Mehul Kumar has turned 73 years old. Mehul Kumar is the only producer-director with whom famous actor Raj Kumar has done three films. The credit for Raj Kumar’s return to the big screen goes to Mehul Kumar, while Amitabh Bachchan’s return to films was also from Mehul Kumar’s film. The name of Mehul Kumar is also associated with the famous anecdote of the Hindi film world in which he shot an important scene of the film without the hero without giving a date to the hero of the film and it is Mehul Kumar whose film is on the set. Shatrughan Sinha, who is always late in shooting, has made a record of arriving on time. Mehul Kumar took out time to have this special conversation with ‘Amar Ujala’ on the eve of his birthday and narrated all these tales of his career with great fanfare.
When people can’t feel ‘tricolor’
The stalwart actor of his time, Raj Kumar has not done three films with any director. But he worked with Mehul Kumar in films like ‘Marte Dum Tak’, ‘Jangbanj’ and ‘Tiranga’. Mehul Kumar says, ‘Raj Sahab’s comeback came from my film. I never even dreamed that Amit ji would return with my film ‘Mrityutata’. Raj sahib was a very clear cut person, if someone used to play double game with him, then he would not have made it to him. If you narrated the scene-wise story to them and gave them a copy of the script, there was never a problem. He wanted a script in Urdu. When I announced ‘Tiranga’ with Raj Sahab and Nana Patekar, people thought that this film would not be made. But, the film was released in six months and became a hit.
Amitabh Bachchan A dedicated actor no other
Mehul Kumar has done ‘Mrityudata’ and ‘Kohram’ with Amitabh Bachchan. Mehul Kumar says, ‘Amitabh Bachchan never used to leave the set. Even when his shot was over, he used to sit on the set, whereas today’s actors immediately go to their vanity van after the shot is over. One day I asked Bachchan sahib that you don’t get shot, why do you keep sitting on the set? First of all he said that what is the problem with you sitting here with me? Then he told that I sit on the set so that I can see the reaction of the front, when my close shot is taken, then I will be able to give my reaction accordingly.
Shooting of the film completed without Govinda
Mehul Kumar, who has done films like ‘Aasman Se Uncha’, ‘Marte Dum Tak’ and ‘Jangbaaz’ with Govinda, says, ‘We were shooting for Govinda’s film ‘Aasman Se Uncha’ in Kashmir. The fight scene was to be shot in snow but due to bad weather we could not shoot that day and Govinda had to leave the next day. We told Govinda to wait for one more day to complete the shoot but he did not stop. It was not possible to come to Kashmir with the unit again for that scene. We shot that scene without Govinda on his duplicate. Later on coming to Filmcity, we shot some close shots in that scene. Even today, without taking my name, Govinda mentions that a director shot the scene without me.
Shatrughan came on the set at 10 o’clock Sinha
People tell about actor Shatrughan Sinha, who is popularly known as ‘Shotgun’, that he has been famous for not reaching the shooting of his films on time. But on the shooting of Mehul Kumar’s film ‘Injustice’, he reached at 10 am one day. Mehul Kumar says, ‘I knew that Sinha sahib never came on time for the shoot. One day I asked why you don’t come on time for the shoot. He said that even if I reached the shooting on time, people still could not take my shot, so I always made it a rule to be late for the shoot. I said if I get your first shot tomorrow morning at 10 am? He promised to reach on time. We were shooting at Filmalaya and the next day when Sinha sahib came on time, the whole unit was stunned to see him.