Bollywood actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan appeared in a new role at the music launch of his latest production “Peepli Live”–that of playing jazz drums. He surprised everyone at the function, who included filmmaker Karan Johar, by going on the dais and enthralling the audience with his percussion skills on July 13.
The actor was clearly encouraged by the band members of Indian Ocean, which composed the music of “Peepli Live”. He played favourite Gujarati Dandiya beats to show the audience that he can do it all.
“I used to think as a child that I would perform on stage with a band and finally I got an opportunity…thanks to Indian Ocean”, said Aamir.
The music launch showcased live performances by the famous band Indian Ocean, as also Nagin Tanvir (late theatre personality Habib Tanvir’s daughter) and actor Raghubir Yadav.
Villagers of Badwai in central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, where “Peepli Live” was shot, joined Raghubir to sing “Mahangaayi Dayan”, their folk song which features in the film and is already a hit, which relates the impact of rising prices on common man.
“Peepli Live”, an Aamir Khan Productions’ film directed by debutant Anusha Rizvi, is a satire on farmers’ suicides and releases on August 13.
Khan said he would not let political parties use the song “Sakhi Saiyaan Toh Bahute Kamaat Hain/Mahangai Dayan Khaye Jaat Hain ” that also takes a dig at the government over inflation.
“We will not lend the song to anyone for political use. This song is part of the story of the film and it will not be used in any kind of political campaign,” Aamir told reporters on the sidelines of the music launch of the film.
Members of some opposition parties, including Bharatiya Janata Party, had approached the filmmaker to buy the rights of the song, written by a resident of Badwa village, to use it as a tool against the government, given the recent flare up in prices of essential commodities.
“We have made the film for the audience. This song is part of the story of the film. The movie is about the urban and rural divide that exists in India and inflation is a general issue,” Aamir said.
It may be recalled that India’s ruling party Congress had used Oscar-winning A R Rahman’s famous song “Jai Ho” from Danny Boyle-directed “Slumdog Millionaire” during its campaign for parliamentary elections last year.
Aamir says the cast of “Peepli Live ” is apt, considering that the story is set in a village.
He said, Mahmood Farooqui, the casting director of the movie, has done “an amazing job” in the casting of the film, “it’s just so apt. We have picked up artistes from a theatre group called Naya Theatre by late Habib Tanvir.”
When questioned about his favourite character from the movie, Aamir as usual had a very interesting answer, “I particularly like Amma’s character, she plays an amazing character. In fact, she had also done a part in old “Umrao Jaan “, directed by Muzaffar Ali, ” he said.
The “Peepli Live team ” put a lot of thought behind the characters and were very clear about what they needed. Since the story was set in a village, the cast had to be such. That is one of the reasons that the movie has no big names, in terms of actors, associated with it.
The casting director of the movie, Mahmood Farooqui who is also Anusha Rizvi’s husband, looked in the most unlikeliest of the places so he could get authentic looking actors. In fact, authenticity was such an important factor that many a new faces will be seen in this movie, many of them belonging to the people of village Bhadwai.