It's a benchmark award

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ECSTATIC: Abhijat Joshi.
ECSTATIC: Abhijat Joshi.

After the Best Screenplay award, Abhijat Joshi is aware of his responsibilities.

The U.S.-based co-winner of the Best Screenplay writer AbhijatJoshi can scarcely contain his joy at the acknowledgement of his work in "Lage Raho Munnabhai". "I am completely thrilled and very, very glad to have won my first National Award for `Lage Raho.' We have won other awards for the film but, without belittling them, the National Award was always the benchmark." In a telephonic conversation, Abhijat talks about how it all started. "We were keen that we should make a very good film. There was high pressure since `Munnabhai MBBS' had done so well. But we never wanted to play to thegallery. As far as projecting the Mahatmais concerned, we were convincedthat it could not be offensive becausewe had this sense of awe, love and respectfor him that would have nullifiedeverything else.."Difficulties

"It was by far the most difficult project I have undertaken. It took twoyears of solid writing. Then there weredifficult scenes like the one about sendingflowers. The radio sequence wherewe had to create a scene to make it lookconvincing. Or the one about the pensionerstripping in the office. Or theman who spits and the man who cleans.We had a seven montage and, like asymphony that ends on a crescendo, wewanted to end on a high note. Thesewere all make or break scenes. I am gladwe were able to pull it off."But Abhijat is not through. Workingon the third part of the series, "MunnabhaiChale Amerika" besides anotherone with Hirani, he admits, "Withsuch response, there also comes a responsibility.A script and screenplay ofsuch stature deserves a certain qualityin every succeeding thing."Indeed. So, lage raho, Abhijat bhai!Z.U.S.



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