Monday, 25 August 2008

World exclusive by Devansh Patel

Pablo Picasso once said, "There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." For a change, this man from Maharashtra, India, has done just both. He has not only transformed Ram Gopal Varma's blockbuster hit Sarkar Raj onto a canvas but has also managed to bring the same paintings to life by his creative talent. In this world exclusive interview with Architect Amit Pimple who works as an Urban Designer in one of U.K's leading architectural firm John Thompson & Partners. Bollywood Hungama's Devansh Patel brings you the world exclusive first look at the Sarkar Raj paintings by Pimple, the story behind each of them, what inspired him, his future plans and a special four feet long oil colour painting gifted to Wizcrafts Unforgettable Stars in London.

It was the day every Bollywood lover was waiting for. The Bachchans, the Zinta, the Deshmukh, Vishal-Shekhar were in London last week to promote their Unforgettable Tour. The morning rush hour, the jet lag and then the big press conference. The Print, T.V and Radio crew were busy giving their final touches before the start of Bollywood's biggest press conference. After nearly an hour long wait, the stars arrived, a welcome speech from Showbiz International, the promoters of the Unforgettable Tour in the U.K, then Mr Bachchan and the Q's were thrown open to the media. The conference got over in an hours time and the journalists got busy talking about Abhishek's quiet presence, Aishwarya's infectious smile, Mr Bachchans adoring personality, Preitys drooping eyes and ofcourse, their Unforgettable Tour. Within seconds Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walk past me and suddenly they are stopped by a 5 feet something man requesting both the Bachchans to see his artistic creations inspired by Sarkar Raj. Abhishek was utterly surprised and could not believe what he was seeing. But that wasn't enough for Amit Pimple to be content with. After all the media Q & A's were done and dusted, the entire Unforgettable gang were up for their big surprise wrapped up in a golden wrapping paper waiting to be unveiled by non other than Indian Film Industry's finest - Mr Bachchan Bachchan (I wish someday he gets his knighthood and we all can call him - Sir Amitabh Bachchan) - a four feet long oil painting depicting Mr Bachchans undying support to promote the Indian Film Industry worldwide and a memorablia for the entire cast and crew of the Unforgettable Tour who've come to London for their show. Without further ado I present to you Mr Amit Pimple and his creation.

'The Power' is a core theme of the film. Sometimes 'Power' is used for a good purpose such as offering services to people and to fight against injustice, like the way it's been used by Sarkar in the film Sarkar Raj. But sometimes it's also used for negative purpose such as to create social polarization and to achieve stronger position. The new electricity plant would also generate a form of 'Power' for the prosperity of the people of Thakarwadi in the film. In the painting, the electricity gripped in a hand depicts achievement of supremacy in Maharashtra. Electric pylon and cables symbolizes power plant. All happens on the land of Maharashtra shown in the background. Silhouette of Maharashtrian village community is shown at the bottom. This painting also reflects the debate of tradition v/s modernity.

Development and conspiracy:
Maharashtra is a land of Saints, illustrated by a Tilak, a mark worn on the forehead of a person which is a focal point of this painting. Shown in the background is a subtle outline of a flying dove that symbolizes prosperity which will prevail by the new power plant. But the conspiracy brings twist to the story shown by blood drops. Tilak also symbolizes Rao saab, the mastermind behind the plot and his non-violence philosophy which he generally pretends. Finally it all comes down to Subhash Nagre, the supreme power, illustrated by the Rudraksha at the bottom of the Tilak. This all is for people….faces shown in the background.

Besides Sarkar Raj being an intense political drama, the film is also a story that explores relationship between Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan), Shankar Nagre (Abhishek Bachchan) and Anita Rajan (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). It creates a triangular matrix generating synergy between them. The painting is divided in three zones and illustrates this trilogy. Three zones are coloured as Black, Red & Yellow. Black colour symbolizes character of Subhash Nagre - old, mature, experienced, supreme and a messiah. It also resembles his black linen outfit in the film. Red colour stands for Shankar Nagre - young, vibrant, dynamic and modern. Yellow illustrates Anita Rajan - colour of prosperity, development and foreign collaboration. These are also the signature colours of Sarkar Raj the film.

Inherent successor:
Three hands. Three generations. Top hand is of Subhash Nagre with a Rudraksha chain…middle one is of Shankar…Now it's the time when we need the third one who would come with a great power and force …Chiku…who would stand for poor people and would fight for them… like Subhash Nagre and Shankar Nagre did in both Sarkar and Sarkar Raj. He would be an Inherent Successor.

