Sudden demise of filmmaker Jhamu Sugandh shocks Bollywood

Last Updated: Wed, May 28, 2008 08:07 hrs

The demise of Jhamu Sugandh, who produced, financed and collaborated on a varied range of films from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Aamir Khan's Lagaan to Deepa Mehta's Fire and Buddhadev Dasgputa's Kaal Purush, has sent shock waves across the industry.

From actor Amitabh Bachchan to director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, everyone believes his death is a big loss to the industry.

"I heard about his passing away on Monday, very sad. He loved cinema and that is evident in the range of films he produced. He was very adventurous as a producer, took risks and in fact welcomed them. He was a very nice gentleman too," Amitabh said.

"He was our adviser at AB Corp. Whenever we were stuck on any financial matter, we'd always turn to Jhamuji. He had a great sense about what worked and didn't work. And he loved to push the envelope. He was too young to die. We didn't meet too often, but through our business association I came to know and like him," added the veteran star.

Sriram Raghavan, whose Johnny Gaddar Jhamu Sugandh initially produced, but had to abandon the project due to a financial crunch, said Sugandh had lately become a recluse.

Raghavan said: "My film and Anurag Kashyap's Gulal were the last films that he produced. I don't know what's happened to Anurag's film. But, Adlabs eventually completed my Johnny Gaddar.

"Lately, he had become a recluse. He wasn't keeping well. And he also felt that the cinema that he believed in and produced had ceased to make a difference to the film industry."

Raghavan admires Sugandh's range of cinema as a filmmaker.

"Look at the man's amazing range of interests as a producer and his roster of filmmakers from Mani Ratnam and Shekhar Kapoor (he was involved with Bandit Queen) to Ram Gopal Varma and me. He approached me after Ek Haseena Thi and said he'd like me to make a movie for him. I suggested Johnny Gaddar. He didn't even listen to the script and asked me to go ahead.

Likewise, Bhansali's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was a turning point in the director's career and he is discernibly upset at the sudden demise of the producer.

"It's very upsetting to hear someone whom you were closely associated with is no more. Jhamuji let me make Hum Dil... the way I wanted. He believed in high aesthetics and he believed in good cinema.

"He dared to produce Deepa Mehta's Fire and 1947 Earth when he was told they were controversial. He was happy to lend his name to any film that he thought would take our cinema to another level. It's sad he is gone. But that's life."

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