Irrfan Khan who was very keen to play the legendary poet-lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi would just have to wait for another time.
The coveted role of Sahir who wrote some of the most influential film songs like Jinhe naaz hai hin par wohkahaan hai(Pyasa) and Woh subah kabhi toh aayegi(Phir Subah Hogi), is going to be played by AbhishekBachchan.
Abhishek who has been lying low lately has lost close to 12 kgs to play the lean and luminous poet who re-defined the post-Independent Hindi film song with words that seemed forged out of the raw material of a wounded Indian civilization.
Abhishek who is the poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s grandson has been quietly familiarizing himself with Sahir’s luminous lyrics , some of them Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon and Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein were lip-synced by his father Amitabh Bachchan in Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie .
The Sahir bio-pic , to be directed by debutant Jasmeet Reen, and produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali would see Abhishek playing a real-life character for the second time in his career. He earlier played a character based on Dhirubhai Ambani in Mani Ratnam’s Guru.
This would be the young actor’s first collaboration with Sanjay Leela Bhansali(SLB).
For years Abhishek has craved to work with SLB.Though the two are extremely fond of one another they’ve so far not worked together.
Abhishek once grumbled goodnaturedly to me, “Sanjay has worked with my wife(Aishwarya) so many times and my father in Black. But I don’t think he has any place for me in his cinema.”
Not true. In fact many years ago Sanjay wanted to cast Abhishek as Mahatma Gandhi’s son Harilal. But theatre and film director Feroz Abbas Khan made the same story with Akshaye Khanna in the lead.
Now finally Abhishek gets to be in a Bhansali creation, albeit one where the celluloid magician is only the producer.
Can’t wait to see the outcome.