India Entertainment
Mira Nair's choppy midair experience
May 4, 2007 - 9:59:36 AM

Mumbai, May 4 - Art director Nitin Chandrakant Desai has a lot to answer for - specially to filmmaker Mira Nair.

Ever since he opened his sprawling hi-tech film studio in Karjat on the outskirts of Mumbai, the chopper has become the favourite medium of transport for the time-challenged film industry.

Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan were constantly flying in and out of Karjat and Mumbai while shooting for 'Ram Gopal Varma's Sholay'. Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai flew almost daily for Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Jodha-Akbar'.

But Mira Nair's experience gives you the jitters.

'Nitin is a very dear friend. So when he invited me to Karjat to see his studio during my last visit, I gladly agreed. People suggested I take a chopper to save time and I agreed. The ride was smooth enough till we reached Karjat. That's when things got choppy,' said Nair with a shiver.

'The pilot didn't know where to land. He kept circling over Karjat for an hour. I kept getting calls from Nitin saying, 'Come down, we can see you'. But our pilot had no clue. Finally, in a very irritated voice, he announced, 'Madame, we're running out of fuel.' So we headed back to Mumbai while I prayed to all my gods for a safe landing.'

Looking back, Nair can afford to laugh about the incident. The larger question is: Is it safe for people from the film industry to take chopper flights to places where there are no proper landing facilities?

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