Pavan Malhotra: “Kundan Shah Changed The Way We Look At Entertainment”

“I was fortunate enough as an actor to be part  of that group of game-changing filmmakers in  the 1970s Saeed Mirza, Aziz Mirza, Vinod Chopra and Kundan Shah.

In fact it was Aziz Saab who called me to tell me about Kundan’s death and  to inform as  many friends about it as possible . It feels like the death of an era…Kundan was soknowledgable and not just about cinema. Way back in 1986 he revolutionized the way we looked at television.

The work that he did in Nukkad,Manoranjan and Circusremains unparalleled to this day on Indian television. I  was  lucky enough  to be  part  of  Nukkad and Manoranjan. I learnt so  much from working with  Kundan.

The  wisdom and  intelligence he  brought to television  and then to cinema with Jaane  BhiDo Yaaron was amazing. Though  I didn’t have a role  in  Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron I served as an assistant on the film. Kundan was a hard taskmaster.

He  expected  plenty from himself and  from those around  him. Unfortunately  the work that he did afterNukkad and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron could   not measure up to them. This happens to many outstanding filmmakers. I haven’t seen his later works. But none  of them had  the same  impact. It is remarkable what that group of filmmakers achieved .

Whether  it was Kundan with Jaane  Bhi Do Yaaron and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na,  Saeed Mirza withAlbert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata  Hai and Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro(in which I starred) or Vidhu Vinod Chopra with Khamosh and  Parinda…these are films that changed the way we look at Indian cinema.

I  am very proud to be associated withKundan. I met him last after Saeed Saab’s surgery six months ago. We  met at the hospital and then chatted over a meal.I wish we  met more often.”

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