While the creative differences between former Tell Me O Khuda director Mayur Puri and producer Hema Malini are known, few are aware that Puri had a falling out with Rishi Kapoor as well.
Reveals a source, "It was while the cast was shooting in Turkey. Mayur told Rishi how he wanted the scene to be shot while the actor, a veteran of many years made a few suggestions instead. Mayur rudely disregarded them. It quickly turned into a heated argument. Rishi has always respected his directors no matter how young or old they are and he finally shot for it the way Mayur wanted. However, the incident was hurtful."
Rishi admits that he had certain creative differences with the director but that Puri wasn't rude. "If he had misbehaved, I would have slapped him! Kisika aukad hai mere se badtameezi karein?( who dares to misbehave with me) Of course, it's his right to direct the way he wants to. But I knew Mayur was saying the wrong thing and thought I should correct him. Ultimately, I had to give up."
Rishi adds that in his 40 years as an actor, he has never had the reputation of causing a scene with his directors. "They all know that I spar with them. If you want good work you have to spar. I am not a dumb actor. Yes there was a clash of opinions in Tell Me O Khuda, the shot was done wrong and I had to yield because I respect all directors irrespective of their age. Am I a good sportsman? I didn't argue but just corrected the shot. Woh nahi maana bas baat khatam ( he didn't listen to me and that's it, everything was over ). I guess now my stand has been vindicated now that Mayur is no longer directing the film."
Vinod Khanna, Esha Deol and Arjan Bajwa also star in Tell Me O Khuda. The South African government has invited Rishi Kapoor for a retrospective of his films over the last few decades in Johannesburg, Durban and Peter Marriotberg. Says the actor, "They will be screening about eight films of mine from Bobby and Karz to Love Aaj Kal and Chintuji. It's a great honour and I shall be attending a Q and A session. I am humbled."
Mayur Puri was directing Hema Malini's Tell Me O Khuda till the differences got so great that the IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures and Producers' Association) and the IFTDA (Indian Film & Television Directors' Association) had to step in to sort out the issue. Apparently, producer Hema Malini is now directing the film.