For Imtiaz Ali, it was homecoming of sorts. An alumnus of Hindu College, Imtiaz looked like just another student when he visited the Delhi University campus and interacted with students while promoting his upcoming film Highway.
Greeted with loud cheers and a performance by Ibtida (dramatics society of Hindu College), the director had a word of wisdom for students of the college, "Always tell your own stories, not those of others. I have a lot of expectation from Hindu."
And we have a lot of expectations from his film, Highway. The director revealed that the film – despite being a labour of love – had a difficult birth.
Talking to Hindustantimes.com, Imtiaz said, "For the longest time, I couldn't make the film (Highway) as nobody was ready to produce it. Ultimately, I had to produce it myself."
The director has often said that the story of Highway stayed with him for more than 15 years. Talking about his feelings now that the film will soon be out in theatres, Imtiaz said that there is a sense of loss when a movie is released but there is also a purging of "emotional constipation".
Be it Socha Na Tha (2005), Jab We Met (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009) or Rockstar (2011) - Imtiaz's films capture changing interpretation of love in current times. Imtiaz, however, says he is not trying to tell you a love story. "I don't try to make love stories, I just try to tell stories that I can think of. I am the most confused person about love in concept and vocabulary and I shudder to think what will happen to people who follow anything from my films."
"My films are not meant to be a comment on love or the perception of love... these are just stories but they are termed as love stories, and I don't grudge that," Imtiaz added.
Discussing the toughest part of shooting Alia Bhatt, Randeep Hooda-starrer, the director said, "It was coming back to Delhi and shooting with the conveniences of food and other luxuries. We had become a little junglee. Coming back to civilization was tough and that's something all of us felt. We really enjoyed being in the wild."
When asked about an actor he wants to direct, Imtiaz Ali said he would have loved to direct a young Dilip Kumar and Madhubala. Sadly, he added, while Dilip sir is too ill these days, Madhubala is no more.
Earlier, during his visit to the hostel of Hindu College, Imtiaz Ali watched a performance of Ibtida - the dramatics society he founded. The students gifted Ibtida tees to Imtiaz and Alia Bhatt, who accompanied him.