India’s maverick filmmaker who dared to be be different— Mahesh Bhatt

This week on Flashback, we take a look at the journey of one of India’s maverick filmmaker who dared to be-be different, Mahesh Bhatt. He was born 20th September in 1949 to the noted filmmaker Nanabhai Bhatt, and the actress Shirin Mohammad Ali. Mahesh Bhatt had a very unconventional upbringing, one that that was built on love rather than legitimacy. He had a very carefree childhood but without the presence of his father at home, perhaps it was this upbringing that made him the man he went on to become, the man who dared to be unconventional, setting his own rules and breaking them at his own will.

The four boundaries of the school could not tame the rebel, as he never believed in the rote learning. Blessed with a gift of storytelling, even as a school going kid, he started making ads for Dalda and lifebuoy. In 1960, at the tender age of 11, he started his cinematic journey as a publicity designer for Bombai Ka Babu, setting on a glorious journey that gave Hindi cinema one of its finest filmmakers. With a dream and passion of becoming a filmmaker, Mahesh Bhatt met Raj Khosla on the sets of Mera Gaon Mera Desh in 1971 who hired him as a production controller for the film.

From being a gofer to a National Award-winning director, leaving his turbulent 20s behind him Mahesh Bhatt had made his watershed film, Arth. Today, his passion for cinema is unrivalled as he continues to enthral us with his brand of cinema. Puritans mock at him and critics condemn him, but the man who has endured the ocean of turmoil all through his life has and will continue to sing his own song.