Friday, April 23

Aamir Khan ‘runs’ through Kolkata

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That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going.

As Tom Hanks recounts his life’s journey in Forrest Gump, he also shares what made him transform from a young boy fitted with leg braces into a fast runner. In Kolkata, to shoot for Laal Singh Chaddha — an official remake of the 1994 American film by Advait Chandan — Aamir Khan transformed every bit into the desi Forrest Gump. He ran on the Howrah Bridge and then, through the bylanes of north Kolkata, as the city woke up to its best surprise in a long, long time.

December 8 being a second Sunday, and therefore a no-shoot day, the film industry was in lockout mode. But several technicians from Bengal, along with the Mumbai team, converged on Howrah Bridge a little after 4.30 am to can their first shot at daybreak. Wearing a long beard and sporting casuals that he teamed with a cap, Aamir appeared a little after 5 am. By then, the bicycles, men on bikes and the junior artistes had taken position. “I knew I was called to shoot with Aamir Khan, but I was not told about the sequence,” said a biker, who reported sharp at 4.30 am, but refused to be named.

“Two of our buses have got stuck on the other end of the bridge, can you help?” screamed a unit member, as the cops took notice. “You just need to ask the drivers to say they are coming for the shoot,” said a cop, who, along with his team, made the shoot easy for the team with seamless coordination.

The next location was Beniatola in north Kolkata. Casting aside its weekend sloth, the quaint neighbourhood woke up to hushed whispers. “Aamir Khan is coming,” said every second person, who crossed the road. Even though Aamir came for the shoot at around 10.30 am, the unit had started gathering by 8 in the morning. “Earlier, celebs as big as Amitabh Bachchan would come for the Fatakeshto Kali Puja, which is a stone’s throw from here. But nowadays, it has become rare. Piku was filmed close by and we also had a good time when Jeet and Srabanti shot for Josh in our para. But this is big,” said Santanu Barik, a college-goer and a resident of Beniatola. And Aamir didn’t disappoint. After completing his ‘run’ four times over, through the para, bypassing a hand-pulled rickshaw, he obliged the selfie requests coming his way from his young fans. “We have something to treasure all our lives,” said Suman, whose father is a coal supplier. Many like him couldn’t agree more.


Source: Times of India

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