On Sunday morning two days after his office in suburban Mumbai was visited by goons allegedly attached to the alleged gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, producer Sajid Nadiadwala, no stranger to attacks, is calmly ensconced in his home.
“It’s not so much me but the ladies in my family, my mother, wife and my daughter who are pareshaan. I keep assuring them I am fine. Nothing will happen. I’ve full faith in the Maharashtra police. Last time in January when there was a crime situation at my home the cops had acted swiftly and the culprits were nabbed. This time too they’ve leapt into action. I feel I’m in safe hands.”
On Friday morning the goons barged into the compound of Nadiadwala’s office and left number allegedly linked to Lakdawala.
“I guess it was about money. Luckily it was too early in the morning for me to be in the office. They asked me to call up on the numbers. I immediately called the cops,” says Sajid trying to keep his tone normal.
The one most alarming thought in Nadiadwala and other film producers’ minds is that this could signal the return of underworld threats to Bollywood.
Remarks Sajid cautiously, “I do have a big release coming up (Housefull). Earlier these calls used to come whenever one of us producers had a big release. I could take this to mean that my film is being perceived as big…It’s my sense of humour that has always kept me going through every crisis. But jokes apart, I do hope this is a one-off threat and not the renewal of a very frustrating and frightening trend.”
At the moment Sajid is confined to his home amidst heavy security bandobast. Says the producer, “My security both at home and in the office has been beefed up considerably. I don’t feel unsafe. But yes, such an incident does weigh on your mind and hampers your work. I was busy with the mixing of Housefull when this happened. I can pretend everything is normal. But it has affected me.”
- Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire