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Commando 2 is not about demonetisation, it is about black money lying in foreign banks: Deven Bhojani

Deven Bhojani
Deven Bhojani

Deven Bhojani made his television debut as an actor in 1987 with the famous television show Malgudi Days. Over the last three decades, he has gained immense popularity as a comic actor in films and on television. While he appeared in films like Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar (1992), Andaz (1994) and Agneepath (2012), his roles in television shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh (1993), Shriman Shrimati (1994), Baa Bahoo Aur Baby (2005), etc., are still fondly remembered.

His 2004 television show Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, as a director, that redefined comedy, still remains one of the most popular shows in the history of Indian television. Deven is now all set to make his film directorial debut with Bollywood action movie Commando 2, which is slated to release on March 3, 2017. In an exclusive interview with Nation Next, Deven Bhojani speaks about the upcoming film Commando 2, his rapport with the Commando 2s producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah and also reveals the path ahead for Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai.


Your first film as a director  – Commando 2 – is going to be released soon. How excited are you? 

I can’t express how excited I’m! This is definitely a new step in my life. I started my career as an actor. I have been into direction  (on television) for more than 15 years. Despite having worked in various genres on TV, I am still recognised more as a comic actor than a director. This is my first feature film as a director, so I’m pretty excited. Also, this genre (action) is out of my comfort zone.

Given the fact that Commando (2013) did well at the Box Office and its sequel Commando 2 is your first film as a director, was there any pressure on you while directing the movie? Is there any pressure on you now before the release of the film?

I did not feel pressurised comparing Commando 2 with its prequel. Having said that, whenever I work on any project, I feel pressurised. This is definitely a feature film, which matters to me big time as crores of rupees are involved.  Apart from money, many other things are at stake. Since this is my first film as a director, my career could be at stake as well. So, there’s always that pressure. But, the moment I get involved in the creative process, I forget everything and get fully involved in it. I’m the kind of a person who’s known more for the passion and perfection in my work. So, since the time I gave thumbs up for this film, I got completely involved in it. I did a lot of research, worked on the script with the writer for more than a year, and forgot the pressure completely. But then again, once the film is made, you feel the pressure again. The response to the trailer has been overwhelming and that makes it all the more pressurising.

You share an extremely strong bond with Vipul Amrutlal Shah who’s the producer of Commando 2. You have worked with him before as well for television. How was it working with him as the producer of this film? 

It was superb! Vipul and I are like brothers and we share a great comfort zone since we know each other really well. I would really like to thank Vipul for trusting me. I think hes aware of my capabilities more than I am. As a producer, he has quite a few action movies with different directors and so hes experienced. This enables him to give good suggestions to me. Of course, there were ?creative differences between the two of us, which were very healthy. But then, eventually, either I convinced him or he convinced me. If I didn’t get convinced, he respected me as a director and allowed me to take the final call. He does that because he’s a righteous person. He chose me as the captain of his ship. So, he respects my vision. Vipul is someone who gives you a lot of liberty, something, which I really love about him. As a producer, he has given me everything. With Commando 2, I wanted to set a new benchmark for Indian action movies and make a movie on a large scale. We have shot most of the film in Thailand and Malaysia and there’s also a lot of glamour in the movie. These are the things I wanted. So, even though Commando 2 initially began with a low budget, it ended up with a heavy budget. So, that’s the liberty Vipul gave me. He stood by my vision.

You tend to work repeatedly with people. Be it actors like Sumit Raghavan or producers like Vipul Shah, JD Majethia or Aatish Kapadia. Is it because you prefer comfort over experimentation? 

Yes, of course! I work more with my own group of people because we have known each other for long now. So, that comfort level is there. But primarily, it’s the project and the creativity that lures me. For instance, I have worked in television with different people – be it Raman Kumar, Asit Modi, etc. Recently, I directed a TV show – Sumit Samabhal Lega – with the creative unit DJ. So, I have to like the project and the script first and I should able to contribute enough to the project. I should feel inspired and should love the project that I’m a part of. Fortunately, I have always loved the projects JD and Vipul came up with.

