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
1310. abysree
Posted on Aug,03,2008 at 11:39 AM
Hey Aamir!!!! You r gr8!!!! This what I felt after watching
JTJN....U Always looks for some thing which is always missing in
the Bollywood Film Industry.....Good Story....Better Narration
and Of Course Best Direction.....Ur choice for the film was
SUPERB....All he charectors are well placed....Its not Copy cat
Hindi Film....we cannot judge where movie is going ahead....this
the movie Laggan, TZP, and now JTJN.....

1309. abysree
Posted on Aug,03,2008 at 11:38 AM
U are proving to be a good business men in this film
industry.....HATS OFF TO U Mr.Aamir....I Always feel....if we
started taking the cash away every time where we are doing our
job, without reinvesting to the system again...the system tends
to work very badly.....with pain.....Thats what happening in Film
exceptional in this watching carefully.....all you
TRIOS are doing wonderful things for Film
Industry........Thanking you TRIOS for entertaining us and also
as a Learner of Film Making it always help me to get the best
ways for FILM MAKING......

1308. abysree
Posted on Aug,03,2008 at 11:31 AM
I feel songs and Dance are always necessory part in
film....without this also a film can be recogonised well.....Y Am
writing so much, its only because.....I find Mr. Aamir (you) are
only few of the Film makers in Bollywood who always think
Seriously and make something MEANINGFULL TO THE
CINEMA INDUSTRY....I wonder some directors and music
directors....are always looking for STEALING STORIES AND MUSICS
FOR THEIR Films.....ha Indian Heritage is so small that
they are not getting good stories here.....very sad.....I think I
HAVE BORED U Mr.Aamir....If u found any thing bad in my opinion
Please forgive also looking forward to see BEST your forthcoming films like GAJINI AND DELHI
BELLY.....Thank you......Abi Sree a Free lance VFX Animator from
Kochi Kerala....

1307. abysree
Posted on Aug,03,2008 at 11:31 AM
I am a south indian....from KERALA.....I Always wonder y so much
of PRODUCERS AND DIRECTORS are wasting their money and time by
creating nonsence unbalance movies like....KRAZY 4, Kismat
Connection, if i starts naming those Utter Flop Films this page
will be in sufficient....Out of more than 100 FILMS Created in
Bollywood hardly less than 10 Films get ornly RECOGANISED by
viewers as well as CRITICS.....If in our Malayalam Film
Industry....we got such budget and facilities.....we will do lot
ONE....This is wat happens here...I Always accept the wonderful
Films like Rang De Basanti, Khosla ka Khosla, Guru, Sarkar
Raj....Jane Tu Jane Na and now Aamir......Its all have good

1306. Dwai
Posted on Aug,02,2008 at 01:45 PM
Dear Aaamir,
I have this niggling question from the time i first saw Taare
Zammen par. Is the film, especially the first part in any way
influenced by Francois Truffaut' s"400 Blows" or "Les Quatre
cents coups"?
TZP is an excellent film and would expect more such superb
creations from your stable in the years to come.
It helps quench the thirst even for snobbish pseudo-intellectual
self proclaimed cine analysts like myself ;-)
Best of luck

1305. pankajmum
Posted on Aug,02,2008 at 11:21 AM
hi aamir
everyone who talks abt d perfection normally he gives ur example
n i also believe in that. how can a person can be so perfect in
each n every thing he do. I saw ur interview with rakhi sawant. i
liked it. can u pls tell me, how u manage/think abt a thing that
u r goin to do, which'll be obviously perfect. waiting for ur
reply. i will be more happy if u reply on my mail id thanks

1304. rssmary
Posted on Aug,02,2008 at 10:58 AM
hi abbas,
I'm really impressed to see the film J.T.Y.J.N.
i have two Questions
1st were u a student of psychology ?
2nd who really did the screenplay (Amir Khan or U)?
The story was average ,but u did a brilliant job in screenplay.
now days we need some directors like u.
i also liked editing.

i live in dublin. Please come to dublin for shooting. i wish i
could see ur next film when u r doing re-editing.

all the best to ur future.
Rumana Chowdhury

1303. navnirman
Posted on Aug,01,2008 at 09:17 PM
Hi, Abbas, AAmir....M ur latest fan on the blog...Nav Nirman
Singh from Chandigarh...Aamir ur work is always phenomenal and
awe inspiring....but sorry my first post on ur blog is
complaining...not to u...its for abbas....Abbas jaane tu ya jaane
na was was really awful......but from the
prsn...who wrote was nvr expected...something was
drastically wrong the movie....and nothing was new except
faces....sorry for using these words...i wish u good luck for ur
future movies..waiting eagerly for them..bcoz i love u as a

1302. glimmergal
Posted on Jul,29,2008 at 05:43 PM
Hi Abbas, Aamir,

I got back to India from the US after 5 years. Jaane Tu was the
first movie I saw in theatres after getting back. It was a great
movie. I went to the movie thanks to my cousin's insistence. I
have 2 small kids - 1 and 3 years old and was very skeptical if
they would let me watch it. My daughters love Kabhi Kabhi... and
Pappu can't dance... My little one got down from my cozy lap and
started dancing and singing to Pappu can't dance..saala... Her
version of the song is Pappu..... aala.... I knew it was all
worth it...

1301. 1378563
Posted on Jul,29,2008 at 03:00 PM
hello ABBAS... thanks for giving us Jane tu ya jane na... great
movie... i hope u entertain us more in the future... good luck

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