Mani blasts bomb for Ash

MUMBAI: One of the finest filmmakers in India, Mani Ratnam is nearly ready with his most ambitious film Raavana. While shooting for an extremely risky action scene for the film, he took inspiration from a real life incident, which almost killed him in 1995.

A source said, "Mani wanted stunt director Sham Kaushal to shoot an action sequence where a petrol bomb was being used. The scene was being shot with Vikram and Aishwarya Rai. It was a difficult scene to execute as Mani wanted the bomb to blast midair, a few feet away from Vikram, just seconds before it would hit the ground.

If there was even a slight error in the timing of the blast, Vikram would get seriously injured. Mani insisted that the scene should be executed just the way he wanted it and that too with Vikram, Aishwarya and rest of the actors in the frame."

Commenting on why Mani was so adamant on making the scene as precarious as possible, the source said, "Mani himself had been in a similar situation when his film Bombay had released and a bomb had blasted midair and he was saved by just a few seconds in 1995."

Sham Kaushal, action director of the film, confirmed the news and said, "Yes, it was an extremely difficult scene but Mani sir was very clear about the way he wanted to shoot it. Somebody had to throw the bomb from a distance of 25 feet and the bomb had to blast midair at a distance of about 15 feet from where the actors were standing."

"The next day we shot it exactly the way Mani wanted it and he was happy with the result. When I asked him why he wanted it to be shot in a particular way, he told me that he had faced a similar situation. He told me that he was reading a newspaper at his Chennai residence when someone had thrown a pipe bomb at him but he was saved as the bomb had erupted midair before it hit him. That's why he wanted the same sequence. I guess that's why all of us readily push ourselves that extra mile for him," added Sham Kaushal.