In the movie Commando 2, the protagonist is on a mission to eradicate black money. Against the backdrop of the recently announced demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, do you think the movie will now appeal more to the moviegoers 

To be honest, we started working on the script more than a year back. But, it is a great co-incidence that demonetisation took place and has become a national issue. We were brainstorming on various subjects for Commando 2 and one of the subjects, which appealed to us, was black money. The PM had promised to eradicate black money and it became a big issue during the 2014 elections. So, while discussing, we happened to remember that and we thought of trying to work in the same direction. We decided to include the issue of black money in the story line and asked the writer to develop the story further. He developed it and we improvised on it. Commando 2 has nothing to do with demonetisation though. It is basically about black money lying in foreign banks.

You have been mostly associated with projects of comedy genre. So, there must have been a lot of research that went in for Commando 2 from your side?

As an actor, people recognise me as a comic actor. But, as a director, I have worked in various genres. Along with comedy, I have also been involved in family soaps, love stories and action drama as well. Two years back, I directed Pukaar starring Rannvijay Singh, which was an action drama (mini series). So, it’s not like action was a new genre to me. I’m a very passionate person and a typical Virgo. My friends sometimes even tease me by saying, Are tujhe bahut perfection chahiye hota hain, bas abhi bas, chhod, correct hain abhi! I don’t okay takes very easily as I get too involved as an actor or as a director. For Commando 2 as well, I got involved at various levels, be it be scripting, discussing or brainstorming.

Comedy is more about timing and action is more about technique. Which genre do you find difficult to implement? 

That way I would say that everything is difficult. Comedy is not easy and so is not action! In Commando 2, Vidyut Jammwal has performed some breathtaking and life threatening stunts. With action, life is sometimes at risk and a lot of practice goes into it. For Commando 2, we roped in an action director from South Africa. He along with his team would work some things out and then would send it across to us through phone. Then, our team would zero in on what can work out and what can’t and the variations, which can be brought in. Vidyut’s contribution was immense in this. And of course, the action director and Vipul too would give valuable suggestions. So, that’s how the entire action part worked out. Vidyut was very good to work with. He’s extremely down to earth and hardworking. He’s super passionate and I like such people who try to attain perfection. People would also be surprised to know that Vidyut can dance well too!

You last acted in Agneepath in 2012 wherein you played the role of an autistic man Azhar Lala. Your performance was widely appreciated. When will we see you acting in some movie again?

That I don’t know. I never plan my life and I just go with the flow. When this role (Azhar Lala) was offered to me, I was extremely tied up. So, I was avoiding acting in films then. But then, the makers were keen to cast me for this role. Even I liked the role. The makers were even ready to adjust according to my dates! So, then I thought that I hadn’t done a film since long and I should give it a shot. It was a small but a good role and I had good people to work with. If something very substantive comes up, I might take up the role.

It was reported that the popular Indian television series – Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai – which you directed would be back online. When can the fans expect it?

I’m really thankful to the audience who have loved Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai for so many years and who are dying to see it again. So yes, something is in the pipeline now. The show would be online. The talks are on with the producers and other concerned parties.

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Nagpur News

RMBRCN celebrates Charter Presentation & Installation, Rina Sinha becomes Charter President



The Rotary Means Business chapter of Rotary Club Of Nagpur (RMBRCN) celebrated their Charter Presentation and Installation of Board on September 17, 2023 in a crisp official ceremony at Hotel Centre Point, Nagpur.

Rotary Means Business encourages Rotarians to support the success of their fellow Rotarians by doing business with them and by referring others to them.

Charter President Past President Rtn Rina Sinha presided over the ceremony. Renowned entrepreneur and Rotarian Aspi Bapuna, Chairman of Bapuna Group, was the Chief Guest and  Rtn Namita Sharma, President of RCN, was the Guest of Honour.

The Board of Directors of RMBRCN include Rtn Navneet Jain, Vice President, Rtn Mohammed Master, Honorary Secretary, Rtn Sanjay Aggarwal Treasurer, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia Director Chapter Service, Rtn Rahul Shrivastava, Director Vocational Service, Dr Ruchi Choudhry, Director Membership Development, Ranjana Duseja, Director Attendance.

