I met Yashji in an award function. That was the first time I spoke to him and yet he was appreciative of my work in the film. Then they called me to do Fanaa. He used to visit the sets and that’s what kicked off our communication. But it was only during Aditya Chopra’s film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, when we grew closer as he was a regular visitor to the sets. In fact, when I went to scout for locations in the Golden Temple, Yashji took me and we spent two to three hours there.
He was very enthusiastic about everything on the sets. When he saw new lenses being used, he would ask about it. If there was a change in lighting, he would ask about it. He had a childlike curiosity about the new-age cameras and other equipment we were using. He even asked me for printouts of the brochures because he liked them so much and wanted to buy them for his company.
He also loved it when people pushed themselves to work harder. I remember a scene inRab Ne… where Shah Rukh Khan fights with a Sumo wrestler and Anushka gets angry. It was a long, round trolley shot with complicated focus marks and camera positions. At the end of the shot, Yashji was in tears because the scenes were so impactful. He came to me and patted me on my back for my camera work. But he also knew that it was the contribution of my trolley pusher and focus pullers that had made the shot possible. So he congratulated them and told his production guys to pay out Rs 5,000 as a mark of his appreciation. How many directors or producers do that?