Deols are all heart: ‘Singh Saab the Great’ director
My association with the Deols dates back to the time when I was a child. I was 10 years old when I watched my first film — it was in black-and-white. I didn’t quite understand what was going on but it made me fall in love with the magic of motion pictures. Many years later I came to know that the film I had watched was Ganga Ki Leherein and the lead actor was Dharmendra.
It was Dharmendra who made me realise my true calling, he became my favourite star. Then I went on to assist BR Chopra. The first time I saw Dharmendra in person was on the sets of The Burning Train. When he arrived with Hema Malini after shooting for Razia Sultan, it created quite a stir. Everyone on the set left their work and ran towards his car.
Dharmendra had a chat with with BR Chopra and said that he would shoot the next day as he was too tired to work. I was in charge of call sheets — a concept new to the industry then — and using that as an excuse, I chased after him with a hope to meet him. He asked me for my name and took the call sheet from me and laughed. He told me he knew when he has to come to the shoot the next day, and left after patting
It was the first time he had met me but he remembered me even when I went to narrate my first script to him. A meeting had been fixed and I didn’t have a script so I narrated a real-life incident. He liked it so much that he agreed to do the film. When it released, Huqumat ended up as a blockbuster. That marked the beginning of my professional relationship with the Deols.