Shaheen with her sister Alia and father Mahesh Bhatt
Shaheen with her sister Alia and father Mahesh BhattInstagram

Love him or hate him, but you can't ignore him. Mahesh Bhatt is a man that has given Bollywood some of its most treasured, path altering movies. His latest films may not have that impact anymore but his previous work remains a cult. One such film was Zakhm. Dealing with faiths, relationships and communalism, the film had eroded several controversies. We take you back to an old interview of Bhatt from those times.

Talking about his parents and their faith, Bhatt had said, "I felt it was a privilege that I came from such a rich background. I had the best of both worlds. My mother was a Shia Muslim, while my father was a janoi-clad man. He never pretended to be secular. What's very interesting, both (father and mother) retained their individual faiths. They were madly in love but neither indulged in the farce of wanting to do things the other way."

Mahesh Bhatt Heart Attack
Mahesh BhattVarinder Chawla

Rediff further quotes him as saying for the Communalism Combat magazine, "My mother always wore this big tikka, and saree -- she liked that kind of thing. But, at the same time, I could see that there was something she was hiding. She felt that her minority status would perhaps interfere with our day-to-day lives. She was a little embarrassed when I flaunted my Muslim roots."

Talking about Sunil Dutt's courage to challenge things back then, Mahesh Bhatt had said in the same interview, "It's like me, how can you, or I, separate my Muslim DNA from my Hindu DNA! You'd have to kill me! Or call me an aberration and put me into quarantine. It's so sad, when we make films like this, which are nothing but human documents of great affection and concern for the social environment, we have to run to politicians and bureaucrats. It makes you feel like a leper, having made something that you have experienced. It's your experience, and I don't give a tinker's damn what people say. This is what I have experienced. And the job of a writer and a film-maker is to present the truth as he or she has felt it, without fear."