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Stories of my films have their roots in Nagpur: Rajkumar Hirani

Rajkumar Hirani loves to cinematise his Nagpur experiences (Photo Source: Facebook)

Rajkumar Hirani, the poster boy of thought-provoking cinema in India, is arguably the most sought after filmmaker in Bollywood with his hundred percent success ratio at the box office with all of his films being the Bollywood grocers – PK, 3 Idiots, Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Munnabhai M.B.B.S. This proud Nagpurian never falls short of words when it comes to attributing his success to his learnings at his hometown Nagpur. In an exclusive interaction with Raju, when Nation Next asked Raju that as a persons creative work also bears a reflection of the place he belongs to, does Nagpur and its culture reflect in his films, pat came the reply: “Absolutely! I’m of the strong belief that small towns like Nagpur are the best places for children to grow up. Here, you get exposed to people; and stories come from people. In big cities like Mumbai and Delhi, there’s hardly any time left for kids to get exposed to the real world. Whatever you see in my films today is because of my experiences in Nagpur. Stories of my films have their roots in Nagpur. The reason I could make Munnabhai MBBS was because I spent a lot of time with medical students in Nagpur,” said Rajkumar Hirani, elaborating further, “I couldn’t get admission into a medical college but I had a lot of friends studying at Government Medical College, Nagpur. They stayed in the college hostel, where I would spend a lot of time with them. One day, I saw that the ashtray used by my friends looked like a skull. When I said that it was a damn good-looking ashtray, they told me it was a real skull. I couldn’t believe it!

There was a student at Government Medical College, Nagpur, who used to slip Playboy magazines in the rooms of his fellow students to distract them during exams to beat them in competition. I used this story in 3 Idiots. I used to note all these strange things and such experiences became a part of my films. The scene in 3 Idiots, where Madhavan goes to his father and tells him that he doesn’t wish to do engineering, has been borrowed from a similar interaction of mine with my dad. I was studying chartered accountancy and I realised in-between that I wasn’t good at it. I went to my father and told him the same.

Nation Next salutes the maverick filmmaker for putting Nagpur on the national entertainment map! Thank you Raju!

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Bollywood

DR Karthikeyan attends Rocketry: The Nambi Effect premier, recalls experience with Dr Nambi Narayanan

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Radhika Dhawad | Delhi
Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, ex-officials from the probe agency recently attended special screening of ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.’

R Madhavan with DR Karthikeyan (centre)

Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, former officials from the probe agency and members of the film industry recently attended a special screening of film ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect’ at Siri Fort auditorium in New Delhi.

DR Karthikeyan writes…

“On personal invitation phone call from Dr Nambi Narayanan, I had the opportunity to see the very first premier show of the film ROCKETRY – The Nambi Effect – at Sirifort Auditorium, Delhi on 26th June – Sunday evening.

On arrival at the venue, I was happy to be met by the talented Star/Director/Producer  Mr R Madhavan and senior officers of the Ministry of I&B, Govt of India. It was an amazing production – destined to get an award – nationally and globally! The movie was screened all over the world on 1st July – produced both in English, Hindi and Tamil and also dubbed in many more languages.

Former CBI Director DR Karthikeyan, ex-officials from the probe agency recently attended special screening of ‘Rocketry: The Nambi Effect.’

At the end of the show at the packed auditorium, I was invited by Mr Madhavan to the stage and given a bouquet of flowers along with my colleague PM Nair IPS. I shared a couple of words with the audience. “At that time when there was sensation about the so called “ISRO Spy Case,” I was asked by the CBI HQ for my opinion. I was then investigating Rajiv Gandhi Assassination –  as Chief of SIT CBI – I spent a few hours of conversation with Dr Nambi Narayanan who was in our custody at Malligai, Headquarters of SIT CBI at Chennai. I had no hesitation in reporting to CBI Hq my finding that not only Nambi Narayanan is innocent of any of the charges alleged against him but also he was a noble person.” It so happened when his case came up before the National Human Rights Commission for compensation, I was the Director General, NHRC at Delhi.

After hearing from me what actually happened to Nambi Narayanan, the Commission awarded him financial compensation, as interim relief. Dr Nambi Narayanan has been in touch with me since then from time to time. 

Here is one of his recent communications to me on WhatsApp – “The role you had played in relieving me from the charges was immense.Thank you very much Sir. I will be certainly very happy to meet you in person when I visit Delhi. Once again thank you very much! With regards Nambi Narayanan”. 

As early as on 30th June 2021, Dr Nambi Narayanan had sent to me on email – the extract – MEETING KARTHIKEYAN  ‘Pray to God, he will come.’– chapter 14 of his just then released Biography “Ready to Fire”- (How India and I Survived The ISRO Spy Case).  The same is also attached herewith. The life of Padma Bhushan Dr Nambi Narayanan, the celebrated space scientist, which is very powerfully portrayed in the movie Rocketry – The Nambi Effect carries a powerful message to everyone.

Satyameva Jayate – Truth alone triumphs – Mundaka Upanishad.

While the guilty should be identified and punished promptly and severely, no innocent or the family should suffer physically or mentally or emotionally. That should be the commitment on the part of everyone of us – particularly those in charge of governance, administration, law enforcement, intelligence and the judiciary!”

Released on July 1, the film is a biographical drama based on the life of Nambi Narayanan, a former scientist and aerospace engineer of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who was falsely charged with espionage in 1994.

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Marathi Cinema

Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveils poster, releases trailer of Nagpur film ‘Aamhi Butterfly’

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Nation Next Newsroom | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

Former Maharashtra Minister and current MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule unveiled the poster and released the trailer and songs of the upcoming Marathi film – Aamhi Butterfly – at an event held at Deshpande Hall in Nagpur. The film, which has been shot in Nagpur and other parts of Vidarbha, has been directed by Aniiket Limje and produced by Rajesh Rangari and Shrinivas Shiras.

Many child actors who have worked in the movie are from Vidarbha. During the trailer launch, MLA Tekchand Sawakar, actor Girish Pardesi and other actors from the movie, were present. Aamhi Butterfly is going to be released in August 2022.

Above are some of the pictures from the event!

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Dialogue at Nation Next

‘Shah Rukh Khan didn’t even thank me for supporting Aryan Khan,’ says Shatrughan Sinha

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Radhika Dhawad | Mumbai

Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha, in an exclusive interaction at Dialogue @ Nation Next, speaks about the comparison of today’s actors with yesteryear actors, Aryan Khan drug case, NCB and why Shah Rukh Khan didn’t even ‘thank him.’

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