Spurred by the poignant story of Auro in Balki's Paa, Bihar's chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced financial aid for the two Bihari progeric brothers Eqramul and Ali Hussein.
Balki is delighted by the impact of the film. "Now that's the kind of story one likes to hear about Paa. But let me repeat we did not make Paa to spotlight Progeria."
However, distancing the film and its content from the disease seems to be getting progressively difficult. The Progeria Research Foundation in the US is now showing a keen interest in Paa. Says Balki, "I'd be only too happy for them to watch the film and decide how Paa could spread awareness about Progeria."
Once members of the Progeria Research Foundation watch Paa, later this month, the director intends to take his film further as a progeric vehicle. Balki is amused by all the attacks on the Progeric theme that have come from within the industry.
A very prominent director says, "That isn't how a Progeria patient looks. Balki has made Mr Bachchan look like a rubber doll."
Balki can't stop laughing. "I'm glad my film has made the whole industry experts on Progeria. But the fact of the matter is, we know exactly what Progeric kids look like. Amitji and I watched dozens of film clippings to understand the way Progeric children look and behave. And Amitji got it dead-on."