IshkIshkIshk.Prod Story 2

The film had a large star cast. Shekhar Kapoor and Zarina Wahab were introduced in this film. Shekhar and child actor Padmini Kolhapure were newcomers who would go on to become very prominent personalities in future. Until then Shekhar had been a practicing CA in London. Padmini was a child of about 8-9 years. Other major actors were Premnath, Nadira, Iftekhar, Jankidas, Sudhir, Birbal, Trilok Kapoor, Madhup Sharma, Maruti, Ranjan and Nana Palsikar. Shabana Azmi and Komal (who later married Shatrughan Sinha) too were fairly new in the business. Shabana we all know has reached pinnacles of fame in various fields. Dev Saab had also selected a group of 12 pretty young girls to play as a group of trekkers in the film. Most prominent among them was the established model Shiela Jones.
In the morning of ‘day one’ as our raft was half way, we noticed Dev Saab pacing up and down ready with make-up, dressed in green leather pants and yellow shirt. He was shouting at us telling that we were late. Shooting started with scenes of Premnath, child actor Satyajit and comedian Maruti. It is late morning in the scene. Premnath is mad at sleeping hotel workers (child actor Satyajit and Maruti). Satyajit was supposed to have overslept, so he was to be woken up roughly by Premnath. Premji (Premnath) said he will do a direct take without rehearsal. He came screaming from far, shook up Satyajit roughly and perhaps even slapped him. Satyajit was not expecting so much energy in the scene. He got very scared and after the shot he developed fever and was sick for 3 days. He also brandished a knife at Maruti and he too seemed mortally scared.
Later during night shift we started playback sequences of songs, ‘Mujhko Agar Ijazat Ho To’ and ‘Kisi Na Kisi Se’, inside the large circular dining hall. This restaurant had glass windows all around it and a fire place in the middle. During the song shoots all twelve model girls, Zeenat Aman, Zarina Wahab, Padmini, Shekhar, Kuljit, Gautam Sarin, Nadira and Premnath participated. We shot that night and every night till about 2-3am. After pack up all of us would rush to wrap up the equipment, in order be the first to take the raft. The second round would delay you surely by about 15 min. Initially a hotel boy was assigned to pull it for us; but soon it was clear that he was not going to get any sleep doing that job. Thus soon enough unit members themselves took it over. For the young technicians of the unit, it was quite enjoyable too. In fact my selection to be a part of this film was done with my age in mind, then 23 years. Navketan’s earlier recordist Mr. J M Barot was quite senior by then and could not have kept up to the rigorous physical demands of this film. Mr. Barot was associated with Navketan until their previous film ‘Heera Panna’ and has had a long association with them. I was told that Dev Saab had a meeting with his close associates on this point and Gogi Anand had suggested my name to him. I will thank him forever for trusting me and linking me to such a famous personality and his esteemed banner.
Dev Saab loves to have energetic people around him. He likes to see his people on their toes, full of energy, rather than sitting around and looking dull. And I fitted the bill. I would say that hiring me for ‘Ishq Ishq Ishq’ was as beneficial for Navketan, as it was for me. The shooting schedules and locations were so strenuous that older technicians would not have survived it. We shot, two shifts a day, i.e. day and night for 42 days without break. That is ample proof of the tough shooting, we had. We slept only between 3am and 7am. For me it was a little worse, because I had got hooked on to drinking. Me, Vijay and Oscar (choreographers) would drink like devils and eat our cold dinner from the restaurant at 4am, everyday! I survived this physical abuse since I was a tough 23 then.
For a few days we shot at another pretty location called ‘Tibetan Camp’. I did my first shopping of Nepali trinkets, copper medallions, beads etc out of my daily allowance of 35 Nepali Rupiyah. We shot scenes of flashback with Premnath and Zeenat Aman. Zeenat had to insert pieces of cotton pads behind her cheeks in her mouth to look different. She played Premnath’s wife (she dies later) and her own mother with this look. Other actors in this sequence were Iftekhar, Ranjan and A K Hangal. Mr. Hangal played a Hindu priest. He did similar roles of a priest in three more films with me later. ‘Kalabaaz’ was another one, yet again with Dev Anand and Zeenat. All the locations that we shot on were totally unexplored by any other camera. As an assistant recordist I hadn’t traveled much. I had just been to Goa once (for ‘The Witness’). Nepal looked so pretty to me. I also had this excitement in my chest that technically I was in a foreign country for the first time in my life, never mind without passport. Navketan had made I-cards for all of us and that was enough.