When I chatted with Ketan Mehta last year right before Rang Rasiya was about to release, he was more excited about Manjhi –The Mountain Man. “It is about a man who bore a tunnel through a mountain for 22 years, with just a hammer and a chisel, for love. In cynical times like now, we need inspirational stories like this one,” Mehta said. Starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte, Manjhi is Mehta’s pet project. “It is based on the real story of Dashrath Maajhi from Gehlor, in the Gaya district of Bihar, who lived by a mountain range. Once, his wife fell really ill and as the city was on the other side of the mountain, he couldn’t get her medical attention in time. Hence, he vowed that no one should go through what he did. We shot at real locations, and it was an exceptional journey making this film…” And Mehta went on to share some more interesting tit-bits about the film.
I asked Radhika Apte, the female lead of the film, about the film’s crazy making out scene. She laughed. “There is a shot in which Nawaz and I fall off a cliff, making out while we are falling down. There is a heavy wind from below because my sari has to blow up, and on top of that, it’s raining. We spent eight hours shooting that scene. It was so painful but exciting. There was a six-inch wooden rod that the both of us were propped on, high up a wall, with blowers from the bottom and rain machines from the top.”