‘Manjhi’ ray of hope in cynical times: Ketan Mehta

Bollywood director Ketan Mehta, who has successfully completed his film “Manjhi – The Mountain Man”, says the incredible story will inspire many.

Based on a true story, the film is about a man who carved out a mountain in memory of his wife.

“In this cynical time, this is like a ray of hope. It is one man’s will against the forces of nature. He is shown by his life that he is the change which he wants,” Mehta told IANS.

“It is an incredible monument of love. Shah Jahan also took 22 years to make Taj Mahal with an army of so many people. Whereas here he did it alone. It is an incredible story of the human will,” he added.

Mehta, who has directed films like “Mangal Pandey: The Rising” and “Maya Memsaab”, considers it to be one of the “roughest shoots” he has done so far.

“We shot in a remote corner of Gaya (in Bihar). It has been quite an adventure for the entire team,” he said.

“Finally the film is over. It is an amazing story of a poor man called Dashrath Manjhi who carved out a mountain to create a path for the sake of his wife. I am very happy with the film,” he said.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays the title role in “Manjhi – The Mountain Man”.

Talking about the research put into the biopic, the director said: “We went to the location (Gaya)…met his family members and read up everything which was published on him. Then we came up with the script,” he said.

Manjhi embarked on the project after his wife died, wondering why one had to take a circutious 70 km route around a mountain to get medical help when the distance was a mere 5-6 km as the crow flies. He then began cutting through the mountain with a hammer and chisel and accomplished the task in 22 years. He died in 2007 and the Bihar government accorded him a state funeral.

- IANS

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