Mahesh Bhatt doesn’t need any introduction, be it as a director, producer or screenwriter. He has excelled in each and every field. In his long stint with Hindi film industry, Bhatt has produced many commercial and critically acclaimed films. His four-decade-long career has seen films like Saaransh (1984), Naam (1986), Daddy (1989), Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi (1991), Aashiqui (1990) and Zakhm (1998). In his journey in the film industry, Bhatt has groomed many talents, including his daughter Pooja Bhatt and actor Imraan Hasmi. Currently, the film-maker is busy with his new offering, Naamkaran, a television serial that revolves around a little girl, who lives with her mother, a single parent. In an interview with The Statesman, Bhatt spoke about the show, changes in the films industry, Alia Bhatt and other issues. Excerpts:

About Naamkaran… 

It is a story of Avni, who lives with a single parent. She begins a quest to define herself in this world with its prevalent hypocritical structure and she finds herself locking horns with them, adjusting to them and finally emerges braving the situtation. The whole story is about the journey of the little girl only. I came across this girl in a very unique way. One day, somebody said, ‘Look at this girl.’ The girl looked at me, I decided. I chose her not because how she performed but because of her silence. She is one of the finest discoveries of my career. 

On the career of Alia Bhatt… 

I am very happy with the way Alia’s career is taking shape. I would love to call myself a proud dad, seeing her success. In her five-year-long career, Alia has garnered rave review for her acting and also had commercial hits like Highway, 2 States, Humpy Sharma Ki Dulhania and Udta Punjab. However, in movies like Shandaar, she did taste failure. But that is also good as she should also taste failure. 

 In Udta Punjab she nailed (her role) with her performance. After watching the film I couldn’t believe she could perform so well the role of a Jharkahnd girl. All in all, in this age, she is a far more successful person than I would have imagined. 

About the music these days… 

Earlier people would come to cinema halls to watch songs. If one or two songs of a film are good, it would be guarantee of its success. Those were the times, people would go to cinema halls to watch only songs. They would buy whole CDs and cassettes for a single song. But these days of digital age have changed everything. At the same time, people also changed a lot, they don’t want only good songs, but a good story, good acting and good music. They want a wholesome product. If music of film is good, it can help the movie during promotion. As it happened with my Aashiqui 2, in which, two songs broke all records in the year. 

Changes in film industry… 

Some changes are good but some are not. During my time the films would release with 50 prints. Once the film is done in one city, it would travel to another city. Films would release in different cities on different dates. It was the time, for sake of just watching people, one would travel to different cities. But the digital age has changed it altogether. Now films are released all over the world with several prints. Digital world has made it easier to make films and special effects, which were dreams once. 

However, the change I don’t like at all is the missing craze for movies. Those days, in cinema halls people would engross themselves in the movie. During those three hours, they would think themselves cut off from family, friends or rest of the world. These days I am missing that fervor. 

The show will go on air from 12 September on Star Plus at 9pm.