It’s a bird... it’s a plane... Abbas Tyrewala   

Once again the rules of this blog stop me from editing what Abbas has written. Let me warn you that Abbas is rather generous with his word count. Also, I hate stuff written about me.

Well anyway here goes.

P.S. - Based on requests we''ll have the song on for 2 weeks instead of 1.


December 2005. In a small office-cottage in Aram Nagar, I sat alone with my girlfriend Pakhi. Most of the technical crew contracted to work on a film called Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na had slowly drifted away –aware through an unspoken understanding that the prospects for our film getting made anytime soon looked bleak. This was the office that we had chosen and done up in shades of happy red to be the home of JTYJN. The lease was about to end, and we had not shot for a single day.

We were talking about the fact that even though the film had not gotten made, it had led to the discovery of such amazing people: she, my wife-to-be. My cameraman Manoj Lobo. So many members of my fresh-from-the-oven cast and crew. And this wonderful, incredibly warm and funny boy called Imran who would have been so perfect for the part of Jai Singh Rathore.

Oh what the heck! There would be other times and other films, and we would all find a way to work together again.

Just then Imran dropped by. He used to work out in the area and used to drop by to inquire if we were making any progress. I had started feeling a slight pang of guilt every time I saw him. Here was a guy not particularly interested in acting in Hindi films, who had now taken to the idea of playing a character that would never see the light of a Kino. Jhamu Sugandh was a wonderful man and a generous producer, but his situation was precarious and we had finally realised that he would not be able to see the film through.

After a few cursories, Imran asked if I was willing to approach another producer with the film. In that instant, I knew the producer he had in mind. He said that Aamir had heard the story and had been reasonably impressed with it when Imran had come aboard. He was now willing to give it a serious listen and consider producing it. I looked at Pakhi, who had never, ever let me give up on the film. Her eyes were shining – I’m not sure if it was just excitement.

Cut to:

May 2008. Aamir Khan took Jaane Tu... to his fans with a fervour and vengeance that I have never seen in a producer, director or an actor ever before. He introduced Imran to his fans with a warmth and affection that few fathers bring to their own children. He got switched on every limelight that could only be switched on for a Super-Khan, and then trained it on a first-time director and his raw, wet-behind-the-ears team. He stood up and said, “If my films have meant anything to you, know that this is my film.”

There we were in Pune, with a crowd of eight thousand singing “Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na...” along with Imran while Aamir smiled on. Another ten thousand people on the streets of Nagpur singing “Kabhi Kabhi Aditi...” along with Aamir while I laughed in delight. And three floors of a mall in Delhi bursting at the seams with people yelling “Meow, Meow” to Genilia as we walked in.

And all I could remember was the time when I complained to Aamir regarding his unavailability as a producer. TZP was taking up all his time and I was feeling a little cheated because I couldn’t get a day of discussion slotted into his schedule. And he had said, “Abbas, I’m giving you Mansoor Khan. I believe he is the best director I have ever seen. You won’t miss me. I really think you guys will do a great job. As for my role as producer, I promise you that when the time comes to promote and publicize Jaane Tu..., you will not feel that I have neglected the film.”

Luckily, he did manage to steal some time along the way. When I saw the first rushes of Jaane Tu, I was stumped. Could a film possibly look this awful? Even Mansoor bhai was sombre. Imran, I suspect, was devastated. It looked like complete rubbish to us. I was quite certain Aamir would want to cut his losses and put an end to the nonsense.

Instead, he smiled and said, “Its fine. It looks good to me.” I remember wondering if an entire generation (or two) had over-estimated Aamir Khan. But he was insistent that it was working. He simply reaffirmed his only request/demand as a producer – which was that I shoot exactly the script I had narrated to him. He was aware, I think, of how fidgety I was getting about shooting such a simple tale. Evil gangsters were beckoning to me from the shadows, making cinematic suggestions I could not refuse. How could I spend such a large chunk of my life telling a story about two kids in love? Especially when I was clearly ruining it. And with a producer notorious (at least in the secret circles of gossip) for being dissatisfied with most directors?

All he said was, “You haven’t seen too many assemblies, have you? Most look worse. As far as you shoot the script you narrated to me, you’ll be ok.” And for weeks – months – all of us rode his naive confidence. We hung in there, hoping he wasn’t as wrong as a film release during a world cup final, and saw the film through. And I must admit, as we went along, we started thinking of it less as awful, and more as just a bit dull.

When the first cut of the film was screened for the core team, almost everyone was stunned. By almost everyone, I mean everyone including Mansoor bhai, Imran and myself. The only person who sat there grinning smugly was Aamir Khan. His belief in the value of a good script had been vindicated yet again.

