on any member my cast and crew who smoked on set. But even though I increased the fine to Rs 1,000, some people still broke the rules! So far, I have collected Rs 1.48 lakh in fines which I intend to give away to charity."
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