Thursday, 15 August 2013

...JHAMU SUGHAND presents...

Once upon a time, when names like - 

Mani Ratnam                     Shriram Raghvan                      Shekhar Kapoor   

Deepa Mehta                    Sanjay Leela Bhansali    

 Ashutosh Gowarikar                     Anuraag Kashyap                Ram Gopal Verma

were in the process of achieving visibility. One man, with a vision of his own and mathematics of uncommon sense; decided to give those names, their due visibility.

And then ... the celluloid said - 

...i narrate in lower case!!!...

As if Archimedes had foreseen his eureka moment. Jhamu seemed to have wanted to change the psyche of film makers and audiences altogether, that too very fast.

First things first : His portfolio of films can be a cause of envy for any film producer, film financier or  film collaborator, at world wide stage - BLACK FRIDAY, 1947 EARTH,  JOHNNY GADDAR, LAGAAN, WATER, BOMBAY, RANGEELA, HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM, GULAAL, .... and many more...

As if some multi millionaire gave them blank cheques to Picasso, Michael Angelo, Vinci... and employed them all, one by one to create whatever they felt like.

Result -  firework all around.

Johnny Gaddaar ( 2007) initially financed and produced by Jhamu Sugandh was later produced under the banner Adlabs, since Jhamu ran into financial crunch. The film received critical acclaim. went on to be 'sleeper hit' of the year..

Black Friday (2004) was financed by Jhamu to help Kashyap, despite controversies involved. It was based on 1993 Bombay bombings by anti national cowards. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and was a nominee for the Best Film (Golden Leopard) award at the Locarno International Film Festival.
Jhamu Sugandh further helped Anurag Kashyap to release his another stuck film 'Gulal'

Lagaan (2001) co produced by Jhamu Sugandh, partnered with Amir Khan. Lagaan met high critical and commercial success worldwide.

Aks (2001) jointly produced by Jhamu Sugandh, introduced Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra as director. Amitabh Bachchan got Filmfare Best Actor (Critics) award for this film.

Astitva (2000) produced by Jhamu Sughand, went on to win 48th National Film Award for Best Film in Marathi.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) jointly produced by Jhamu Sughand, was filmed throughout the Gujarat-Rajasthan, in addition to Budapest, Hungary. The film was a hit at the Indian box office. It received nine Filmfare Awards nominations and produced some winners as well.

Satya was still to happen, when Jhamu  financed his films and produced Rangeela and Daud. This was instrumental in the success of Ram Gopal Varma.

Rangeela (1995) produced by Jhamu, the film received critical acclaim and seven film fare that year. Urmila Matondkar became an overnight sensation. Designer Manish Malhotra also received instant fame. Rangeela also proved to be a turning point for Aamir's career.

Bombay (1995) presented by Jhamu; was a critically acclaimed and national award-winning  film. The film became one of the highest grossing films, well received both critically and commercially. Eventually it was also screened at many international film festivals.

Controversies!! Of course! very well attached.

I have well recorded the hyped screening amidst chaos in single screen Anand Cinema at majestic Qaiserbagh Square in Lucknow. The lathi charge followed the protest juloos. I saved myself by ‘Shuoon’ of one lathi in a nick of time. Although, the shirt got torn on that fateful day.

Bandit Queen (1994) jointly produced by Jhamu Sughand, took Shekhar Kapoor to international stage, besides winning several National as well as Filmfare awards.

Somehow, I hardly notice any mention of  Jhamu Sughand, of his contributions in official accounts of these works.

Jhamu had also invested in lot of Bengali films, he believed in.

There's no evidence which implies him, as a cinema expert. But the facts upon which this account is based, certainly establishes Jhamu Sugandh, to be a film connoisseur. A man with a mysterious sense of righteousness of the projects, he invested in.

The dark complexioned, humble printing press owner; who never changed his two BHK flat, or his car, even in the peak of his film production years; commanded his share of authority, mainly because of his honest intentions conveyed in more simpler ways.

Rehman was roped in for Jane tu ya jane na, by Jhamu, on request of Abbas Tyrewala. Rehman did it on one single phone call, only because of a man he held in highest regards, Jhamu Sughand.
Amir Khan took over as producer of the film later.

Amir khan himself was roped in for 1947 Earth, on Deepa Mehta's requirement by Jhamu. Amir had earlier rejected Deepa's offer, citing date trouble.

How is it, that nobody credits Jhamu, for getting done with films like WATER and 1947 EARTH?? Even after investing in those controversy ridden films, except for verbal notes of thanks??? Why is it like that??

May be because Deepa Mehta did not want to!!
This is further substantiated by  accounts of dissatisfaction published by A R Rehman, who gave music to her film and Anurag kashyap, who wrote for her.

May be, Mr. Jhamu Sughand, a shy gentlemen, was a common newcomer. 
So what!!   
But  not on a single occasion. 
And adding to it, another of his mega ventures went disaster upon box office.

Right when Jhamu planned his comeback, with his calculated positive investments in Bengali ventures, he was duped again, bigtime, by one of his partners who disappeared with his left over assets, credits and most importantly faith.

Probably, Jhamu's vision for his EUREKA moment had started fading. Happens!!

Jhamu handheld many more names than Sree Ram Raghvan, Abbas Tyrewala, Anurag Kashyap ... even Deepa Mehta's name can be added to the list. 

Anurag kashyap, himself admits,"...none of us (in film industry) could give him back, what we got from him..."

Jhamu said " I invest in people."...!!!  That was a matter of choice. No comments on the choice of investment.
May be his calculations are still being scanned by some Einstein somewhere. But at least he took the luxury of investing and living, in the way he wanted to.

And certainly it was Grandest Humbleness to invest and live that way.

Mr. Jhamu Sugandh, 
This account is written to convey to the environment (of which you are a part); that your works have been well noted.
That all your instincts were not wrong. That your vision and investments gave us marvelous several  products like Rangeela, in the year bull dozed by another good product DDLJ.
That your input made difference and is highly visible now... by the possibility of works like DEV D, RDB, BLACK, Shekhar Kapoor's hollywood ventures... irrespective that  you were not a direct party to them.
That your contribution stands as tall & remarkable as YRF's  (say in 1995) or any other Filmmaker and showmen of industry, at any given time.

To repeat ' tall & remarkable as the biggest filmmakers and showmen of industry...'

Well !!!.. you presented Quality.. Mr. Jhamu Sughand.!!

PS 1: Jhamu Sugandh, was an advisor to Amitabh Bachchan, in his film company ABCL corps.

PS 2: Among others Jhamu Sugandh patronized Meghna Gulzar for Filhaal, Budhdhadeb Dasgupta for KaalPurush, and worked with Kamal Hasan for Chachi 420.