On Monday Mumbai was abuzz with the rumour that Ashutosh Gowariker fainted while managing huge gawking crowds on location for Jodha-Akbar in Rajasthan. Ashutosh called to explain, "First of all it wasn't me. I'm hale and hearty. And a very strong guy. It will take more than the hot climate to shrivel me down."
So then what happened? "See, we're shooting in a place called Dhula on the outskirts of Jaipur. It's an actually parched over-heated desert-scape. So this morning when we were shooting a battle scene, two local villagers who doubled up as junior artistes fainted because of the heat. They were in full battle gear, armour helmet and all. And the heat was grueling. But they revived soon enough and were back shooting within hours," Ashutosh who's currently without his lead pair in Rajasthan (both Hrithik and Ash are in Mumbai) sounds relieved.
As for the heat… "Why the fuss? Do you know when we were shooting the climactic cricket match for Lagaan in Bhuj , villagers who were posing as …well villagers, kept fainting because of the direct sun-light that they had to bear for hours….I guess I do make rugged films that require a lot running around in the heat and dust."