Sankat City:Premiere to Premier Padmini Friday, 10 July, 2009Posted by ~uh~™ in Bollywood, Movies, Mumbai, Soceity & Cultures.
Tags: Anupam Kher, Anurag Kashyap, Chunkey pandey, Kalki Koechlin, Kallumama, Kundan Shah, Makarand Deshpande, Manoj Pahwa, movie, Mumbai, Pankaj Advani, Premier Padmini, Sankat City, Saurabh Shukla, SBD
I was confused about the real usage of twitter. Then one day I got an alert saying Pankaj Advani has started following me. Pankaj Advani, the Director of Sankat City. I had commented on few of his posts on PFC, where I found him mentioning an Old Monk with withered wings. He had replied to my comments on his posts and promised that he would call me for a screening of his show. However, trying to google him will land up humongous result of his namesake billiard champion.
Now, this Director has an interesting profile.
Pankaj Advani has co-written the 90’s SRK – starrer classic Kabhie Haan Kabhie Na (1993) with Kundan Shah.
He has directed one feature film called Urf Professor which is not yet certified by Indian censor board because of something which I presume, they have never seen in Hindi cinema so far. People who have watched the movie say – it’s one of the best comedy Hindi cinema have ever seen.
He has also written and directed Cape Karma (2007) which is yet to be released. You can see the awesome posters of this film here .
You can get a sense of his sense of humour from his posts on PFC. Like most Bengali brats, I grew up reading Sukumar Roy, Shibrum Chakraborty and later Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay and Parashuram and never realized when did this ‘nonsense humour’ got me hooked. Pankaj Advani has this twisted, impudent, sarcastic take on everything mundane to special (including Salman Khan somewhere in between)and you still don’t know whether it’s an insult or a compliment. Some call it Tounge-in-cheek, some call it madcap. Read this post as an example and judge his writing by yourself.
Psychologically, I have always followed film directors, the reverse have never happened. Now twitter is a place where two people can follow each other without colliding or getting drifted away, though it would be a sheer physical impossibility in real life. So I start following him too.
Then on 6th July, I get another mail alert from him. A direct twitter message saying there’s a Premiere Show on Juhu PVR on 8th and if I was interested to come. Obviously I was. My first and last premiere invitation was for the hilarious play on Bigamy. I wanted to reply to him immediately. But, I could not as I was attending a meeting at a Construction site in mid town Coimbatore. However, I managed to send him a reply confirming my willingness, through mobile.
Next day, few quick mail and sms exchanges involving Vee , a fellow movie enthusiast and Magik (who was flying down from Bangalore to attend the show) .I was there at 8:45, a good one hour before the scheduled time of the cocktail party. The premiere was scheduled at 10:45 pm. How I killed time for one hour is however, subject of a different post altogether.
After meeting Magik we entered the crowded lobby. I tried to look as matter of fact as possible while trying to spot the silver screen personalities who were expected to come. Then came Pankaj,the man yelling ‘ Ye udtahaathi kaun hai ? I want to see who calls himself udtahaathi !’ A bespectacled simple man with a perpetually happy and smiling face greeted us.
Immediately afterwards, Chunkey Pande arrived and got gheraoed by the photographers. Chunkey Pandey was much taller than I anticipated.
While approaching the bar, I bumped into NandKishore Awasthi, Ishaan’s Dad in Taare Zameen Par. My Immediate thought was, ‘Saale, bachhe ko maltreat karta hai, khadoos, badtameez, ab idhar bhi a gaya’. But, realizing he was actually Vipin Sharma, the person, I gave a smile and said ‘How are you this evening ? Good to see you here tonight !’ He must have thought I am a regular in premiere shows and asked if I was part of the production team. I had to modestly admit, that I have no lena dena with the production and have come on the Director’s invitation.
Before I could get my first drink, I saw Anupam Kher, Kay Kay, Anurag Kashyap entering the lobby.
Kalki Koechlin was with Anurag and those who doesn’t know yet, they are together in love.
I tried spotting Rimi Sen, one of my favourite among the Bengali Sens of Humour in Bollywood. I could not spot her, though today newspaper’s page 3 published her picture in a SBD (Small black dress). Instead I found someone else in SBD with Kay Kay. I could see Imtiaz Ali too, but could not go near because of the crowd. Among other directors present were Yashpal Sharma, Shriram Raghavan, Anirudhya Mitra, Shivam Nair, Karan Choudhary and Bunty Walia.
I was able to shake hands with all of them (including Khersaab), except Kalki who was busy palying hide & seek with the photographers. I downed 3 drinks and shot these blurred pictures with my mobile (Nokia E 71, 3.2 MP).
There were other interesting people, whom I recognized as the ‘Lokhandwala crowd’, wannabe actresses in short dresses, reasonable cleavages and old saari clad painted moms. While the moms sip OJ from their goblet, the wannabe birdie tries to mingle with some Director or other influential people for that coveted 2 mins of conversation. Photographers swarm around the celebrities for that special snap of the stars with a ‘friend’ to be published on Page-3 on Friday.
During the interval, I could spot Anurag Kashyap and quickly introduced myself, with the worst introductory statement placed ever ‘I comment on your posts on PFC’. As if it was not enough I further add ‘I use a pseudonym ~uh~ with a trademark sign’. He grinned, nodded and put his arms around my shoulder; I reciprocated which practically made us do what they may call as ‘hug’. A hug with Anurag Kashyap in the interval– could have been the immediate tweet feed if I was a part of Lokhandwala crowd.
Sankat City ended at around 1: 00 AM.
I won’t discuss the movie here, because it deserves a separate dedicated review [posted now]. After the show ended I shook hands with Kay Kay Menon, Manoj Pahwa (remember the voracious samosa eater boss in Naya Office Office?), Yashpal Sharma (the man who played the villain in Dum), Sanjay Mishra ( the peon in Naya Office office).
Then, I met the humble mastermind, the man of the evening- Pankaj Advani. I was too intoxicated with the movie and he was getting loads of accolades from everyone, so I could only say him thanks and convey that it was a great work, a different Hindi comedy cinema experience ever.
Once out on the drizzling midnight Mumbai street, I got myself into a Premier Padmini cab more popularly known as the Fiat Taxi and headed home.
They don’t make such Premiere’s or Padminis anymore. That’s why I have to put it in the title.