The choreographer-turned-director talks about the choices she has made in life and her upcoming chat show ‘Tere Mere Beach Mein’

If you have it, flaunt it. No not figures, one is talking about starry relationships here. After Simi Garewal, Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar and brother Sajid Khan, the latest to show what she has got is Farah Khan. Starting this Sunday on Star Plus, “Tere Mere Beach Mein” will have Farah chatting with her Bollywood mates on a set that reminds of a ‘beach’ resort. Of course, she has got Shah Rukh Khan and a whole bunch of stars.

So what’s different? “I have got Salman Khan!” says Farah in her nonchalant manner. “He is appearing on a chat show for the first time. Apart from that I have got a whole new format that has not been attempted before.”

She explains. “Usually, stars come to chat shows to promote their latest release or the host spices up the atmosphere by asking questions about the controversies that are troubling his friend. Where is the interest of the common viewer? My idea is to find a common link between the life of a star and the common man. Generally, people think that the lives of stars are markedly different from real life. I will prove it is not always the case.”

She cites an example. “One episode is dedicated to mama’s boys. I feel 95 per cent of Indian boys are mama’s boys and a few of them couldn’t come out of their mother’s shadows. Salman Khan is one of them. I feel one of the reasons he is unable to find a soul mate is he looks for his mother in every girl. He is still residing in a one-room apartment because it is close to his family’s house and has told me whenever he has a problem he prefers sleeping next to his mother.” Then the ‘Joru Ka Ghulam’ episode will obviously have Shah Rukh Khan. “At the end there will be common men on the set with whom Shah Rukh will share tips about the advantages of hen-pecked husbands.”

On the serious side, Farah says she will talk about young generation stepping out of the conservative past. “Abhay Deol shares that in his family female members are still not allowed to wear short skirts. Similarly ‘ghar ka beta’ episode will feature Bipasha Basu and Shilpa Shetty. The media prefers their glamorous image, but nobody looks at their contribution towards their families. They are very much like a common middle class family where a girl goes out and earns.” Farah shares cricketers will also come to the beach. “The episode on sibling rivalry will have Irfan and Yusuf Pathan.”

Popular appeal

Farah promises the serious stuff will be interspersed with lots of naach gana and games, very much like her films “Main Hoon Na” and “Om Shaanti Om.” Few know that Farah has got this fascination for the popular from her father actor-director Kamran Khan. “He made some interesting stunt films in the ‘60s like my favourite ‘Watan Se Door’, which was like ‘The Great Escape’ with prisoners escaping from Chinese camps after the Indo-China war. Then there were ‘Apna Khoon Apna Dushman’ and ‘Do Matwale.’ Most of them had Dara Singh in the lead. The industry dubbed him as a B-grade director but some of his films were quite well received at the box office.”

However, after a point success eluded him and Farah and Sajid grew up in scarcity. “I always wanted to make cinema which will entertain the masses, Cinema that could be called escapist but is mounted on a realistic scale with high production values. “If you want personal satisfaction, put in your money. You can’t use someone else’s money for your own gratification.” She is quite unlike other female filmmakers, which the media generally dub as ‘sensitive’. “Is it? I feel my films are also quite sensitive but they don’t pretend to be made only for the intellectual.”

Farah is no longer interested in choreography, something which introduced her to fame and eventually a National Award and international recongnition. “I don’t think there is anything new left for me in choreography. I am doing ‘My Name is Khan’ and Sajid’s ‘Houseful’, that’s it. Earlier songs were used to tell the story. It is no longer the case. What story can I tell in an item song?”

As soon as the show gets over, Farah promises to return to her long pending project “Happy New Year.” “I am not in a position to reveal anything now, except for the fact that the film has Shah Rukh Khan.” …And Amitabh Bachchan? “It is all gossip. I have also heard that I am introducing Shirish (her husband Shirish Kunder) with the film.” Well, for now it is Tere Mere Beach Mein!

Keywords: Farah Khan