Feeling on 'top of the universe'

Akbar Khan is enjoying every moment of his "Taj glory". The Indian director's film, Taj Mahal - An Eternal Love Story, short-listed for the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), is set for its world premiere today.

By Mehre Alam ((DIFF SPECIAL))

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Published: Tue 11 Dec 2007, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 2:16 AM

"I am feeling on top of the universe," Khan said while talking to Khaleej Times yesterday.

Following its world premiere, Taj Mahal will be re-released in India. Trade pundits had marked the movie a failure at the box office when it was first released in India, even though it earned laurels from critics.

Why the re-release? "I had wilfully withdrawn my film from theatres. Its release was mistimed. The theatres where the film released were not good enough. My film needed a different kind of release," explained the actor, who has himself acted in some yesteryear Bollywood films, without much success though.

The actor believes the re-release will do the trick at the box-office. "See, in any case, my film has earned high praise from film pundits. The young, old, all alike have liked my film. Even Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh watched this film with his family at a special screening at his house. He later sent me a letter lavishing wholesome praise on the movie," Khan said.

Taj Mahal starred actors Zulfi Syed, Soniya Jehan, Manisha Koirala and ex-Hollywood star Kabir Bedi.

There are some other official laurels waiting for Khan as well . "The Mayor of Agra, the city of Taj Mahal, is hosting a big event on February 17, 2008, in commemoration of the Taj being elected one of the Seven Wonders. My film will be synergised at the event, which is likely to be attended by former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam," he gushed.

Khan may have inspired some others, including Hollywood legend Ben Kingsley, to plan movies on the Taj theme. "But I have covered all aspects of Shah Jahan (the Mughal emperor in whose reign the Taj was built). His youth, his old age, his wars, his passions, his relationships with his beloved, his sons etc. Is there anything left for the other directors now?" Khan said, with pun sounding clear in his voice.

Khan is thrilled that his film is being screened at DIIF, and especially so, that the event is taking place in Dubai. "I think Dubai has today become a nucleus of promoting a composite culture. It's a place that can show the way to the world on how to bridge the East-West divide."

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