Hindi cinema on canvas? An architect and part-time artist took out his brushes to immortalise Ram Gopal Varma's blockbuster hit Sarkar Raj in paint. Observer columnist DEVANSH PATEL grabbed an exclusive interview with the creative - and forthright - Amit Pimple
IT WAS the day every Bollywood lover was waiting for - the Bachchans, the Zinta, the Deshmukh, Vishal-Shekhar all in London to promote The Unforgettable Tour. After the morning rush hour and the jet lag came the media frenzy.
The press, TV and radio crews had been busy putting the final touches before the beginning of Bollywood's biggest press conference.
After nearly an hour's wait, the stars arrived to hear a welcome speech from Showbiz International, the promoters of The Unforgettable Tour in the UK.
Then Mr Bachchan and the Qs were thrown to the media pack.
The conference finished after an hour and the journalists got busy talking about Abhishek's quiet presence, Aishwarya's infectious smile, Mr Bachchan's adoring personality, Preity's drooping eyes and, of course, The Unforgettable Tour itself.
But within seconds of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan walking past me, they were abruptly stopped by a 5ft-something man requesting that both the Bachchans see his artistic creations inspired by Sarkar Raj.
I have to say, Abhishek was utterly surprised and could not believe what he was seeing - but Amit Pimple was not content with that.
He had created a big surprise for the visiting Bollywood gang. It was covered in golden wrapping paper, ready to be unveiled by none other than Mr Bachchan Bachchan.
The 4ft-long oil painting depicts Mr Bachchan's efforts in promoting the Indian film industry worldwide and is a highly individual piece of memorabilia for the entire cast and crew of The Unforgettable Tour.
The Power is a core theme of the film Sarkar Raj.
Sometimes power is used for a good purpose, such as offering services to people and to fight against injustice, as used by Sarkar's character. But sometimes it's also used for negative purposes, such as to create social polarisation and to achieve stronger position.
The new electricity plant would also generate a form of power for the prosperity of the people of Thakarwadi in the film.
In the painting, the electric cables being gripped by a fist depicts the achievement of supremacy in Maharashtra. Electricity pylons and cables symbolise a power plant, to be sited on the land of Maharashtra shown in the background. A silhouette of the
Maharashtrian village community is shown at the bottom.
This painting also reflects the debate of tradition versus modernity.
Development and conspiracy
Maharashtra is a land of saints, illustrated by a Tilak, a mark worn on a person's forehead, which is a focal point of this painting.
In the background is a subtle outline of a dove in flight, symbolising the prosperity that will prevail thanks to the new power plant.
But the conspiracy brings a twist to the story, as shown by drops of blood.
Tilak also symbolises Rao Saab, the mastermind behind the plot and his philosophy of non-violence, which is generally a pretence.
Finally, it all comes down to Subhash Nagre, the supreme power, illustrated by the Rudraksha at the bottom of the Tilak. This is all for the people, as illustrated by the stylised faces.
As well as being an intensely political drama, Sarkar Raj is also a story that explores relationship between Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan), Shankar Nagre (Abhishek Bachchan) and Anita Rajan (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).
It creates a triangular matrix generating synergy between them. This painting is therefore in three zones, coloured black, red and yellow.
Black symbolises character of Subhash Nagre - old, mature, experienced, supreme and a messiah. It also resembles his black linen outfit in the film.
Red stands for Shankar Nagre - young, vibrant, dynamic and modern.
Meanwhile yellow illustrates Anita Rajan - the colour of prosperity, development and foreign collaboration.
These are also the signature colours of Sarkar Raj.
Three hands; three generations.
The top hand is that of Subhash Nagre with a Rudraksha chain, the middle one is of Shankar and the third represents a time when we need someone with great power and force - Chiku - who would stand up for poor people and fight for them, as Subhash Nagre and Shankar Nagre did in both Sarkar and Sarkar Raj.
He would be an Inherent successor.