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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lost "Labour of Love"

An Open Letter to Manoj Night Shyamalan, the renowned Hollywood director, writer and producer.

Dear Mr. Shyamalan,

I'm writing this letter to you assuming that as a die-hard fan of your films I have the right to do so, and as is the virtue with celebrities, specially from the world of films, you would not let a fan's letter go into the trash without going through it. My association with you as a fan goes back to the early 90s when I watched Praying With Anger, one of your early attempts at filmmaking while still a student. Wow, what a mesmerizing experience it was to see such a realistic movie, revisiting your roots while on a trip back home. That day onwards I never missed any movie made by you right from The Sixth Sense (1999) to After Earth (2013). A few of the films may not have gone well with the critics or the viewers, but for me they were amongst my most favorite – this is what being a big fan is all about, blind love for films made by your beloved filmmaker or the film star.

Back home in India, I have been a big fan of megastar Amitabh Bachchan since the 70s when his film Zanjeer was declared a super hit and he the 'angry young man' of Hindi cinema. There was no looking back for him thereafter and year after year he gave the greatest hits, acclaimed by critics and the audiences alike. After winning numerous 'Best Actor' awards at film award functions including the prestigious National Film Award, his crowning glory came when BBC declared him the greatest actor of the millennium after worldwide poll. You cannot imagine how greatly proud and happy I felt as a fan of his astounding achievements. But my dream was yet to come true – seeing my favorite star Amitabh Bachchan and my most admired director M. Night Shyamalan working together and combine their creative capabilities to make the most memorable Hollywood/Bollywood co-production, which makes the viewers worldwide wonderstruck by the two biggest film industries in the world. However, like your stories, famous for the twists that shock the viewers to no end, I found my dream shattered by a no less shocking twist, that turns my most favorite film celebrities stand on the opposite side of the fence.

This is how the happening is reported in media and reproduced on internet:
Shootjit Sirkar's Shoebite starring Amitabh Bachchan, Jimmy Shergill and Dia Mirza has been stuck in the canes for a long time. Reason : Shebite is a remake of a film called Labour of Love which was supposed to be made by Hollywood director Manoj Night Shyamalan way back in 1994. Shyamalan sold the rights of his story to Fox Star Studios for a hefty sum but the movie never got made. Later, UTV acquired the remake rights from Fox and started work o the film Shoebite. As the film neared completion, Shyamalan changed his mind all of a sudden and stated that he now plans to make his film Labour of Love. He along with Fox communicated to UTV that they should not release their film Shoebite till he makes and releases his own Hollywood version. However, Shyamalan got busy with another film altogether, After Earth, a sci-fi film starring Will Smith. This film has been completed and released this year, but one can only wait and watch when he makes Labour of Love. Meanwhile the never ending wait for the release of already completed Shoebite continues.

Obviously, Amitabh Bachchan is very upset with this delay:
“I do hope we get to see the light of day of that film. … A great amount of hard work and personal sweat has been put into that film … But such is life! Sometimes the most amount of energy spent on the accomplishment of an issue does not necessarily translate to better result.”

And so is Shootjit Sirkar, the director of Shoebite:
“I have seen my bad days with Shoebite .. I have seen pathetic days because of Shoebite, down to the point of being depressed. When a film does not release, I can't tell you what a director goes through. The actors, producers move on, but the director goes through what a mother goes through when a child is stillborn. Shoebite is very close to my heart, it's really close. I know it's a passionately done film. Had it released I would have said people who saw it would have walked out of the theater loving it”.

As a big fan of you both, I can only wish and pray that the issue is resolved at the earliest to fecilitate the release of the film – Shoebite – without further delay. May I make a very special and earnest request to you to help in the matter if it is in your hands. God bless you.

With lots of love and regards

Tilak Rishi
104 Hillcrest Blvd. Apt. 8
Millbrae, CA 94030 (USA)
September 10, 2013


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