Monsoon Wedding Gave Me A Lot Of Exposure

Updated: Jun 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
Remember P K Dubeys marigold heart bouquet for his beloved Alice in Mira Nairs Monsoon Wedding Well, theres a man behind the idea. For wedding planner Amrish Pershad, Monsoon Wedding happened quite by accident. Two of his acquaintances who were part of the films art team told Mr Pershad that Mira Nair and co. were scouting for florists to decorate the wedding sets for the film.

About 10 people, including I, applied and I got selected, he recounts. In fact, Mira Nair came and saw my store and props in New Friends Colony, he adds with a grin.

But Mr Pershad probably did not know what he had bargained for. I had to practically stay at the sets from morning till night, he says, not that he minded. The movie, he says, was a quick affair. The entire shooting was done in 30 days in Brijwasan, near Delhi, he says.

And given the boost it has given his business, Mr Pershad loves talking about the movie. One scene in the movie depicts workers making a rangoli. The workers were actually part of my team and this was a natural shot. Hence, what you see in reel life are their real expressions, he says. Of course, the accounts dont end here. Even the scenes that show workers hurrying about, carrying marigolds, are all natural shots that were taken while my workers were working, reveals Mr Pershad.

What was Mr Pershads high point in the film Remember the scene where Dubey, the sub-contractor, is day dreaming He dreams that he is wooing Alice and the umbrella made of marigolds over their heads captures that romantic moment. And then Dubey presents Alice with a heart made of marigolds. We made the umbrella and the heart, says Mr Pershad proudly.

The marigold hearts caught the fancy of many. I received about 100 orders for those marigold hearts for Valentines Day this year, he reveals.

Mr Pershad also provides other sidelights of the film. As the name of the movie suggests monsoon, there was a scene that depicted the rains. The production team planned to use sprinklers. But when the sprinklers were turned on, it actually started raining! he says with a laugh.

And though he saw the entire movie being shot, it did not deter him from seeing it again in a cinema hall (four times) and on DVD (twice).

But Monsoon Wedding was not a cakewalk for Mr Pershad. The same set had to be used again and again. The production team was very particular that everything had to look the same even if the shooting took place three days apart. So I carried a Polaroid camera with me all along and took pictures, he says.

Talking of troubles, he remembers an incident, I reached late for a shoot. Mira is very punctual and she was a bit angry when I arrived late. But she cooled down after that.

On the whole, he says, Monsoon Wedding was a mind blowing experience and it gave me a lot of exposure in terms of coming into the limelight.

Flowers were not what Mr Pershad had planned on doing when he graduated in commerce from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College in New Delhi. He joined Pearl Global as a management trainee while still in college. In 1993, he got his first break when he got an opportunity to work with a Holland based designer while at Pearl.

I learnt a lot about sketching and designing, he recounts. Two years later, he started his own garment manufacturing business. But things did not materialise the way he wanted and he had to close shop in two years.

It was then that his fathers friend, a gentleman who grew flowers in Himachal Pradesh, came to his rescue. He wanted a representative in Delhi, so Mr Pershad signed on. I started a wholesale flower business. I used to supply flowers to hotels and other institutions, says Mr Pershad.

Today, Mr Pershad also dons the hat of a wedding planner. And he dabbles in modelling. I take assignments that last about 1-2 hours and I go for still shoots. Modelling made me lose a lot of weight, though I have gained a bit of late, reveals Mr Pershad.

His other hobbies include sailing and playing the guitar. He has no formal training, but he says, I started playing the guitar about seven years ago. He adds: I have been into sailing and yachting since I was five years old. A number of companies like KingFisher and Telco sponsor yachting races. Recently, I took part in three yachting races in Nainital. In fact, I am recovering from an injury that I received while sailing in Nainital. A man of many parts indeed!