Mumbai: It’s all about the survival of the fittest in this field of glitz and glamour. Directors too have to face loads of ups and down in their life. So much so that a female director wishing to pursue her dreams has to let go of wanting to become a mother too. Unless one is satisfied professionally and have things in place financially, it becomes a Herculean task to even think of bringing a new entrant into your family.
In an exclusive chitchat debutante director Paakhi, who is ready with her first Assamese film, ‘Pahuna’ from Priyanka Chopra’s production house Purple Pebbles, opened up to Deccan Chronicle.
Paakhi, whose real name happens to be Punarnava Mehta, married Abbas Tyrewala after they fell in love while she was assisting him in, ‘Jaane Tu Jaane Na’.
“I always wanted my directorial debut to begin with a Nepali film. Initially, I wanted to narrate it on the silver screen in Hindi. However, as I was teaching Art of Living in Assam, which I learned from my Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, I was carried away with their love and affection. These people took me not only into their homes but took me into their hearts. The conditions 13 years ago were not as welcoming to them as despite being Indians they were looked down upon as if they were from somewhere else. With films like ‘Chak De’ and ‘Mary Kom’ things have drastically changed for their betterment. If at all I am given a chance to rest finally, I will choose Sikkim. I would like to die in Sikkim,” Paakhi ruminated.
Speaking of working with PeeCee’s production house, Paakhi said, “Having directed Pahuna for Purple Pebbles is indeed a privilege to me. The film is all set to release all over India very soon.”
Speaking about her experience as a filmmaker, Paakhi elaborated, “A director should never possess any ego at all. Also having worked with director Nagesh Kukonoor, I have learned to finish every sphere of filmmaking, learning all the hardships and facing them to the best of my ability. My husband Abbas has taught me to keep writing a few drafts unless you feel satisfied. Also you need not crave for sleep or any their comforts until you have finished your film. During the course of directing a film, even if you get just three hours sleep you need to be contented.
“Having worked with Aamir sir, John Abraham and now Priyanka Chopra, I find them all very grounded. About Aamir sir, everyone asks me if he is of the interfering sort. I never experienced any such thing. In fact he never came to the sets even single day. John is a sweetheart. He helped me move forward teaching and helping me at every step. Priyanka is also very passionate producer must say. She will call me and pat my back stating that, ‘You have done a wonderful job. But if she finds something not fitting, she will tell me frankly and we make changes. If things go wrong they will me questioned and not me. So I am a producer’s director always. I have always got whatever I needed while producing this film Pahuna. I am more than happy.”
About her future films she confirms, “I have a political thriller written and have got a producer too for it. I will be directing the film as well. I also like to take care of the screenplay. It’s been my ambition to write/direct and write the screenplay as well by myself and bring it alive onto the silver screen.”
Speaking on not starting a family as yet, Paakhi said, “Having been married for some time now, Abbas and I are of the opinion that unless we settle down well in our lives, we cannot bring a child into this world. Unless we are satisfied professionally and are capable enough of looking after a new entrant in the family, it is not advisable to get him in our lives. However, now that I’m satisfied a little bit with how things are going and Abbas is also busy writing Robot 2.o and the lyrics for a play by Mira Nair, we will think over and plan accordingly.”