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The Spirit of Lagaan - by Satyajit Bhatkal
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'The Spirit of Lagaan' is the extraordinary story of a thousand days in the lives of Amir Khan, Ashutosh Gowariker and their mammoth team which made a classic film. It journeys through the dreams and nightmares, the loneliness and comradeship, the despair and exhilaration of a unit numbering thousands, drawn from the far corners of the globe, as it battled it out in the heat of the Kutch desert.
It is a story of building a dream team amidst contradictions and a creating a modern and progressive work ethic in an industry blighted by feudal methods of work. It is a tale of how the 'Lagaan' unit became a melting pot for diverse cultures to blend with a chemistry that created magic on screen and deep bound off it.
As a case study, it offers lessons to managers in the corporate world and team leaders in every aspect of life on how ambition married with purpose, grit and above all team spirit, can work magic to make the impossible a reality.
The story of how the 'Lagaanites' met challenge after challenge has striking parallels to the film itself . . .except that 'The Spirit of Lagaan' is a true story!
I had tears in my eyes as I read this book. It took me back to every adventure-filled moment that we went through in the two and a half years in took us to make ‘Lagaan’. And what took me by surprise is that the book goes beyond being just a description of how a film was made. It’s a story about a time, a space and the lives of people from four distinct cultures and backgrounds, who came together to ride the ‘wild house’ called ‘Lagaan’. As a ‘Lagaanite’ I want to thank Satyajit for the effort he has made to put on record a slice of all our lives. An effort that will enable us to relive the delicious madness.”
“The Spirit of Lagaan’ makes me relive the whole experience. Satyajit Bhatkal’s fascinating and delightful re-telling of an exacting and demanding journey which he himself was a part of, his observations about cross-cultural amalgamation and his real insights into the making of the film make the book a truly gratifying read.”
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