I do watch movies but have a very limited relationship with them, not as much as many of my friends do.
The only offline relation I had with Movies was of escorting some Movie Stars to my official Events in Appu Ghar, Swiss Military and Gitanjali Lifestyle.
But there’s one relation that I am being reminded today.
It was 2 years back(2010)…..In order to utilize a vacant shop of ours, we had taken up a “Bisleri Mineral Water Distributorship” for our area of West Delhi
It meant supplying different sized Bisleri Bottles to Stockists, Retailers, End Consumers, Hotels, Caterers and anybody who came asking for.
After working on it for 2 months and laying down the systems, I handed it in Auto Mode to my staff and continued with my regular work.
During that time, I heard that there’s some Movie Shooting happening in our Area and on Enquiring, I was told by my Rickshaw Wallah Bhaiya that “Shayad Ranbir Kapoor hai” aur “Rab ne Bana di jori wali larki”
Next day on the front page of Delhi Times, I could spot the details and realized that it’s “some” Ranvir Singh and not The Ranbir Kapoor as told. The Movie was tentatively named “Shaadi Mubarak”.
The Movie was later known as “Band Baaja Baraat” and was one of the Most Entertaining movies and was a Critical and Commercial Success.
Somewhat excited, I reached the location and saw the shooting in progress. The area which was actually Subhash Nagar was addressed as Janak Puri in the movie.
On reaching there, amongst the hustle bustle of the crew, Security, Spot Boys, Camera Men and Junior Artists, I noticed a truck parked on the back that was handing out Tea, Water, Tissue Papers, Juices, Biscuits to the members of the Unit.
I approached the person “Siya Ram Tiwari jee” and asked him about what’s happening.
He told me that this is a truck which goes with every shooting unit and stocks all the supplies like Juices, Biscuits, Water, Tea, Milk, Tissue Paper etc. that may be required by the crew. They had stocked it for 4 days from Mumbai and now it’s time to refill it in a day, specially the water.
On Sensing an opportunity, I jumped in and was introduced to the Executive Assistant and the Accountant who after knowing and verifying my credibility asked me to send 100 Cartons (1 Carton=12 Bottles) of 1 Litre Bisleri Bottles and 40 Jars of 25 Litres immediately.
To confirm they would not run away with my Money I approached the Accountant Dada, Mr. Mukherjee. He advised that I need to ensure to get all Delivery Slips signed & then Payment will never be an issue.
They have a set rules to pay the on-site vendors on a weekly basis. All goods received in a week HAS to be cleared by Friday. This is a Rule made by Mr Yash Chopra himself and ensures that all his accountants (Each unit has a different Accountant) follow it to the T.
He told me that he has been earlier working with Actress Rakhi jee and then with some other producer before started working for Yash jee. He has been working with YRF for past 18 years, and not even once any vendor has to face any problems.
With this trust, I made arrangements that my Office staff take special care in dispatching the goods on time & the payments kept trickling on time.
We used to sell them water worth Rs. 10,000 (BIG) Daily and whenever there was a Big Shoot, (Like the first big shaadi wala scene, where Stage Rotary Motor does not work), then even more.
After a Few Days…..I was sitting with Dada, and he told me “Gurpreet, bore ho gaya hu, yeh khana khakar”, and I invited him to my house and served him jo bhi ghar par bana tha…..Bhindi, Daal and Roti. And then we started talking.
He told me that Yash jee is unlike many Producers/Directors in the trade. The Sense of Responsibility towards the Indian Film industry, Humane Approach towards his employees and a commitment to serve Entertainment to his Fans was utmost for him.
He has a Mantra for Life
Na Kar Bura, Na Ho Bura
Guess that is also a reason that I can sense many Unknown people being teary Eyed today(The day he expired).
Though the shooting had shifted to Mehrauli (20 km away), They wanted my company “Gurbani Enterprises” to continue the service and were ready to pay us extra, as we had to travel a longer Distance to deliver. Thankfully, Bisleri too agreed as we had to sell beyond our territory, that too on special request by YashRaj Films for the same.
Another instance that reminds me of his greatness was when I met a Sikh Gentleman on the sets. He hails from Ambala & undertakes Food Catering and also provides Vanity Vans and Generators for Movie Shoots across india.
He told me that I was a very small business man in Ambala and used to provide Generator for marriages and Functions in the area.
It was one of his Generators which was being used for Yash Chopra directed Movie “Veer Zara’s Shooting. In the melee, He overheard Yash Chopra complaining about lack of Vanity Vans and how his stars have to get ready under uncomfortable circumstances.
This is quite similar to how I got my first order @ the age of 18.
Read it on The Gift of Lessons, My Gifting Company Taught Me.
Hearing this, he approached Yash jee and asked what he does he require and committed him to provide the same for next schedule. Hearing this & to Encourage him Yash Chopra gave him cash advance.
Within a Month he had 3 Vanity Vans ready for the shoot and since that day he has been providing vanity vans for all Movie Shoots in India, along generators and doing food Catering for the crew.
From 2 generators in 2004, He now owns 10 vanity vans, 10 generators and 5 Food catering Containers.
He has created such a Big Catering Set-up that during one shooting sequence for Movie VEER in Jaipur, he provided food for 4000 artists at one given time.
Being inquisitive, I asked him, does he get his payment on time. He replied that I don’t submit Weekly or Monthly bills. I collect Money as per Movie and that too, after the Movie has been released.
After the Movie is released, he goes to meet him with the Bills in Envelope. “However, Yash Chopra is such a master, he would know the amount before I told him & he would immediately issue a cheque for an amount he thought fit. In most of the cases, cheque was slightlty more than the actual bill. And if the movie turns out to be a hit….The amount could be 30% more that the bill.
This is just Instance; I know there would be many countless ones which no one would ever know. My Grand father had a philiosphy
“Help some with your Right hand, in such a way that even your Left hand does not know about it”I’m sure Yash jee too adhered to the same.
Yash Chopra was a person who valued relationships. He Made Stars. He nurtured them. He gave a helping hand to everyone of the trade who could/would approach him.
Karan Johar’s Tweet, shows that how he was a fatherly Figure to those close to him.
Mahesh Murthy’s tweet explains why he was a success at 75 too, he said because “I’m Romantic Even now”
What really hurts us is that this Man, had to leave this world after making a Movie which was his last, but had to go before he could enjoy the fruits of his last Labour.
Yash jee, How Very Apt You worked “Jab tak hai Jaan”!! No other Epitaph Required.
God, We need more of such Human beings down here….Hope you are listening!!