Remembering Film Producer Suresh Jindal Who Left Film to Pursue a Spiritual Path

movie producer Suresh JindalPassed away in New Delhi on 24 November at the age of 80, he will be remembered for his stellar contributions to Indian and world cinema. This Punjabi man studied electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he worked as an engineer for four years in the aerospace and electronics industry in California.

Jindal produced the Bas Chatterjee movie Rajiniganda (1974) starring Amol Palekar, Vidya Sinha, and Dinesh Thakur.This love triangle is adapted from a short story by Mannu Bhandari Yahi Sak Highhe also produced Satyajit Raythe movie Shatranji Khe Killari (1977), based on the short story of the same name written by Premchand. It happens to be Ray’s first Hindi film. Set in Awad in 1856, the star of his cast includes Amjad Khan, Sanjeev Kumar, Shabana Azmi and Saeed Jaffrey.

Jindal left behind extensive and insightful documentation of the film’s making process. His book My Adventures with Satyajit Ray: The Making of Shatranji Ke Killari (2017), published by HarperCollins India, is a must-read for film lovers and film scholars interested in Ray’s first non-Bengali film. The film is best known for Khan’s flamboyant portrayal of Mirza Wajid Ali Shah, whom Ray despised. debauchery. Khan was fortunate to get this once-in-a-lifetime role right after playing Ramesh Sippi’s fearsome dacoit, Gabber Singh. Shorey (1975).

The book chronicles how Jindal met Ray just before the latter was 57 and the former was 33. She came from a wealthy, poorly intelligent, conservative, vegetarian Jaina Bania family from Punjab…Ray came from a prominent family in Bengal, half a continent away from my home. and progressive. Jindal looked up to Ray, but working with him also came with hurt and disappointment. The book contains letters exchanged between the producer and the director.

Tinnu Anand, who worked with Ray as an assistant director on films like Goopy Gain Baga Bain (1969), Araniel Dill Ratri (1970)When Platid Wandy (1970), introduced Jindal to Ray. When Jindal went to see Rei for the first time, he thought Rei’s research “looks like a combination of a Renaissance atelier and an alchemist’s lab”. Ray had the idea of ​​making a Hindi film and he just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He warns Jindal that “at least he costs four to five times more” than his Bengali film, adding, “I might not want to spend too much on my first Hindi film. “said.

When Jindal requested an English translation of Premchand’s story, Ray told him that he had one published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), but if Jindal promised to return a copy after reading it. Jindal soon learned that their ways of working were slightly different. In fact, later when Jindal gave Ray an envelope containing a “signature amount” as per the custom in the Bombay film industry, Ray said: And if we work together, you have to work my way. First of all, I will write a draft of the script, and if it is all right, I will consult with you about the amount. “

As a student in the United States, Jindal had seen Ray’s films and wanted to meet him someday. He had no clue that they would work together in the near future. I was thinking. Dialogue on the right.

in the meantime Shatranji Ke Killari did not enjoy such commercial success Rajiniganda Enjoyed it and played a key role in making Jindal associated with Richard Attenborough’s films Gandhi (1982) as an associate producer. Attenborough starred in Shatranzike Her Killari before producing the award-winning Gandhi-starring film. Ben Kingsley. Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Alyque Padamsee, Amrish Puri, Supriya Pathak, and many other great actors. Many movies have been made about the life of MK Gandhi, but this one is unique.

After this, Jindal produced a film by Sai Paranje. Kata (1983) It depicts life in Shoal, Mumbai. Based on SG Sathye’s play Sasa Aani Kasav, Deepti Naval, Farooq Sheikh, Naseruddin Shah with STARCAST. The trajectory of Jindal working on films inspired by literary texts continues with Sturla Gnarsson’s films. Such a Long Journey (1998) Based on the novel of the same name by Rohinton Mistry, which depicts the life of the Parsi family in 1971 under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Jindal co-produced this film which managed his coup casting Loshanseth, Ompuri, Soni Razudhan, Naseeruddin Shah and Irrfan Khan.

Jindal was the film’s director-producer Dance of the Wind (1997) Directed by Rajan Khosa, with Kitu Gidwani and Kapila Vatsyayan playing key roles. It revolves around the struggles of a classical singer who lost her voice when her mother, who is also her guru, died.Shubha Mudgal composed the music for this film. Jindal then executive produced Naukar Ki Kameez (1999), directed by Mani Kaur. Based on the novel of the same name by Vinod Kumar Shukla, it stars Pankaj Sudhir Mishra, Anu Joseph and Om Prakash Dwivedi.

It is worth noting that Jindal’s film won a national award in India and an Oscar on the international stage. He has served as Vice President of the Indian Film Producers Association and a member of the Academic Council of the Indian Film and Television Association. He was awarded the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

Jindal’s work in film dwindled considerably after spiritual practice became the mainstay of his life. became an advisor to But it wasn’t until he studied for a year at the University of California, Berkeley, that he was introduced to Buddhism.

In his book on Ray, Jindal also reminisces about life in the United States in the 1960s. He describes “the most head-wrenching experiences of the 21st century” as “space races to the moon, computer explosions, freedom rides against segregation in the South, flower power, psychedelic drugs, love-ins, environmentalism, gay liberation.” was exposed to , hippies” and anti-Vietnam War protests by pacifists. Around this time, Zen Buddhism was gaining popularity in America.

In a 2011 interview with Noa Jones of Buddhist Quarterly Tricycle, Jindal detailed his encounters with Buddhism in the United States thanks to teachers like DT Suzuki and Alan Watts. He took refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha with the Dalai Lama of Dharamsala shortly after he was hired by businessman BK Modi in 1994 to make a film about the life of Gautam the Buddha. In an interview with Jones, Jindal said: His Holiness (His Holiness the Dalai Lama) has taught all over India except for his four. I was sick of the movie business. Career was fine, but I was sick of it. “

Jindal said that his guru, who is also a filmmaker, Dzongsar Khyentse Jamyang Rinpoche, aka Khyentse Norbu, told him, Vala: Blessing (2013)The film about forbidden love stars Shahana Goswami, Devesh Ranjan, Swaropa Ghosh, Mohammed Adamary and other actors and is based on the short story Rakta Al Khanna by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Working on this film was unlike anything he’d experienced before. Because it was not only a creative project, but also an act of service to his beloved teacher.

Chintan Girish Modi is a writer, journalist and educator who tweets at @chintanwriting.

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