Milan Luthria started it with Once Upon A Time In Mumbai, Akshay Kumar is following it up with Action Replayy and Madhur Bhandarkar is trying to get the best of the two into his film Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji. 'Retro' is the new word in Bollywood. A few weeks ago I decided to visit the sets of Madhur's forthcoming comic caper to meet old friend Ajay Devgn and Madhur Bhandarkar. The location was Andheri and the reason was a 'Retro' song being filmed on Ajay Devgn, Shazahn Padamsee. And the woman who made them dance to their tunes was the svelte Shweta Salve.
The song was shot at a place called 100 in Mumbai's busiest suburb. The junior artistes including some foreign bodies (pun intended) were busy rehearsing their steps. Madhur comes from behind and pats my shoulder, "What are you doing here?" he asks. "Came to meet Ajay, thought I would meet you too", I answer. Madhur orders for two chairs as we sit comfortably in front of a large table fan, the ones we see in Indian weddings. I could see the joy in Madhur's eyes for he was making his first commercial comedy movie with one of the most talked about jodis recently - Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi. "It's my first comic film so I'm a bit nervous but I'm more confident too. It's a very simple comedy, nothing which is forcefully done or hams", he quotes. After looking at his watch, he signals one of his men to order some tea or coffee for me. Madhur continues, "And what's important is the fact that Omi Vaidya has taken the film to another level. He is so good." Omi Vaidya is the latest find in Bollywood after 3 Idiots.
In no time, Madhur invites me to come inside the pub where the Retro song is being shot and that's where my eyes meet the beautiful Shazahn Padamsee. She was sitting in a navy blue skirt, almost the knee length with a white and blue top. It looked more of a retro dress to me. To be honest, the entire setting was retro. The choreographer was busy showing the steps to Shweta Salve while Madhur introduces me to Shazahn. The sweet actress thinks and pauses and questions, "We met at the Raajneeti after party right? And you are the one who loved my film Rocket Singh, right?" I had no option but to say 'Yes'.
We get chatty in no time when she asks a weird question, "Have you come here for some gossip news?" I answer, "No, not really. I don't know how to write gossip columns but you can teach me how to write." I ask her how she felt being directed by two of the finest filmmakers of our country - Shimit Amin and Madhur Bhandarkar, both who've branched out from Ram Gopal Varma. "It feels lucky. Am I not lucky to be working with the best in the business? It's good because they are the directors who push the envelope when it comes to acting. They make you try harder and harder. There is no substitute when you work with gems like these", she tells me. Within minutes, the lead actor of the film Ajay Devgn walks in and Shazahn joins him on the dance floor with Salve. Madhur takes one final rehearsal before the actual take. All goes well and I meet Ajay Devgn outside the pub for a quite talk.
Ajay is in good mood. He is wearing a pink pine stripped shirt with beige trousers and glasses. We exchange a few words and off he sets the record straight, "Bro, I don't have much time today, can we do the interview tomorrow?" he asks me. I reply in positive. He instructs his team of some good half a dozen men to make sure that I call him tomorrow but before he flashes off, the actor does say something worthwhile, "Madhur's heart is like a kid's heart. He thinks from the heart too and that's why I am working with him in our first film together. That's why all his films have a heart. No wonder the title of his new film reads Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji."