Friday, December 11, 2009
The age of love
Hundreds of artisans from the nondescript town of Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh, worked tirelessly for two years to put millions of small circular mirrors together to create the interiors of Sheesh Mahal. Their goal was to replicate the splendour of the Mughal era in this 3ft-high, 80ft-wide and 150ft-long makeshift glass palace, where one of the finest dance sequences of Hindi cinema was filmed—Pyaar kiya to darna kya from Mughal-e-Azam (1960)— which is deconstructed in Shakil Warsi’s new, engrossing book Mughal-e-Azam: An Epic of Eternal Love.
Soon after the sets were ready came the bad news: It was impossible to shoot there because the mirrors inlaid on the walls and pillars would reflect too much light. With experts such as directors David Lean and Roberto Rossellini concurring, the producer almost considered having the film made by another director. But this did not deter K. Asif, the director....more