Preface

He was born in a lower middle class, orthodox, conservative family of Uttar Pradesh.

1. Dadi ji, Mrs Jayanti Sharma, my biological grandmother
2. Pt. Devidas Sharma, my grandfather
3. Mrs Lilavati Sharma, my grandmother
4. Shri Prem Sagar Sharma, my father
5. Mrs. Shakuntala Sharma, my mother

In 1969, after college he appeared for a written test for admission in the Film Institute of India – ‘just for fun’. As a child whose only connection with movies was singing film songs and enviously watching film posters from a distance. But soon he found out that his ‘just for fun’ decision was turning into a very serious business, which he had not expected in wildest of his dreams.

It seems out of thousands of candidates in India, he did well enough to be called for an interview to the film institute. His father had told him, see Bombay after the interview and then return home. A family had hosted him for a few days. But in Pune a much bigger shock was yet to be faced. His plans to return back home soon, turned sour because he found his name in the merit list of successful candidates! Instantly he was faced with the worst dilemma of his life. At that young age, he had to take a life altering decision all by himself! Well, after a few intense minutes of massive mental upheaval, figuring pros and cons; he decided to jump in. Even though he was all of 18, he was a very bold person! So deciding to join ‘sound recording and sound engineering’ course at the film institute, was the best outcome those brief tumultuous moments churned out!

My ‘Sound Recording’ course got over in the end of April, 1972. The very next day after the formalities of final semester were done with; I vacated the hostel, packed my bag and landed in Bombay. It was 3rd May. In a true ‘filmy style’; I was faced with a horrifying situation of spending my first night on a street, in the mega city. My friend Arun Chakravarty had got an accommodation in an Andheri lodge, where I had parked my bag. I myself could not stay in after 9 pm, as the owner would not allow any outsider to remain in. So, I had to get out and start walking up and down… to kill time. How much ‘time’ would that be, I had no idea. Mentally I was prepared to spend the night, in the open… In a while I sat down on a bench. I don’t think I must have thought about eating. There were bigger situation to be handled. I was visualizing a cop to appear, question me harshly, about what was I doing there so late or he might even threaten me to go home or just get lost…

It was past 11 pm and most of lodge lights were off. My eyes were glued to the lodge gate, that held all the comfort and security behind it. Suddenly I saw a figure at the gate. My friend, gingerly opened the shutter of the lodge, he gestured me to come. Very quietly he sneaked me into his room… and… very narrowly I escaped the adventure of sleeping on a cement bench at Lallu Bhai Park, Andheri. Next day, on May 4, my other friends found a large room for me at Arab Bunglaow, Khetwadi Main Road (Girgaon). I had been allotted a bed out of four available in the room. Best part was other 3 beds also were occupied by my Film Institute friends. I would stay here for the next 5 years and would become very close friends of land-lord Jayant Patel and his entire family.

In a few days I found myself working as a recording assistant in a number of movies. Soon I was working not only with the stars, I admired from a distance, but also became a part of their team! Within year and a half I had to bid good-bye to assisting, as in Oct 1973, I got a break as Navketan’s ‘sound recordist’. Film was Ishk Ishk Ishk, a musical.

By 1985 I had done nearly 25 feature films.

Later I got into documentaries and did ‘recording’ for many established documentary makers. I experienced working as production manager, did some writing, also produced and directed a few documentaries.