You may not be able to see his one face at a time, since he has so many persons, rather personalities-in-one body. At one point of time you may feel that he is a poet with different sensbilities, sometime you will be contradicting yourself by feeling the depth and flow of his prose. On another day, you may read him as a hawk eyed journalist, a film critic, a crusader as well. Next day you may find him writing a script and on another day directing a movie based on a self-written script. By writing this, I am defining Bakhshinder (who very recently has written-directed and produced a featurette film TERI FILM) a multifaceted man, a man who dons so many hats.
Recently I met him and I asked him a series of digging questions regarding his multi-colored life. He answered every question very honestly. Here are some of the outstanding questions-answers out of them for our readers:
How did you manage so many hats single headedly?
A human being is the best creation of God. In other words, God created himself in every human body. Everybody is the image of Almighty. If God is known as a ‘multitasker’, why his best creation – the human being cannot perform some of the duties assigned to him by his Creator. Usually every human being play many roles on this stage. Sometimes he is a son, sometimes he performs as husband, at times he is a father, an officer, a public servant, a teacher or a preacher. So, like every human being, I switch over between Writing, Journalism, Film Direction, Traveling and many other creative pursuits time to time.
If I ask you about your ‘First Love’?
Writing is my ‘First Love’ and now I won’t give you the chance to bifurcate this question. Films are my passion, since so many other arts and fine arts are blended in film making. There is visualizing, writing, writing and feeling poetry, music and music direction, singing, acting, painting (art direction), set designing, set creating, dancing and dance direction and above all, there is creative evaluation or reviewing the total process of film making. So if you become the film maker, you automatically become the student ( s o m e t i m e s the teacher too) of every art under the sky.
How did a journo or penman like you turn to be a film maker?
It did not happened suddenly or in a day or two. Film making has been cooking myself or was being cooked inside me since my student age, when I acted and directed some short plays. Then came the time, when I found myself indulged in writing poetry, short stories and one act plays as well. After completing my graduation, I felt that I should be earning from my writing or there should be a job by which I can boost myself as writer. I joined journalism. I was very keen film watcher before being journalist. Then again I was watching films. My seniors inspired me to write something about the films, I watch. From that point of time I was tagged as ‘film critic’. While reviewing the films, I started suggesting that had the maker of a particular film, had treated his film or subject in ‘this or that way’ the film can result as ‘good or hit’. This was the time, when a film maker started to rise his head inside me.
How did this film maker come out?
I watched films and wrote critically about them. After reading my reviews published in newspapers like Nawan Zamaana, Jag bani and Punjabi Tribune, some people asked me to write film scripts for them. Then I have written MAHAUL THEEK HAI as my maiden film script. After that I have written another Punjabi feature film called ZORAWAR. My third one was a telefilm named KAMMO. In between, I have written scripts for All India Radio and Doordarshan. ISHTIHAAR a radio play written by me was selected for a National Award in ‘All India Competition of Radio Plays’ organized by Ministry of Information & broadcasting, Govt. of India. Whenever anyone of my scripts has been picturized, I felt director has not done the justice with my script. Whenever it happened, the film maker inside me, begged me to let him come out. So with TERI FILM, he has come out.
Are there some of your scripts yet waiting to be filmed?
Actually I don’t write scripts in advance. I always write, whenever I am assigned to. I have three scripts ISHQ DI NAVION NAVIN BAHAAR (a rom-com), GHAR WALI BHOLLE DI (an entertainer) and BABA INQLAB SINGH (a biopic) which, due to some p r e – p r o d u c t i o n problems, has not come in the light yet.
Any of your bit- ter experience in film indus- try?
There are so many experiences. But, What I generally feel, the script writer is the worst sufferer in this industry. He is the person, who creates everything of the film out of nothing. At the end of the day everybody in production team think that writer has nothing to show as investment. Moreover, after first meeting with producers, writer become busy. When every member of the production team enjoy tight sleep, writer spend the so many nights sleepless. By the time, he completes first draft of the one line, some one from the production house tell him that that project is shelved. I have gone through the situations like this, so many times.
Why the cinema of Punjab could not match itself to the cinema of other Indian states?
Actually we Punjabi people start anything like cinema from ‘Z’ and then after some time, half of the team goes towards ‘A’. By this modus operandi, ‘Z’ team pushes the film project towards ‘A’ and the ‘A’ team tries to finish the work by pushing it towards ‘Z’. Thus, we cannot concentrate and focus ourselves on one aim, that is why we notice a list of bipolar defects in Punjabi Cinema. In other words Producers of Punjabi films, first of all gets their songs written and recorded. Then they hire a writer to fill the gaps between the songs with drama. Now it is not very difficult to imagine the results. Most of Punjabi film producers aspire to be writers and actors. In such situation, no director can dare to criticize the story/ script written by the producer. Again you can well imagine about the final shape of the product. Unless good stories are taken, unless skilled writers are given due respect and good wages, the body of Punjabi cinema will never be muscular one.
Have you written something about films and film industry except scripts, I mean as a media man?
I have already mentioned that I was (now even) a film critic. Moreover, I have written a book about the ‘art of film making’ in Punjabi, titled FILMSAZI. Basically I am a poet and MAUN AWASTHA DE SAMVAAD is a collection of Poems, Gazals and Lyrics. I have written a collections of plays titled SAB TON GANDI GAAL. A lot of Radio/TV plays and features jotted by me has been broadcast/ telecast. More than 2000 articles written by me has been published in various newspapers. I have written a regular column ARZ KITAI for more than six years in Ajit Weekly and writing a weekly coumn SIRRE TE GANDH in Daily Punj Pani. These both papers of Punjabi are being published from Toronto.
What are your future plans?
A writer cannot plan, at least I could never. Writer’s plannings merge in producer’s plans. So I have left this department to my producers. Yes, whenever I get an assignment, I plan my schedule to get it finished in time. Some producers has shown interest in my job and they are in a process to sign me for a Punjabi film, which will entirely be picturised in canada. So wait and watch, as I am doing.#