What inspired you to do paintings on the film Sarkar Raj?
It was a combined effect of contemporary storyline, direction, cinematography, score, star cast and more importantly Mr. Amitabh Bachchan's performance; the overall audio-visual experience was spellbinding. My interpretations of this movie have come out through graphical expressions, colours and strokes on canvas and it was a very spontaneous reaction. I think all forms of art can be complementary to each other and one can take inspiration from the other to foster. By doing these paintings on Sarkar Raj theme, I have tried to explore a synergy between two creative disciplines- film making and paintings.

What medium have you used in your paintings? Crayons, oil paints, etc?
I didn't restrict myself to one particular medium hence these paintings are done in mixed-media; water colours, ink, pencils, crayons and collage.

How much time did it take you to finish all the paintings?
Approximately one week. I have done this series in my spare time.

How many paintings have you made?
Four at the moment. I may do a few more.

What comments did you receive from Mr Bachchan when you gifted him the painting?
His first reaction was "wow! fantastic". He couldn't discuss more on Sarkar Raj paintings at that moment because of his busy schedule before the Unforgettable Show, but he has kept my paintings and said that he will get back to me with a detailed response.

What was it to shake hands with your favourite actor?
It was like my dream came true! Firstly I couldn't believe he was in front me and I am talking to him. I was waiting for this since a long time. It was definitely an 'unforgettable' moment.

Name three of your favourite Amitabh Bachchan film?
Agnipath, Black and Sarkar Raj.

Have you donated or painted anything else or gifted anybody such a gift? If Yes, then where and when and why?
I recently presented Mr. Bachchan and his Unforgettable World Tour team a four feet long oil colour painting, thanks to Digwa family of Showbiz International who gave me this opportunity. I created this painting mainly to appreciate Mr. Bachchan's efforts to promote Indian cinema worldwide and as a memory of their show in London. When Bachchans unveiled the painting, they were very impressed and told me that it summarizes everything about the show. In the past, I have gifted six feet long painting to one of the Indian Community Centres in London when I was awarded by Indian High Commission in the UK. The painting was to promote Indian culture in the UK. I also do illustrations voluntarily for a NGO to promote their various educational and rural development projects in India.

Tell us a bit about your background?
I grew up in an environment endowed with creativity while working with my father, Mr Satish Pimple, who is a renowned artist in India. I have had my six solo shows in India - Maharashtra, Pune and my home town near Nagpur called Akola. I have also given lectures and painting demonstrations in some Universities. Later, I chose Architecture for my career where I used my creative abilities to design buildings and neighbourhoods.

What brings you to the U.K?
Having achieved First Rank in the order of merit throughout my Architecture course, London Metropolitan University awarded me International Graduate Fellowship to do my Masters in Urban Regeneration. Now I work as an Urban Designer with one of the UK's leading architectural firms - John Thompson & Partners and I always share my UK professional experience as a freelance writer in the press like the world renowned A+D magazine published by a Hong Kong based media company. I am keen to contribute positively in my home-country's comprehensive urban development when India is poised for major transformations in its infrastructure.

Why haven't you gifted the paintings to Ram Gopal Varma, the director of Sarkar Raj?
I don't have his direct contact details hence don't know how to reach him. I definitely want to share my creations with him.

Do you like Ram Gopal Varma's films? Name 3 of your favourite RGV film.
Satya, Company and Sarkar Raj.

What is next in the pipeline? Any more paintings in the future?
I may do some paintings on environmental sustainability. I think as a human being, we all should contribute something to save our environment.

This is your first big interview and that too an exclusive. What are you going through right now?
I am very excited about it and eager to see how it's been featured. Hope it'll encourage readers to an extent to take out some time from their routines and be a bit creative; it gives immense satisfaction! Don't believe me? Then try yourself!

Any message you'd like to convey to your favourite actor Mr Amitabh Bachchan and director Ram Gopal Varma through this interview?
I'd love to have both Mr Bachchan and Ram Gopal Varma's personal feedback to me on my Sarkar Raj paintings!
Another thing is about Climate Change. I have gained some international experience of creating sustainable, energy efficient and eco friendly developments that create minimum impact on our planet. By using this experience and my creative abilities, I would be able to contribute in Mr Bachchans campaign to create public awareness in India. I have some ideas in my mind and I would like to know his views on this.

Last but not the least. Do you think Sarkar Raj trilogy should be made by Ram Gopal Varma? And whom would you like to see play the role of Chiku?
Ofcourse yes. I would love RGV to make the third part of the Sarkar film. It'll also be interesting to see Hrithik Roshan play the role of Chiku because the chemistry will be electrifying. It'll be one of Indian cinema's finest combination - Ram Gopal Varma and Hrithik Roshan.

Did you know Abhishek Bachchan has also recommended Hrithik Roshans name?
Wow! That's a strange coincidence. The first name that came to my mind when you asked me this question was Hrithik. I didn't even know what Abhishek Bachchans choice for the role of Chiku was. Well, as they say - Great minds think alike!

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