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‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ director Abhishek Dhudhaiya gives an insight into film’s research

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Bhuj

Director Abhishek Dhudhaiya, whose next film “Bhuj: The Pride of India” is based on the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, is also the co-writer of the project. The film tells the story of how 300 women from a village worked hard to build the Bhuj runway, contributing majorly to India’s win.

Abhishek, who earlier directed many television shows, brings forth the story of IAF Squadron Leader Vijay Karnic (played by Ajay Devgn) and the women from the village of Madhapar.

“My grandmother had also contributed in the making of this runway. So, I had this is mind that the first time when I make a film, it will he on this subject,” says Abhishek, as he recalls how the conception of the story happened.

He goes on to further elaborate with a hint of nostalgia in his voice.

“In 2017 when I took a break from television, the first thing I did was meet Vijay Karnic. So, my nani’s (maternal grandmother) friends who are still alive were part of that 300 women’s group. So, I went and met them and understood the events which had taken place.”

The sentiment of patriotism is crucial for the film. So, when Abhishek took the project forward, he knew his heart had to be in the right place.

“To begin with, I am an Indian and I am proud of that. For me, my country is first and even for my nani the country is before anything else. So, when I wrote the dialogue, I conveyed what I think and what I wanted others to act. That energy reflects in people around you,” he says.

“For instance when Vijay Karnic was reading the story, the only face in my mind was that of Ajay Devgn. When I finished my story and I asked him, who does he feel is best for this role, he also said, Ajay Devgn. So, when you want to bring that connect, you have to feel strongly.”

The next big step in the making of the film was casting of 300 women. Instead of taking the regular approach of hiring junior artists, Abhishek knew that this would be an important factor in establishing the strength of the film.

“We had to cast 300 women. Now, if you hire junior artists, they are free to leave in two -three days for some other project but that breaks the flow. So, we cast 300 women and for the first 15 days taught them how to play the dhol. We got their costumes made because at that time dressing style was difference and clothes affect body language a lot. So, we customised costumes for these women and made them wear it, so that they get comfortable in it,” he says.

Currently, in the village of Madhapar, there are 60 people, who were part of the iconic movement. All aged between 70-80.

The government of India has also paid tribute to them by making their statues at the entrance of the village.

A landmark movement, the women when making the runway, decided to break their homes to get the bricks and stones for runaway once they ran out of the material.

“When they needed bricks and stones to make the runway and material could not reach them, these people decided that they will break their houses to use that material. My nani had told me this but when these people also told me, I had tears in my eyes,” recalls Abhishek.

“For a woman, her house is her dream and there what happens is the men leave for work to other states and countries. So, mostly women, children and old people live there. So, for the women their, the houses and farming is everything. They sacrificed their homes for the country. This incident and the challenge of Vijay Karnic to make the runway for the county was the most important driving force for me.”

The director, whose film will release on Disney+Hotstar on August 13, feels that this kind of inspiration is rare.

“This is a kind of inspiration that you don’t find easily. The defence personals who are protect us are trained but these villagers were not trained people. Being prompt in such a situation didn’t come naturally to them. They still did it and it’s their biggest achievement,” he signs off.

Bollywood

Bhumi: Hindi cinema should start showing sustainable way of living

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Bhumi-Pednekar

Actress and climate activist Bhumi Pednekar feels that it is time for Hindi cinema to start showing a sustainable way of living in their films.

Bhumi, in a chat with IANS, said: “I definitely feel that it’s high time that Hindi cinema starts showing a sustainable way of living in their films. I feel like as a fraternity we are woke and I personally would like to believe that we are more conscious than other industries, but I still feel like we aren’t doing enough.”

The actress, who has three films lined up ‘Mr. Lele’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Badhaai Do’, feels that there is a need for narratives in films that provide communication.

“I do feel that we need narratives in films/ movies that provide the communication as it’s the most powerful medium to get the message across to the masses,” she added.

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Bollywood

I-T sleuths ‘search’ Sonu Sood’s home for second day

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 For the second consecutive day, the Income Tax Department continued its ‘survey’ operations at the home of Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, official sources said here on Thursday.

A team of IT sleuths swooped on the 48-year-old Sood’s Juhu home to carry out search operations to detect certain alleged financial irregularities.

The IT department is examining bank statements, books of accounts, documents and details of financial or other business transactions during the ‘survey’, for suspected tax evasion, though no details are being shared officially.

In Wednesday’s operations, the IT had searched around half-a-dozen premises linked to the actor, including offices and other properties in Mumbai and certain locations in Lucknow.

Sood shot into limelight last year (2020) for arranging free flights or luxury buses for stranded migrants during the lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic and sent them to different parts of India, besides organising liquid medical oxygen supplies to various hospitals during the second Covid wave this year (2021).

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Bollywood

IT department ‘surveys’ actor Sonu Sood’s Mumbai premises

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Actor Sonu Sood.

 The Income Tax Department is ‘surveying’ the Mumbai offices and home in the suburbs belonging to Bollywood actor Sonu Sood here on Wednesday, official sources said.

Teams of IT sleuths began the operations since morning, though the reason behind the action is not immediately known.

Sood had shot into prominence last year for arranging free flights to enable stranded migrants reach their homes in different parts of India during the nationwide lockdown.

He also had a scrap with the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for allegedly converting his six-story house in Juhu into an illegal boarding.

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