Mumbai, Nov 8: Ailing filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, who is on dialysis, says with help from the whos who of the film industry and a life-giving call from songstress Lata Mangeshkar, her indomitable spirit has got a boost and she continues to fight her health battle with a vengeance.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. Kalpana, how are you feeling?
Well, my kidneys have failed. I haven't (laughs). I am far from done, my dear. I had to be rushed into the ICU. But I am recovering well now. I got a call from the greatest Lataji (Mangeshkar) in hospital. She offered me all her assistance. I said I only need her blessings. How have you been?
Q. Forget about me. We are concerned about you. Why did you have to be rushed to the hospital?
It was just one of those strenuous weeks, I guess. Otherwise I am doing fine. I need dialysis four times a week. That's a helluva strain on me financially and physically. I've no money. But generous people from the film industry like Aamir Khan, Rohit Shetty, Salman Khan and my dearest and closest friends, Neena Gupta, Soni Razdan have kept me going. But my biggest support has been my mother (artiste Lalita Lajmi).
Q. Your mother has always been the most beautiful person in your family, even more beautiful than your relative Deepika Padukone?
Well, yes. My mother and my uncle Atma Ram (filmmaker Guru Dutt's brother) were always the best looking members of our family. Not too many people know Deepika is related to me. I doubt she remembers. But my mother at 85 is in good health, touchwood. I wonder what I'd have done without her. In fact, everyone has been wonderful ever since my health failed. I had no money for my treatment.
Q. You spent it all in looking after Bhupenda (music maestro Bhupen Hazarika)?
I've absolutely no regrets about that. Every minute I spent with Bhupenda was precious, is precious. He remains alive in my mind. In fact, I've written a book on our life together. HarperCollins has acquired the book. They will release it next year on September 8 on Bhupenda's birth anniversary.
Q. By then you will be back on your feet, I am sure?
I hope so. I am itching to get back to filmmaking. The industry has changed so much since I last directed a movie. Those days when my films like 'Ek Pal' and 'Rudaali' were so appreciated, now seem remote. We've gone from the era from Mahesh Bhatt to the era of Alia Bhatt. And I'm proud I know both of them as wonderful human beings. It's been a wonderful journey. I've enjoyed every minute of it. And I am not done as yet. I should be out of the hospital in a day or two. Please pray for me.