Celebrated filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra had made a mark for himself in Bollywood industry with films like 1942: A Love Story, Sazaye Maut, Mission Kashmir, Parinda and many others. His first student short film, Murder at Monkey Hill, bagged the National Film Award for Best Short Experimental Film. However, not many know about his first encounter with Lal Krishna Advani.
The ace filmmaker, Vidhu has penned a book ‘Unscripted: Conversations on Life and Cinema’ which a glimpse into the mind, method and madness of one of contemporary Hindi cinema’s best filmmakers. The book, which has been co-authored by Abhijat Joshi, is released today.
In the book, Vidhu Vinod Chopra narrated a hilarious incident about his first encounter with LK Advani at the 24th National Film Awards in 1976, where he won an award for his short film. The filmmaker revealed that when he was called on the stage to receive the award and prize money, he was greeted by then-President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy and L K Advani, who was Minister for Information and Broadcasting at that time.
The president gave him a gold medallion along with a brown envelope, and Vidhu Vinod Chopra expected that cash amounting to Rs 4000. But much to his disappointment, the envelope contained a postal bond which can be encashed in seven years. The filmmaker confronts Advani directly at that very moment. The veteran politician tried to explain that this bond will get him money later in life but after realizing that Chopra wanted money immediately, he told him to meet him tomorrow.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the next day, met the veteran politician at Shastri Bhawan, where the latter scolded the former for his misbehaviour at the event. Chopra then went on to explain that he had borrowed Rs. 1200 to his friends and intends to return the amount from the prize money. This melted Advani’s heart, who not only gave the prize money but also ordered eggs and paratha as a breakfast for the filmmaker.
Moreover, LK Advani even made a member of the FTII Governing Council even though he was a student of the institute. From the council, the filmmaker would receive Rs. 880 for the airfare for attending the meetings. The veteran politician did this knowing that Vidhu Vinod Chopra is not financially well off.