Interview : Sachin Pilgaonkar


‘JAANA PEHCHANA is a sequel to the hit film ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE’

Sachin Pilgaonkar hardly needs any introduction. Who can forget the handsome, boyish face from GEET GAATA CHAL, ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE, BALIKA BADHU, SATTE PE SATTA, NADIYA KE PAAR, SHOLAY and countless other hits? After three decades of regaling both Hindi and Marathi film-buffs, Sachin’s illustrious career seems to have come full circle. He has now returned to the legendary Rajshri Productions’, the banner which gave him his first taste of national stardom. And the prodigal son has returned to shoulder far greater responsibilities with Rajshri’s forthcoming film, JAANA PEHCHANA, a sequel to Rajshri’s legendary ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE…JAANA PEHCHANA also has his earlier co-star Ranjeeta playing the female lead opposite Sachin.

Here are the excerpts from an interview with the multi-faceted artiste…

How does it feel to return to the Rajshri banner after all these years, with JAANA PEHCHANA?
It feels wonderful! In fact, though I didn’t work with them for so long, I never really felt that I was away from them. Rajshri Productions’ has been like a second home to me and this is like a family reunion.

You are playing the lead in JAANA PEHCHANA and also directing it. Was it only because of the banner that you chose to direct the film too?
Of course, it is a great opportunity for any director to work with a banner like Rajshri. They are family. However, it was also the unique concept of the film which drew me to it. It is an emotional, sensitive romantic and contemporary story telling of the sort that has never been tackled in Indian cinema ever as it not only deals with JAANA PEHCHANA but also with ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE. It is a challenge to delve deep into the nuances of the relationship between the two protagonists.

What was your reaction when you first heard that Ranjeeta would be your co-star once again?
It is very rare in the industry to see a popular on-screen couple come together again in a sequel of the same film. That too after so many years! We worked together in ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE and the audience loved our chemistry. She is such a brilliant actor. It is a great pleasure to work with her even as a director.

Could you tell us a little about what JAANA PEHCHANA is all about?
JAANA PEHCHANA is basically a sequel to the hit film, ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE. In AKJS, we saw the beautiful romance between Arun and Lily where eventually, Arun Mathur was left alone after his beloved, Lily’s (Ranjeeta) death and he has been living in her memory ever since.

JAANA PEHCHANA introduces Asha (Ranjeeta), an author, who has an uncanny resemblance to Lily. She walks into the life of Arun Mathur to write his biography. What follows from there is a contemporary love story with a beautiful blend of old school romance combined with young love.

You are also singing a couple of songs in the film. What made you decide to do playback singing too?
It wasn’t me who decided that. It was our music director Ravindra Jain’s decision. He thought my voice would suit the character I play in the film. And by the way, this is not the first time I am singing in a film. I’ve been doing that since the past three decades!

Talking about Ravindra Jain, he had also composed the music for your super-hit films like GEET GAATA CHAL and ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE, NADIYA KE PAAR. How is it interacting with him as a director?
Ravindra Jain or Dadu, as we all call him, has been a father-figure to me ever since I did those two films. The unforgettable songs of GEET GAATA CHAL, ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE and NADIYA KE PAAR are still loved by people of every age. Absolutely nothing has changed since then. Dadu is still creating the same kind of magical music, which will be evident when the songs are released.

We hear that you have also written the screenplay for JAANA PEHCHANA. Since you are acting in and directing the film too, don’t you think it is too much of a pressure?
Multi-tasking has always come naturally to me. For all my Marathi films as well, I have involved myself in the screenplays, direction, production, along with acting, so it was nothing new to me. In fact, it made the process much more exciting.

What made you decide to write the screenplay as well?
It was not planned. It just so happened that after reading the basic structure of the film’s story, I began developing it in my own way. And I finally ended being the screenplay writer too!

From ANKHIYON KE JHAROKHON SE to JAANA PEHCHANA, what changes have you noticed in Rajshri Productions’ way of working and their approach to films in general?
The biggest change has obviously been the use of advanced technology which wasn’t available then. In keeping with the times, their films now have a much modern feel and look. But the legendary Rajshri values and their ethics are still very much the same. They have still kept that tradition intact. And it is this quality for which I respect and love them immensely.

You have used the word unique to describe JAANA PEHCHANA. What should the audiences expect?
You will have to go and see the movie to know why it is unique. I won’t spoil the surprise element but all I can say is that you will see a 22-year-old Sachin and Ranjeeta also!