Imtiaz Ali


Imtiaz Ali, an alumnus of Hindu College, was seen interacting with the students of the English department on Monday, 20th September. He was there to talk about his life and career, his passions, film-making, and theatre.

The event, which was named Tale Talk with Imtiaz Ali was organised by the English department, Hindu College, where one of the senior-most professors, Mrs. Swaroopa Mukherjee, who also happened to have known Ali from his college days, took the role of the speaker. This event was able to draw out from Ali a lot of his adventures during his college days, some of which even led to inspirations for the plot of his films such as Rockstar. When asked about the sources of ideas for his films, Imtiaz said, ‘Stories have just been in side me. For the ones like Highway, I didn’t have to think out of the box. It is the story of a simple girl in the most ordinary situations that anyone can be caught in. For the ones like Rockstar, I never needed to have an idea. I guess I’ve had enough idea about Hindu and Stephen’s during my time here!’

What was interesting was the fact that he revealed how he never really liked most of the titles of his movies. ‘I never wanted Jab We Met to be Jab We Met’, he said. ‘As a matter of fact, Jab Harry met Sejal was suggested by Ranbir to Anushka and neither Shahrukh nor I liked it. But I still approved these titles because I want to keep myself away from the naming business. I feel I’m not great at it.’

He was also very excited to meet Ibtida, the Dramatics Society of Hindu College, of which he happens to be the founder. He narrated tales of how even before coming to college he had planned on joining the Dramatics Society. The dilemma after coming was that there wasn’t any such society in Hindu at that time. ‘It was time that Ibtiba needed to come into being. And it did.’, he said.

The students seemed really delighted to meet him. One of the third years said, ‘He is so relatable. He is still as clueless about what he is going to do next as we are!’

Hindu College alumnus Imtiaz Ali was in Delhi earlier this week, along with the lead cast of his latest film Tamasha. In the last leg of the Delhi promotions, two students from Hindu College got the opportunity to interview the director, along with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the Punjab Kesari office.

The girls, Pratishtha Mahajan and Disha Jindal are final year students studying English (Hons) at Hindu College.

Imtiaz Ali has always been very fond of Ibtida, the Dramatics Society of his alma mater. He was excited to interact with the students from the University and quickly told them that he expects the smartest questions from them. Ranbir Kapoor followed and asked both the student interviewers to surprise them with their witty skills.

“It was an informal long conversation, and rather than asking them the same, worn-out questions about the film, we had a 15 minutes long rapid-fire instead. It was a fun interaction where the rapid fire questions were candid, from favorite emojis to celebrity crushes to annoying habits, and the responses were equally fun”, says Pratishtha Mahajan, one of the interviewers.

Ranbir and Deepika also shared their fond memories from school days and talked about how one should not live to impress others or fulfill others’ dreams. Imtiaz Ali gave out a message to University students and added, “Parents’ expectations pull you down. We end up compromising on our dreams and I think that needs to stop”.

The stars praised the young interviewers for their ice breaking questions which gave them an easy closure to Delhi promotions!

The interview was published on ED | The Youth Blog for these students. Full interview can be read here.
Featured Image Credits: ED

Kritika Narula
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As a pre-Tempest event, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali came over to Miranda House campus today to meet his fans. Instead of making a back door entry to avoid the huge crowd of female fans, Imtiaz rather chose to walk down the college aisle and made his way into the college auditorium. Imtiaz who was accompanied by his friend from Hindu College was welcomed by a swarm of fans. They literally had to steer through the crowd to make way into the auditorium. “This was a grand welcome not every Hinduite gets the privilege to receive”, he later said.

His visit was organized by the Film Club of the college exclusively for current Miranda House students. Tempest, Miranda House’s fest kicks off tomorrow. The event started off with the students of the Indian Music society singing a medley of songs from his movies. The crowd couldn’t stop cheering when he took out his phone and started making a video of the crowd and the girls singing. Clips of scenes from his movies were shown to cite the offbeat characters the protagonists of his movies have.

Imtiaz started off by asking the audience about the popularity of his movies. Every statement of his was greeted with a round of cheers from the crowd. “Not every Hinduite gets the opportunity to have Miranda girls in such a frame, with all of them cheering. I am overwhelmed to be here today. In fact I have been here before. I came for the dramatics competition during Tempest when I was a student in Hindu College. My heart has always been here. In my college days I used to visit the Hostel gate of the college hoping to enter the college. But today I was welcomed by the college principal herself at the gate”, he said. This was followed by a question-answer session and Imtiaz did not disappoint his fans and answered every question that was thrown at him. Here are some excerpts from the session:

Q.: How did you find the selection of the clips you were shown?
(Scene: Deepika’s character Meera post her wedding realizes that she did a mistake by marrying)
I was intrigued by the scene you showed from Love Aaj Kal. Meera’s behavior in the scene was criticized by a number of people and I’m glad that a girls college has appreciated this scene.

Q: Have you ever dated a Mirandian?
My friend from college is here so I can’t lie in front of you all. Although I tried a number of times but could never succeed in dating one. I used to hang out a lot outside the Miranda House hostel gate. Even the guard knew me by face and I used to get him beedis.

Q: Jordan’s character in the movie Rockstar faced a number of hurdles. What hurdles did you face?
See, in life the choice to be happy or sad lies with you. Nothing should decide your happiness or sadness. You obviously can’t control the situations that life makes you face but the right to be happy or sad is with you. I chose to be on the better side of the fence.

Q: Why Nargis Fakhri in Rockstar?
Because I had not met you girls before.

Q: Give us Ranbir Kapoor’s number (more than a hundred girls, in unison)
981… Well leave it, you guys don’t seem much interested.

Q: What’s your next movie going to be about?
I don’t have a story in my mind yet.

Q: Which movie you didn’t direct but you wish that you did?
Sholay, Junoon, Big Fish.

Q: All your movies have been commercial ones, when will you get into Art House film making?
You make movies on things and the way you relate to life; as you growth up, your style of filmmaking changes. So as I grow old and become more grounded, I too will get into art house film making.

This wasn’t the end of his visit. Anukriti, the Hindi Dramatics of the college put up its street play for Imtiaz. After which he went around the campus, paid a visit to the college hostel to interact with his fans there, and had lunch with a few Miranda House students in the hostel mess. He stayed in the Miranda House campus till evening.


Photo Credits: Sonakshi Pandey