Yash Chopra - the picture of humility

DhoomIndia's most successful filmmaker has just added another feather to his cap with his "Dhoom" on its way to becoming a hit, and Yash Chopra says frankly that even he didn't expect it to become so popular.
Right now, Chopra has a lot to be happy about. While his first directorial venture in seven
years "Veer-Zaara" has just about touched the finishing line (the background music has just started), his new production "Dhoom" has done the unexpected. It has become a rage!

"Frankly I had nothing to do with it. 'Dhoom' was entirely handled by the young team and my son Aditya who supervised the overall product, just like our previous production 'Hum Tum'. By god's grace, 'Hum Tum' was a success. And it looks like 'Dhoom', too, is on its way to doing the same," Chopra tells IANS in an interview.

"Who would've thought that a film featuring Abhishek, John, my son Uday and Esha would get such an overwhelming initial? I'm so happy because this is Abhishek and Esha's first big hit. They're like my own children," says the country's most influential and successful filmmaker who has fashioned trend-setting blockbusters in every decade from the 1950s onwards.

The phone at Yashraj Films doesn't stop ringing. Amitabh Bachchan calls to discuss the good fortunes of "Dhoom".

But Yash Chopra is a portrait of incredible humility.

"When we made 'Dhoom' we didn't expect it to become so popular. It has a very slick young urban look to it. And look at our good fortune! Even the music soundtrack of 'Dhoom' has become a rage at a time when the music business is going through its worst slump."

The doyen of Hindi cinema is quick to point out that "Dhoom" or any of the film's produced under his banner aren't his babies.

"The quintessential 'Yash Chopra Film' is the one I direct. That's why I'm nervous about my new film 'Veer-Zaara'. It's my first film in seven years, and I'm as nervous about it as I was when I made my first film 'Dhool Ka Phool' for my brother B.R. Chopra's banner, or when I branched out to form my own production house to make 'Daag' in 1973."

About the title 'Veer-Zaara', Chopra smiles: "We toyed with a couple of ideas including 'Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum' which was the title of a song in my film 'Silsila'. We finally settled for a title that goes with the love-legend mood.

"We weren't consciously being secretive about the film or the title. It's just that my son and I weren't entirely sure of everything. We didn't want to come out with any announcements until everything was in place.

"Two weeks ago, when we put out an ad for 'Veer-Zaara' without a title, we realised the magnitude of expectations that people have from our film. Now when we're screening a trailer of 'Veer-Zaara' with 'Dhoom' we're getting the kind of feedback that really scares me. I hope the film lives up to expectations."

With 'Veer-Zaara', Yash Chopra also launches his own music label in September.

"The music of Madan Mohan as transcreated by his son Sanjeev Kohli, who isn't only the CEO of Yashraj films but also like my younger brother, is one of the proudest achievements of our company.

"And to have Lataji sing the songs is a double blessing. I couldn't have asked for more. God has been very, very kind to me."