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
1300. rupachoudhury
Posted on Jul,28,2008 at 04:09 PM
Abbas thanks for the heartening piece of information and
incidents. Makes us like Amir and the film even much much more.


1299. rehanpaul
Posted on Jul,28,2008 at 02:32 PM
Its was indeed a refreshing movie. Good performance by the new
commers but still there was a scope to be more innovative with
the concept.

PS: In a scene where upset Imran is stilling on his bed and his
mother is advising him on something.I could clearly see a hand
mike being stuck with the bed with a white tape on it...may be
you could take care of this in your next movie

1298. sammy0811
Posted on Jul,28,2008 at 01:55 PM
hey was nice to know such things about aamir....

1297. bhushanarora
Posted on Jul,28,2008 at 11:38 AM
When there is faith, there is no fear....
abbas had fear & aamir replaced it with faith ....
and the result is all for us to c...
God Bless...

1296. starlight27
Posted on Jul,27,2008 at 09:45 PM
this one's for abbas!!!
u totALLY ROCK...

with friendship.. turnin to love.. best frens.. (well it can be
but.. Mr. Godot???
i generAlly asked!!

loads of love...
to both aaamir.. and abbas..
and imran.. and meow!!! ;-)

btw--i saw it 8 times!!! JT.. yes!!

1295. sonalthakur
Posted on Jul,27,2008 at 04:28 PM
I am so touched and happy that someone has reaffirmed my thoughts
about aamir...and cheers to you abbas for so genuinely writing
this about a person who truly deserves it. loved the
movie....imran i think will do great....good luck to the entire


1294. ksh
Posted on Jul,27,2008 at 01:58 PM
Bravo....beautifully written. Had tears in my eyes while reading
this. I'm a writer / aspiring director and could connect with
this completely... It also gives me much hope...

Good luck to all you guys...hope its a soaring flight..


1293. echoes
Posted on Jul,27,2008 at 01:52 AM
hi aamir...

1stly, i wanted 2 ask u dat do u go thru each n every reply or
"try to go thru as many replies as possible"? :D

neway, i saw da film again 2day and with the new song this tym...
though this song fulfills yet another cliche of hindi films - the
ultra-glam dream sequence, i would say that yes, u guys made the
right decision in not including it in ur original film...
don't get me wrong... i loved the song and u guys spent a hell
lot of time effort and money on the picturisation! :P but yes, it
does slow down the film a bit...
neway, a penny for my thought... err, how abt a reply for my
thought! :-)

1292. NewDeep2
Posted on Jul,27,2008 at 01:11 AM
TAARE ZAMEEN PAR DVD (TZP DVD) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A BiiiiG round of applause for the TZP DVD!! No watermarked logos
on the video! No navigation blocks!!

Only a little cropping - (why aamir bhai -- why isn't the video
totally uncropped -- it's not 2.35:1 but only abt 2.26:1 in
aspect ratio -- as sch some image has been cropped on the dvd)!!!

Balanced sound in 5.1!!!! No scrolling ads in the movie!!!!!


Please do spill the beans :-) This doesn't look like a T-series
authoring; looks like t-series only replicated the master disc
authored elsewhere.

Aamir, please TELL TELL :-)

Only thing, as already shared, the DVD is Region 5, and not
Universal or ALL Region, as mentioned on the DVD packaging.

And the collectibles -- beautiful!!!!!!

And artwork -- LOVELY!!!!!!!!!!!

Three cheers again for AAMIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -

NewDeep (Deepinder)

1291. Kicks007
Posted on Jul,26,2008 at 09:52 PM
I finally got to see it! Soooooo great and truly warms up your
soul :) Excellent on all accounts.

Two questions:

1. The sign at the end held by the elderly sleeping man, says
"Mr. Godot", is this a reference to "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel
Beckett?" And if so, why ?

2. When Jai goes to Sushant's house to beat the hell out of him
or as Jai is riding to the airport, and especially the final
scene...there's this lovely line of instrumental music, while
it's probably too late to release that music on the CD, can it be
made available via Itunes?! It's so soothing and really ties the
movie nicely with a little red bow :)

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