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|August 13, 2001||
Ashok Mehta sits on a chair waiting, patiently. Manisha Koirala is late.
With his cowboy hat, torn jeans, faded shirt and boots, cinematographer-turned-director Ashok looks like Feroz Khan in his 'sex God' avatar.
Now, however, Ashok is busy on the sets of Moksh, which sees him as producer and director.
Shades of green dominate a 20-metre wall on the sets of Filmistan. A small kitchen occupies one corner. It’s a quiet day. Not many people around.
He is enthusiastic about this film which is almost two years old: "I was not interested in films but Ashok got me going.
“Yes Moksh has been in the making for a while. But I'm in no hurry. I can wait. We hope for an October 2001 release."
"Manisha was very cool with the idea of working with a newcomer like me. We had a wonderful time shooting together. She’s my anchor in the film and has taught me a lot," he adds.
Moksh tells of a man's realisation his life's quest.
A spot of light hits Arjun. Ashok is playing around with the lights. He summons Arjun and the two go over the scene together.
As they rehearse, Manisha and her entourage appear. She disappears into the makeup room and is ready in no time. She skims through the script and is ready for the shot.
The scene has her pacifying Arjun, who's upset because he has made a mistake. The duo rehearses and a perfect shot follows.
Manisha checks her makeup for the close-ups to follow. In a jiffy, Ashok lights up the scene and they can the shots of Manisha's anxiety and pain.
Break time. Manisha is ecstatic about her role, "Ashokji is like this teacher who wants to teach you everything -- cinematography, correct lighting, makeup. Moksh has been a pleasant experience."
"Arjun is so hardworking and intelligent. He's very patient. Waiting four years for a debut film release is not a joke. I hope his films have a good run," she says, earnestly. .
India News Feature Service
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