Having been in advertising for a long time, I haven’t addressed anyone as a ‘sir’. Call it the arrogance or the informal nature of the business that I have been in for about a decade now, I call people by their first names. For some reason, my dear friend (who will be shooting & editing the interview of music composer Rohit Sharma that will happen tomorrow), still addresses him as ‘Rohit sir’. There are very few people in my book who deserve to be respected & knighted. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Prasoon Joshi are the latest to be in that space, thanks to the epic biopic, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
I first met Rohit Sharma at a musical evening organized by some friends. Painfully shy, almost embarrassed over the attention that he was being given, I couldn’t fathom what made him such a respected figure in that gathering. He didn’t talk much, but his smile was as genuine as a baby’s. He was somebody who one would want to hug immediately and wish him all the happiness in the world. Many days later I asked my friend, “Who is this Rohit Sharma, and why do you call him Rohit sir?” What followed was a discussion that lasted almost a night, and I was sold.
I bumped into Rohit sir at a few more gatherings and he was his trademark self, head bowed (perhaps avoiding the attention), the baby-like smile in place and the respect from all those at the place intact. We never had a chance to interact in detail and both of us being those shy variety, didn’t help either. Months later his name surfaced again. This time his name was credited as the composer of Ship of Theseus, a film that became the talk of town, thanks to the involvement of my name sake (Aamir Khan’s wife) and Anurag Kashyap. This post is not about how awesome an auteur the director of the soon-to-release, ‘Ship of Theseus’, Anand Gandhi is. This one is about the man who created a composition that is based in a time when the ragas weren’t discovered yet.
Rohit Sharma has been in the industry “13 years, 7 films & just one song released to his credit yet.” What could keep a man down for all these years? Why is he still so painfully shy? As I type this he is at a party thrown by Aamir Khan. Will he get more work post the release of SOT? Will Aamir give him more work? Will he still be embarrassed & harassed to chase filmmakers for his unpaid dues? Will he get the respect that is due to him, beyond the coterie of people who have savoured his creations? Will he set an example or will he be just another name to fade into the oblivion, just because he failed to smooth-talk his way in the big-bad-ugly world of Bollywood?
Armed with a gazzabrazzamillizillion more such questions, I will be meeting Rohit Sharma exclusively for http://www.madaboutmoviez.com tomorrow and will hopefully come back with answers that so many of us wanting to be in this thankless zone, want to ask. Years ago, Rekhaji (Bhardwaj) told me, “Don’t be a filmmaker like Vishal, each time he makes a film, he ends up mortgaging our house.” I will meet Rohit sir tomorrow and share with y’all his journey as a music composer in B-town, whose first song to be released isn’t even a song, in the conventional sense of the word.
Drop in your questions in the comment section & I will put it up to him during our chat and let’s see what the man has to say… Till then, stay mad, stay filmi!
Lotsa love, Magik.