Article Hindi

My first job was in Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, says actor Pavan Malhotra

The actor got candid about the filmmaker's way of working and brutal honesty. 

Shriram Iyengar

Filmmaker Kundan Shah’s demise started the day on a sad note for Hindi film lovers all across India. He is best known for helming the classic comedy, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983). For actor Pavan Malhotra, the film is a special one.

“My first job in Bombay was with Kundan Shah. It was Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983). I was the production assistant. I have done costumes. In those films, the project was so low (budget) that everybody was doing everything. So, I was also assisting and giving the clap. I learnt so much from him,” said Malhotra in an exclusive conversation with

Malhotra’s stint with Shah did not end with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro. In fact, it was just the beginning. “Then I assisted him in Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (TV series). Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi are landmarks. Nobody can forget them. We did Nukkad. He directed a few episodes. He also did Police Station (TV), which was not shown on Doordarshan. He then did Manoranjan (TV series),” he informed.

Pavan Malhotra

Shah is remembered as a humble, soft spoken person. But he was strict when the situation commanded. “He was a task master. Firstly, he was very good with scripts. If he had something in mind, he would add it. He was very hard working, very passionate about cinema and very well read. Basically, he was very simple,” reminisced Malhotra.

The actor revealed a lesser-known aspect about a filmmakers’ group that Shah was a part of. “They were all in one group, including Kundan Shah and Vinod Chopra. Aziz Mirza also joined later on. For example, if one of them was working on a film and the first draft was ready, they would meet and have a read,” he said.

Hindi film industry mourns Kundan Shah's death

Shah was always brutally honest at the gatherings. “He was always upfront about everybody. Whatever Kundan felt, he would ably voice his opinion. Then they would debate together. They were very passionate about their work,” Malhotra signed off.