A ghost story

HIS FILMS might be about love in its various shades - dark or rosy - but Mahesh Bhatt does not share his heroes' wide-eyed wonderment about this universal emotion.

``I think love is the oldest guard of culture. It has kept it together, but I know it has a lot to do with need. Those who are not aware of its nature don't realise this element,'' he says. However, his "suspended belief'' on the subject does not stop him from cashing in on this realm for the box office.

Before you dismiss him as being cold, he says, "I can't pretend that I am not affected by the assault of memories. But it does not cripple me. Some people can live without painkillers, I am one of them,'' he remarks.

In Delhi to promote his new film, "Saaya'', Bhatt says: "It's a ghost story the whole family can watch. I tell people the stories they want to hear. I entertain people with what entertains them. It is my skill that I pull out of my memory boxes, stories that I have lived or heard.''

A "traditional'' film to rekindle the fragrance of love that has withered away in this century, Bhatt claims that this film will chill, thrill and make you cry: "It is about enduring love. Just because I don't believe in life after death doesn't mean that my opinion is superior to that of the people who believe.''

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