Now, we all start off on journeys of our own. I to make another film without Aamir to tell me it will be ok. Imran on his next few projects without a doting uncle to say, “Watch him, he’s terrific.” Genilia to prove that Jaane Tu is just the beginning of her calibre as an actor, not the limit. In the long run, all of us are on commission, not on salary. And we will have to earn our place in the cluttered shelves of your attentions and affections.
But for today, I say to all of you who love Aamir Khan... he’s played human. He’s played hero. He’s played cricketer and cop, rebel and revolutionary, gangster and goon. But on Jaane Tu... he has played for the first time a superhero. He flew to our rescue, and then let us fly. He gave us hope, and then kept the faith. He trusted us, and because we trusted him, we learnt to trust ourselves.

Someone please give the man a cape.

Abbas Tyrewala.

Posted by Aamir Khan at 12:52 AM
1350 Comments  Post Comment Aamir's Responses
1340. JohnnySing
Posted on Dec,09,2008 at 12:01 AM
Mr. Aamir Khan, I wanted to ask you are u so polite in reality or
not? Lets say for instance I meet you some where in Bombay like I
met one of the indian stars in some hotel in Bombay..I tried to
talk to him and he did physical abuse on me..I can't say names. I
was a little kid during that time..I was just joking with him and
he physically abused me ru the same? Sorry i can't take names...I
mean genereally what u guys seem to be on tv ur not in
reality..In realtiy your pretty mean..

1339. UsualCynic
Posted on Nov,21,2008 at 03:33 PM
'He's played cricketer...' Now that's a blast from the past.
'Awwal Number' - featuring the inimitable Dev Anand as *not only*
the BCCI chief, but also the head of Indian Intelligence &
National Security (or something like that). Cover-Drive, et
Under-Cover (i'm so clever). You know, it's a fragile global
economy - if he needs two jobs to pay the mortgage, then so be

1338. haritas2
Posted on Oct,07,2008 at 11:22 PM
I liked the movie ,but I really felt bad for the character
played by Manjari .The character was left lurking in the dark and
hey her situation was really grave well ACCORDING TO ME it gives
an impression that if the girls parents have any problem then
leave her.Hey I think that should have been dealt more delicately

1337. platinumb
Posted on Sep,03,2008 at 08:07 AM
That piece by Abbas Tyrewala was sooo sweet and touching, and
heartfelt. I'm sure Aamir is a superhero, for the simple reason
that he trusts himself so...and never loses his integrity. Aamir
is the reason I love bollywood films (Aamir's films anyway). But
even beyond that, he gives me inspiration and gives me hope in
moments of confidence crisis. I always look up to two things in
such down-and-out moments: one is Ayn Rand's book "The
Fountainhead" and the other is Aamir Khan!

1336. jay2480
Posted on Aug,27,2008 at 12:12 AM
Didn't know that this was Abbas' debut as a director...coz it
doesn't seem like he is new to direction...gr8 work Abbas...hats
off to u.

1335. jay2480
Posted on Aug,26,2008 at 08:59 PM
My first comment on Aamir Khan's blog, or for that matter any
artists' blog :)
Watched JT yesterday, nicely made, good performance. Surely is a
good start for both the leads, my best wishes to them. Aamir,
have u seen 'Socha na tha'? JT reminded me of that movie, coz I
found JT to be somewhat similar to 'Socha na tha' in some parts
(the female lead of both movies even share the same name). 'Socha
na tha' is one of those movies that i can watch over n over and
now JT too. Both give that fresh feeling to the audience. If you
haven't watched the other one, I would say you give that look,
I'm sure u've like that too.

1334. SonaliBasu
Posted on Aug,25,2008 at 06:46 PM
I am new to this blog. I read this write-up and i also read what
imraan and genelia wrote. And I would like to say this if I may.
That if even a fraction of what these people say about Mr. Aamir
Khan is true, and I see no reason to disbelieve them or their
sincerity, then indeed Mr. Khan needs to be given a cape. Or
perhaps he already has one, which he keeps well hidden!

1333. tarana2510
Posted on Aug,25,2008 at 04:45 PM
YOU give me H O P E
Pls look at our script with FIRST time DIRECTOR (from the TV)
Its called A N A N D and ONLY YOU can PLAY ANAND..
tarana singh

1332. alosara
Posted on Aug,21,2008 at 05:31 PM
Thank you Abbas for putting in to words much of what I feel. I
haven't made a movie and I' mnot even in to the creative arts.
But I have much to thank Amir for. I have learnt from his life,
from his acts, from the characters he's played and from his
films. And for all of these learnings I thank him. Here's to the
best and the MOST magnanimous actor in the industry and to a big
human being - thank you Aamir. More power to you.

1331. puchchi
Posted on Aug,18,2008 at 10:06 PM
hey aamir
dying to c jaane tu's dvds in the market...plz launch it as
early as possible....


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