If Prakash Jha's Raajneeti was big, his new film Aarakshan will be even bigger. Both the films are located in Bhopal. However, this time, Jha will shoot in a residential colony called Menal City comprising 5000 residents.
The entire colony has been taken over by Prakash Jha's unit. A tabela (dairy farm) is being built in the colony at the reported cost of Rs. 1 crore. The tabela, which will later be gifted to the colony after the shooting is complete, will house dozens of buffaloes and cows, which are being transported at this very moment from outside Bhopal into the city.
When contacted, Prakash Jha admits that the huge colony in Bhopal would serve as an extended set for Aarakshan. Says the director, "I needed a certain quaint suburban look for my film with a criss-cross of clean streets and houses fronted by lawns. What was missing was a tabela. A major part of my plot unfolds on a dairy farm. So my art director, Jayant Deshmukh is building the tabela from scratch at one end of the colony."
Aarakshan with Amitabh Bachchan in the lead, got its title extricated from a television serial, which decided to add on the word to its original title just to cash in on hype surrounding Prakash's film.
Says the irate director, "The serial was originally called Aarmanon Ka Balidan. Suddenly I saw an Aarakshan added at the end of the serial's original title. I sent the producers a legal notice."
Jha's film is inspired by the leader of the masses Jayaprakash Narayan's movement for job reservation for under-privileged sections of society.