Reflective Memoir, ‘The Stranger in the Mirror’ Brings Out Multiple Facets of Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra : The Tribune India

Neha Saini

Grandstand information service

Amritsar, November 20

Every artist has a background and if the artist is one of the most important and successful filmmakers in the country, it makes for an interesting and engaging discussion.

Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra, the man behind some of the most critically acclaimed and successful films including Aks, Rang De Basanti, Delhi 6, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Toofan, was in the spotlight during the interaction special organized by Majha House for his recently published autobiography entitled “The Stranger in the Mirror”.

Possessing an impeccable cinematic sensibility, Mehra’s films often use the mirror as an important storytelling tool. The filmmaker confessed that his biography couldn’t have had a better title as the mirror is something he sees as a way to tell stories.

“In Aks, the mirror becomes the reflection of good and evil through respective characters; in Delhi 6, the fakir carries a mirror with a similar intention; in Rang De Basanti, the young boys take turns looking at themselves in the mirror, finding a link between the past and their present; in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Milkha looks in the mirror after a poor performance of self-introspection. As for me, I look in the mirror every morning and try to have a conversation with myself. I believe you will find God in the mirror, a reflection of the good and evil that is within you,” he shared.

Mehra co-wrote the autobiography with Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta and includes a first-hand account of Mehra’s personality and the working style shared by actors he worked with, including Waheeda Rahman, Farhan Akhtar, Manoj Bajpai and Gulzar .

The book also recounts his college days and his creative process behind each film he made. Rakeysh shared some interesting anecdotes regarding the book. “Along with many other artists, who were approached to share their experiences for the book, Aamir Khan was also among them. He wrote an epilogue for the book and he shared it with me while filming for Laal Singh Chadha somewhere in Ladakh. Knowing him, he submitted the epilogue and after printing it, edited it twice just to add a single word. And that word was one of his best dialogues from the upcoming movie “, he shared.

Rakeysh also shared his intention to work with Manoj Bajpai again. “His work is amazing and we collaborate well at Aks. I would love to work with him again before I die,” he said.

Reetu Ramamurthy Gupta, who extensively documented the interviews and did research for the book, said she found in Mehra a person who builds relationships for life.

“Waheeda Rahman and Gulzar, two of the cinematic legends of our generation, have extreme affection for Mehra. Every actor he worked with had a personal relationship with him beyond professional and commercial definitions. Each has added so much value to the book that makes it an interesting read,” she said.