Jawahar L. Jairath, a publisher and builder by profession, comes from the family of patriots and freedom fighters. The subject of secret agents has always fascinated him. They are hardcore dedicated citizens of the country but they never get any appreciation for the same because of the nature of their job. As a dedication to them, Jawahar has produced the film Phaans- Ek Jasoos Ki Kahani. He along with Vidya Sinha, Raja Murad and debutants Kanan Malhotra and Shieva have shared the screen pace together.
The story delves into the professional and personal life of a secret agent.
What is Phaans- Ek Jasoos Ki Kahani all about?
Life of a detective or a secret service agent is full of pathos. He risks his own life and goes into enemy territory to get the files and information to strengthen his country. However, he is never given any recognition for it nor any awards because it is a secret job and you cannot talk about the person carrying it out.
Is the story of Phaans- Ek Jasoos Ki Kahani inspired from any real life incident?
Yes, it’s the story of Kashmira Singh which had influenced and inspired me. We don’t know if he was a spy or not but he was caught and kept in jail as one. Irony and tragedy is that even if he was working for the country, nobody can stand up for him to save him. That is how it works. This is the very fact that I have highlighted in the film. A spy has to deal with his problems while he is trying his best to solve the problems of his country and government.
We have heard that you shot the film at Wagha Border?
No, we did not. I had intended to shoot in Pakistan and at Wagha border. But Pakistan did not give us the required permission. As for Wagha border, I was told that the risk factor of being hit by shells was very strong. I could not risk my unit. So we had created full sets of Wagha Border and a Pakistani village in Ismail village near Delhi. When you will watch the film, it will be impossible to tell that they are not real locations.
Why have you added ‘Pokhran blast’ in the backdrop of the film?
‘Pokhran’ is the back drop because nuclear test there, had unnerved Pakistan a lot. Seeing India as a nuclear power had made them extremely uncomfortable. So, instead of a direct war they choose to indulge in subversive activities by sending terror groups in the country. And that is where needed for a spy comes in for Indian government. They send one to Pakistan to get the files containing all terror planning against India.
What did you zero on Vidya Sinha as your wife in the film?
She suits the character the best. When I read the story and her character, I just could not think of anybody else. So I went to her house, met her and as soon as I told her the character, she immediately gave a nod. She hasn’t done a film since last 17 years. She is a very fine actress.
You are the spy in the film. Why did you choose to act? You could have taken any other veteran actor for it?
I chose because I wanted to act. I come from the family of patriots. My grandfather Master Diwan Chand was a close associate of Bhagat Singh. My uncles were jailed during the freedom struggle and post independence, they were given the Tamra Patra for their work. So, this character of a spy excited me. I wanted to get under the skin of it and connect with his psych and dilemma. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We have tried to recognize the unrecognized.
You don’t have any popular actors in your film. How are you going to woo the audiences to earn boll-office collections?
The story of my film is the star. It explores the relation of India and Pakistan. How the two countries are always at loggerheads and how Pakistan keeps playing with the terrorism as escape route. How the cold and hot war between the two forces India to employ secret agents to find details of planned terror activities. On the other hand, actors like Vidya Sinha and Raja Murad are very strong. New comers Kanan Malhotra and Shieva has also done a very good job. I think that says it all.
– Sampurn Media