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A rendezvous with Yash Chopra

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By: Molly, IndiaFM
Saturday, June 16, 2007
A rendezvous with Yash Chopra

One Sunday morning I discovered a new Yash Chopra. I knew him as one of the greatest filmmaker of India. I knew him as a brother, the owner of one of the most modern studios in India, an ideal younger brother of B.R. Chopra, a good husband and a good father. But I always felt there were something more than all that I knew about him. I discovered the man with a mind, a man with a grateful heart, grateful to God and man who had his own private hearts which can match the thoughts of some of the great sages, saints and prophets and creature of a superior kind. I discovered him again in a talk with Nadine Kreisberg, a French traveler. I give you some of his thoughts. You can form your own opinion about a man who loves to be known as an ordinary man, but what can he do if he is more than just an ordinary man? Some men are created special by God and only God who has created all men equal knows why some men are more equal than other men and God cannot be questioned like Yash Chopra himself says.

YASH CHOPRA, then, my friend

ON SPIRITUALITY: So many people believe in religion and all sorts of gods, but for me, spirituality is first and foremost about one's consciousness. It is about my duty as a human being to other human beings.

ON A SPIRITUAL FORCE: I believe very strongly that all that I have been able to achieve all these years has happened because God has been looking after me and has been protecting me. May be I do not deserve what he has given me, but he definitely has been very kind to me. Of course there were moments of difficulty, of depression. But I believe that you should make palaces out of the stones thrown at you. And I cannot stay idle for very long. So I would focus on the next project, and then the next project and so on. Destiny is a combination of your own work and God's protection. You cannot sit still and expect things to happen.

ON HIS MISSION: Well, I think that God wanted me to do what I do and he could not say it directly, but instead he put those thoughts in my head. My way of being has been as a karmayogi... I did not become a social leader or a politician, or a saadhu - instead, I have been a simple businessman, trying to also be a good human being. God shaped my destiny and I have had to do my duty well.

ON SPIRITUALITY IN LIFE: First of all, I pray every day. I feel that God is with me, I talk to him and treat him as a friend, a guide. Even if I cannot provide some material support, at least a smile or a few good words can help. I am running a company with hundreds of people, and I try to be good to them. Trying to be a good human being, this is spirituality for me.

ON A MIRACLE IN HIS WORK: It was in the early 70s, when I decided to become a producer. I made Daag and showed it to all sorts of people. The overall reaction was that it would never make it commercially and that I would be completely finished. Instead, it was a huge success, and the beginning of my life as a producer.

ON HIS SPIRITUAL INSPIRATIONS: All temples I have visited are an inspiration. People who do good things in life, no matter where, how what, have also inspired me.

ON LIFE AFTER DEATH: I believe this is the only life you got. Don't leave any dream unfulfilled. But if I was to believe in reincarnation, I would like to be a film director again. There is no better job in the world than directing, all aspects of it are just so fantastic.

ON QUESTIONING GOD: Well, how would he answer? You cannot ask questions to God because you can't get a reply. You can only pray.

ON HAPPINESS: It is a state of mind. I do not drink, I do not smoke, I do not have tea or coffee. But a simple glass of lassi can give me happiness. Actually, I feel happiness when I work, when I create something. Happiness is not to be bought, not to be taught, it is inside, it is a mindset. These are words that have come from a simple, honest, sincere and truthful heart. They are not sermons or pravachans or pretensions to philosophies or words used to make an impact or create an impression.

Yash Chopra has always believed in what he says and practices what he believes in. It is very easy to lecture on all kinds of lofty and sanctimonious values but very difficult to practice them. It is not very easy to come out with your most private thoughts to the trial of so many millions of people who look up to you. Yash Chopra has the courage to say what he feels, to do what he wants and to keep on doing things without worrying about what the world says. That is why he is Dr. Yash Chopra, one of the most favourite sons of India, India and all Indians are genuinely proud of.

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