Even as the curtains came down on another exciting and unpredictable Oscar Awards this year, fans just could not get enough. Even back home in India, audiences woke up early Monday morning, skipped work only to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars. In one way or another, everyone wanted to be connected with the prestigious award show but one unlikely Indian already was.
Television producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary (Swastik Productions) has a strange connection with the Oscars which dates back to 2012 when he first decided to remake the Mahabharat. After two years of speculation, the project came to life and Tewary only saw one person fit to add color to his vision, Oscar Winner Bhanu Athaiya. When Tewary walked into Athaiya’s workshop in South Mumbai one hot March afternoon, little did he know how serendipitous their connection was!
In the late 1940s-early ’50s, Athaiya worked for Eve’s Weekly boutique, creating stylish outfits for women of Bombay. Among her top clientele were some of Bombay’s glamorous filmstars like Nargis and Kamini Kaushal. On hearing about her work, producer B.R. Chopra walked into Athaiya’s shop one day and asked her to create a costume sketch for his film Chandni Chowk, the assignment being one of the first few in films. The designer later won an Academy Award for her contribution for the film Gandhi.
No wonder Mahabharat turned out to be such an epic!