News Round-Up: Karan is Good to His Staff, Ajay is Good to the Audience, and Hirani is Good to Our Ears

Happy Saturday!  I am cooking cooking cooking (new stove is hear and I have 5 pumpkins!), and also running back and forth to the movie theater, so no time for a real deep post.  But at least I can throw up a news post!

Karan is Building a Free Nursery for Dharma Employees

Word is out that Karan is building a baby room at Dharma productions’ offices.  Not just for Yash and Hiroo, but for up to 15 babies, and there are plans to expand to open up daycare for older children as well.  Which is a simple common sense thing for a company to do, and yet something that almost no company does.

This is the good side of a family company.  Karan hires whoever he wants, stocks the company with friends and children of friends, makes sudden decisions with no regard for a board of directors, all of this could be bad.  But it also means that he can decide to spend company funds on a free nursery for the employee’s children and just do it.  No second guessing by penny pinchers, no arguments about how he is “spoiling” the employees and opening them up to liabilities and expectations and so on, he can just do it.

And there is also a certain attitude.  He isn’t just building this company for the money, he is building it for the people who work there.  And for their children.  Who knows, he may have in his head that Yash and Hiroo will someday be running Dharma and working for them will be the children of the current employees, the ones they will be sharing the nursery with.  It’s how it happened for him, after all, he grew up with the same people who are now working with him as writers, actors, directors.

Image result for karan johar abhishek bachchan

(Karan and his childhood friends Abhishek and Shweta Bachchan)

And I have to say, if the choice is between a “professional” company that only hires through blind auditions based on talent and training, and a family company that actually cares about its employees, from top to bottom, I would rather have the family company than the professional one.  And I think that is the choice, when the “professional” concept comes in, the softer attitude goes out.


Ajay Devgan Buys 4 Theaters, Plans to Buy 400 More

This story is AMAZING to me!!!!  And again, very uncorporate.  Ajay Devgn has purchased 4 theaters and plans to buy a couple hundred more.  But not new theaters, not multiplexes, and not city theaters.  No, he is buying up single-screens in the UP.  Single-screens that have closed down.

This is what I was just yelling about on the last news post, about how unconscionably terrible it is for Netflix to try to move into the major new movie release market.  Because that would be cutting out a massive number of people from any entertainment at all.  That’s what Ajay is saying:

800 theatres in UP are shut and there is a population of more than 12 lacs and 25 lacs and there is no theatre. They have to travel 80 KM or so. Why should they travel so much to watch a film. They will travel for a Golmaal or a film which is good but not for a film which isn’t a cinematic experience. Rai Bareilly mein humari picture release hui, I acquired a theatre, there was no theatre there! There are more than 25 lac people, imagine where will they go. If you add all these 25 lac people imagine the population we have who want to watch movies. There is no means of entertainment in our country except for cinema right now. Sitting at home and watching T.V is different. That is convenience. But once in a while you need to get out. Abroad there are so many thing to do, we don’t. People just want to go and watch a movie.

Oh Ajay you have won me over!  This, strangely, feels like it is related to the things that make me not like him, the lawsuits and feuds when he feels other companies have “stolen” his release dates, are restricting how far his film can reach.  It all comes from his outsider roots.

Ajay’s father Veeru Devgan was the leading stuntman/”thrills” coordinator in the 70s and 80s.  He didn’t get that job through connections, and he didn’t get it through having a certificate of achievement from some international school.  He got it because he was desperate to get money to feed his family and willing to risk his life to do it.  And slowly he got good at it, got good at risking his life, learned at work, and reached something close to the top of this very low level.

Ajay got his break thanks to his father, and his own talent.  He didn’t go to the fancy schools, he didn’t get invited to the more exclusive parties.  But he was able to get his first contract thanks to the small amount of connections he did have, and after that his career took off based on his own blazing screen presence.  The funny thing is, he probably thinks of himself as one of the anti-nepotism types, but in the “professional” corporate industry, he never would have had a chance.  A boy with no degree or training, no fancy schooling, no international gloss, there’s no way a big corporate casting house would pick him.

Related image

(I really have to watch this movie sometime)

But, to me, it seems like he has always still felt a bit of an outsider.  He still doesn’t go to the parties, or any of the rest of it.  He identifies himself as a “regular” person, not like the fancy film folks.  That’s why he sues Yash Raj when they try to block book screens, and that’s also why he wants the people of UP to have a movie theater, to be able to see his movies.  Because he still thinks of himself as more like them.  It’s an audience that the corporate houses wouldn’t even see, but Ajay sees these people.

Image result for ajay devgan teeth

(Feels mean to point it out, but teeth are one of the most visibly signifiers of an struggling childhood, both in terms of nutrition and access to dental care.  And Ajay’s are more like that of someone in the UP who travels 80 km to get to a theater, than like those of his fellow film producers)


Sanjay Bio Song News

Oh, and a small bit of news, Amaal Malik has been hired to remix a song for the Sanjay biopic, his first big hit love duet, written by RD Burman, from his first movie Rocky.  Only rumor has it that the remix will change from a love duet to a love of life solo song in a male voice, to be played over a montage of Sanjay’s struggles in the early era.  Anyway, I dug up the song because I was curious.  It is pretty!  And check out early Tina Munim, before she married into the richest family in India and became Tina Ambani.


3 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Karan is Good to His Staff, Ajay is Good to the Audience, and Hirani is Good to Our Ears

  1. Fascinating and cheerful news! Just what I needed. My husband worked for IKEA until he retired last month, also a family owned company. (Ingvar Kamprad, the IK in IKEA, is old but very much alive.) He has set it up so it will remain family owned and family-oriented after he passes on.


  2. Pingback: 2017 DCIB Film Awards: Most Happymaking News Story, Editor’s Choice: Babies!!!!!!! | dontcallitbollywood

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