To be honest I was scared when Baahubali 2 became bigger beyond anyone’s imagination and expectations. Here comes the inevitable change in you, I thought. I remember how hurt you were when I had suggested that you had changed after the first Baahubali film.
You were busy doing the second part and unable to respond to some of my messages. When I reacted angrily and , I confess, churlishly, you were silent for a long time and then expressed your hurt.
It was the reaction of a man who thinks from his heart. Only an artiste as grounded to workingclass yearnings as you can make a film that brings to life the most primeval fantasies of the Indian populace, done up with a mythologized flamboyance that scoffs at the ‘European’ style of storytelling of sordid splendour patented by the likes of Anurag Kashyap and Hansal Mehta.
When at the first show Baahubali 2: The Beginning I heard the screams of ecstatic hysteria across the theatre I knew this segment of Baahubali will outdistance the first segment by leaps and bounds.Baahubali is not a film. It is an experience. Our friend Ram Gopal Varma is right when he says with his own habitual tittering Twitter rage that those who find fault in Baahubali need to see a shrink.
Rajamouli, Ramu tells me you stay in a two-room flat in Hyderabad with your wife and daughter. There is one bedroom and one living-cum-dining room space. That’s it. He also told me you own only one car a modest rickety economy Innova car which you drive around yourself.
I wonder how your modest lifestyle hasn’t changed even after making the most successful Indian film of all times in 2015. Now with the sequel which trade experts say will make three times the profits of the originalBaahubali film, I wonder if you will move into a posh duplex in Banjara Hills.
I ask you this when I call you after seeing Baahubali 2, and your answer floored me.
You said, ‘I don’t think my lifestyle will change. This is how I am. This is where I am comfortable.”
Raja, you remind me of that other great Indian icon of the entertainment world Lata Mangeshkar who continues live in her Peddar Road apartment in Mumbai with her family eventhough the space gets limited as moreMangeshkars occupy the space. I think you know as well as Lataji does that the space in heart and not the area of your living accommodation defines your inner self.
I asked you if you are not sick-and-tired of receiving compliments since the film opened to create instant history on Friday.
You answered, “Sir, can there ever be enough of kindness, generosity and praise?’
As you re-write the history of Indian cinema I want you keep track of that curious little boy inside you who peers inquisitively at the world of kings and queens and courtly intrigue. Keep that boy alive. Let him ride in that precious worn-out Innova with you. Let the affluence of your heart never show in your lifestyle.
Rajamouli, thank you for remaining unchanged after Baahubali.