Mahesh Bhatt was born on September 20, 1949 in Mumbai into a family of film makers. He dropped out of college in 1970 and took to filmmaking. Beginning his career as an assistant to director Raj Khosla, he went on to direct his first movie at the age of twenty-one. His movie Saransh won him the Special Jury Award at the Moscow Film Festival in 1985. Mahesh Bhatt became famous with his movies like Arth (1982), Janam (1985) and Naam (1986). He is known for his unconventional style of filmmaking and his subjects, which reflect many of his experiences in life. In 1998, his movie Zakhm ran into trouble with the censor board because of critical references to the 1993 Mumbai riots. This movie told the story of his Muslim mother and the pressure she suffered for her relation with his Hindu father Nanabhai Bhatt - who was himself a well known film producer. He wrote the book U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life. In 1982, Shabana Azmi essayed an award-winning performance in his movie 'Arth'. His movie 'Saaransh' had debutant Anupam Kher in a memorable role. Mahesh Bhatt started producing films under his banner Vishesh Films set up in 1987, along with his with younger brother Mukesh.
Following are few interesting excerpts from the article:
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt has something to say about everything. But that is not because he’s fond of talking, it is a clever publicity strategy: You see, he’s always buzzing the newswires.
While the allegations were quickly cleared, Bhatt Sr, as was expected, had a lot to say and promptly sent a letter to Dr Manmohan Singh, urging an enquiry into the selective leak by the investigative agencies, implicating Rahul of aiding Headley. “In the letter, I have expressed my deep anguish over the manner in which the investigation was handled after my son Rahul voluntarily shared information with the police. We woke up to a sense of great betrayal and irreversible damage. The PM should intervene and set the right example by condemning whatever happened. Otherwise such events would discourage any citizen from participating in the fight against the menace,” he complained in his letter.
Given his constant advocacy of Pakistan and the potshots he keeps on taking on Indians, he didn’t find sympathy from many quarters. Mahesh and Pooja Bhatt also had to miss their meeting with the Pope in the Vatican because, to quote The Bhatt himself, “I can’t engage in a dialogue on peace and harmony, that too on a global platform, whilst my own house burns. Not only do I find myself having to prove my son’s innocence by pointing out that it was us who approached the police with information, and not the other way around, but I also have to lock horns with fundamentalists who are using the situation to settle old scores. After attacking theatres in Gujarat showing Tum Mile, they’re threatening to do the same in other states.”
While this may the biggest controversy that Bhatt was part of in the past year, it is just one of many. The quote which is slated to immortalise him, however, is this: “If Pooja wasn’t my daughter, I’d love to marry her.” He also allowed a picture of him kissing his Pooja on the lips to be clicked as shown in the picture below! Bhatt later spoke some more to clear the air around this quote of his, and in the process earned more newsprint and footage!
Another comment which Mahesh Bhatt may or may not have been sorry for later, but did create a lot of furore and buzz was in the eve of the Bigg Brother controversy, involving Shilpa Shetty, when he said, “I believe no one can insult you without your permission. Shilpa Shetty has paid the price for trying to desperately seek the approval of the West. It is pathetic how one can go on bended knees and lick the boots of the Westerners in an effort to be part of their world.” Ouch! Ouch, ouch, ouch! It must’ve hurt Shilpa, but then Mahesh is the master buzz-ter and revels in the status. Bhatt has made way too many comments for all of them to be documented here. But the one he made recently, which he knew would get him the media glare, was when he called his upcoming movie Jashnn an ‘emotional pornography’. Anjana Sukhani, explaining the comment and the ‘depth’ of it, said, “Bhatt saab always claimed that Jashnn is nothing short of emotional pornography. Of course, the statement will raise quite a few eyebrows but the fact is that it comes with a different connotation. See, to achieve something in life, the bigger struggle is not from the outside world but from your inner self. You have to first fight yourself, take your inner demons hands on and struggle from within. That’s what you get to see in Jashnn which gets all such emotions out in nude.” Looks like Bhattsaab has started a training camp!