By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
There's a sense of shock and dismay in the film fraternity at what a handful of intruders have done to Mumbai last week. And no one is in the mood to return to work.
Shooting on Saturday was sporadic. Bipasha Basu shot for a song with Ahmed Khan and Leena Bajaj shot with Amitabh Bachchan for Teen Patti. Otherwise all was quiet on the shooting front.
Mira Nair who paid a handsome tribute to the city in Salaam Bombay is unable to talk about it. "I've no words at this moment. I pray for equanimity to prevail and that we don't give in to hysteria."
Mira has stayed at the devastated Taj on her frequent visits to Mumbai. Film folks from across the world have lost something valuable in the Taj massacre.
Naseeruddin Shah echoes Mira's sentiments when he says, "What's the point in spouting clichés? Let's leave that to the politicians. My reaction of outrage and helplessness is no different from that of any sane person."
Sushmita Sen too is wounded by the attack on Mumbai. "The last couple of days have left me deeply hurt and angered. What's happening to our administration? We now see a basic disregard for human life. I've been praying constantly for all our children's future."
Preity Zinta, who returned two days ago from Dubai to a shell-shocked Mumbai still can't believe what's happened. "I was stranded on the Dubai airport on Wednesday night. Innocent women and children being killed. What sense does it make? I've spent so many evenings at the Taj. I remember their hospitable staff with much warmth. Will the Taj ever be the same again? My brother and his family have come from the US to bring in my mother's birthday on Sunday. They couldn't have chosen a worst time to come to Mumbai. But it's good to have family with me at such a time."
A majority of the Bollywood stars were in no mood to resume work on Saturday, although the city seemed ready to bounce back.
Said Suneil Shetty, "The city is in state of shock. I'm getting to know gradually that I've lost friends in the attack whom I've known for years. This time it's not like other times. My family and I live quite close to both the Taj and Oberoi. We saw smoke and fire billowing out of these places where we've spent so many evenings." Suneil shot on Thursday for Priyadarshan's De Dana Dan. But stayed home on Friday.
Harman Baweja cancelled his shooting because he says he felt "angered and disillusioned." Sonu Sood cancelled his shooting in Hyderabad arguing, "I've been under too much stress in the last four days. I guess I'll start shooting the day after."
Vatsal Seth and Celina Jaitley chose to stay away from shooting to attend their friend Ashish Chowdhry's sister's funeral on Saturday afternoon. Ashish's mother and his sister's mother-in-law were inconsolably shattered. There were 10 bodies to be cremated along with Ashish's sister's and brother-in-law's. Will their lives ever be the same again?
Lilette Dubey who lives right next to the Taj described the post-Wednesday scenario in a Colaba as a "war zone." She left Mumbai on Friday to be with her family in Delhi.
Bollywood is in no mood to forgive, forget and move on.