SKJ Bollywood News

The Man Who Lived Again For Anna Hazare

After the  spectacular success  of  Dhoni The Untold Story, the maker of the new AnnaHazare bio-pic entitle Anna  can breathe easy.

Shashank Udapurkar has spent seven years of  his life working on the Anna Hazarefilm. Now that the film is on release Shashank feels these last seven years have been the most worthwhile phase  of his life. “I was nearly destroyed by the Indian system of governance when Annaji canme into my life. He was the rarest of rare ideologue in a world where cynicism and corruption ruled. It would be no exaggeration to say Annajichanged my life.I can’t think of anything worth remembering in my life before I met him.”

Shashank says he was just another honest Indian disillusioned by Indian politics before he met Anna Hazare. “I was defeated and shattered by the System. I come from a  family of engineers. My father was an engineer. But he had to give up  his job within six months as he couldn’t cope with the corruption. My brother too is an engineer.I struggled with the family profession . But I was driven out , as honest people are driven out of government organizations.”

Shashank says his association with Anna Hazare rejuvenated him. “When I got to know him closely I realized how ascetic his lifestyle is .Annaji is a pure karmyogi. I was  immensely attracted to his simplicity honesty and dedication to the country’s betterment. I had to make a film on his life and teachings.”

When Shashank approached Anna Hazare for consent to make the bio-pic he was taken aback by the response. “Annaji said, ‘Why don’t you make  a film on  Gandhiji or SwamiVivekanand? Why me?’ His humility is stupefying. Just how he remains  so innocent,so unaffected by the evil around us is a lesson for all of us.In a world rapidly evacuated of heroes Anna is a super-hero.”

Armed with only his determination to tell his hero’s stort Shashank embarked on the most difficult mission of his life.  “It took me seven years to recreate Annaji’s life story.To write the screenplay I had to re-visit all the places where he grew up . I had to live through all the major turning points in his career.”

Once the script was ready Shashank decided to play Anna himself. “No one is closer to the screenplay than I am. I think I understand the working of Annaji’s mind and his philosophy of selfless service to the nation, better than anyone else. I decided to take on the responsibility of playing Annaji.”

Now that Shashank Udapurkar’s dream project is ready he sits nervously in his home waiting for the verdict.  “For seven years I lived and breathed only the film. Now it’s gone from my hands. There is a feeling emptiness inside me that I cannot explain.There is nothing more I can do except wait for the junta’s verdict. I hope and pray that Annaji’s message of protest against corruption in the public services is embraced by the youth.”

The anxious actor-writer-director admits he targets his bio-pic at the young. “All change,any change can only come from the youth. Luckily Anna is being released in close to 600 screens across the country. Luckily Sony Pictures came into the picture at the eleventh hour to handle the distribution. Luckily my message of hope and peace will be heard and seen loud and clear.”

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