Past Rotary District Governor (PDG) Shabbir Shakir, Past Presidents- Bharat Goenka , Khushnoor Chugh, Sanjiv Chugh, Akhtar Parvez, Tejinder Singh Rawal, Alok Goenka,  Jerestine Watchmaker, Sandeep Dhodapkar, Sanjay Arora, President RMB Nagpur, and Behram Patel and Amitabh Sinha were present.

President Rina Sinha informed that within a short period of its formation already 48 members representing various businesses  have joined the chapter and the numbers are increasing . The Chapter has already crossed 5 crores of business amongst their members and RMB will further strengthen Rotary in membership growth and retention .

Chief Guest Rtn Aspi Bapuna lauded the chapter’s success and reiterated that its comfortable and safe to do business among fellow rotarians as all follow the Four Way Test of Rotary. Jerestine introduced President Rina. Aspi Bapuna  presented the charter and installed President Rina Sinha . Rtn Namita congratulated the RMB chapter and informed that this is the new initiative at RCN.The Board was installed by Rina Sinha and all members were installed by the Past Presidents. An exclusive digital Monthly Magazine ‘Growth Engine’ was launched by Editor Niharika Chugh Vali.

 Navneet Jain and Rahul Choudhry conducted the referral and thank you session where enthusiastic members informed about their successful business details. Nishchay Sinha launched the social media and MYRMB app which connects members to other chapters digitally, Treasurer Sanjay Agarwal gave treasurers report, Rtn Rakhi Bhatia managed the event. Rtn Parag Datey and Niharika were the Masters of Ceremony (MOCs). Secretary Mohammed Master proposed the formal Vote of Thanks .

Also read: Jayaswal Neco group celebrate BL Shaw’s 90th Birthday, 50th Founder’s Day in a huge gala event in Nagpur

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Nagpur News

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates double-decker electric bus availed for senior citizens in Nagpur



Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, on Saturday, inaugurated the double-decker electric bus designed for senior citizens in Nagpur. The initiative has been undertaken in association with Ashok Leyland’s CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Committee and Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan.

Executive President of Jyeshtha Nagarik Pratishthan Datta Meghe, Vice Chairman of Ashok Leyland Limited Yash Sachar, CEO of Switch Mobility Mahesh Babu, and other dignitaries were present during the inauguration.

“I am very thankful to Ashok Leyland’s electric vehicle arm ‘Switch Mobility’ for donating an electric bus for our senior citizens. The bus can hold a capacity of 65 people and will benefit a lot to disabled and senior citizens,” Gadkari said.

“We already have a green Electra bus available to us for the past five to six years. Krishna Reddy has taken the responsibility of repairing and providing air-conditioning to the bus, moreover, he is providing us with one additional bus. A Tata Motor bus will be arriving this month as well, giving us a total of four buses to operate. This will solve the issue of waiting list due to the lack of buses for senior citizens in the city.” he added.

With the help of these buses, senior citizens can avail the benefit of free trips to religious places like Ambhora, Adasa, Shegaon, Mahur, Dhapewada, and Kalamb.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller


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Nagpur News

Nagpur: Married man accused of girlfriend’s rape commits suicide on Facebook live



A 38-year-old married man named Manish alias Raj Yadav, on Sunday, committed suicide during a Facebook live-stream after allegedly being accused of rape by his girlfriend and her family in Nagpur.

During the live stream, Manish, who was married and a father to three children, stated that his 19-year-old girlfriend, Kajal, along with her family members demanded a sum of five lakh rupees and threatened to press charges of rape if he failed to do so.

On September 6, the situation became grave as the woman’s family accused him of eloping after Kajal went missing from her residence.

The deceased refused the claims of having any sexual relationship with the woman and identified her, her family, and a photo studio operator responsible for his condition. He, then, jumped into the river.

After the live video surfaced online, Kalamna Police launched a search operation and recovered the deceased’s body from the river. Four people have been detained in the case for questioning. Further investigation is underway.

Also read: NMC confiscates 117 PoP idols, collects Rs 10,000 fine from seller

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