The Spirit of Lagaan is the extraordinary story of a thousand days in the lives of Aamir 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 of 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 bonds 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!
About the Author
Satyajit Bhatkal is a firm believer in the power of the narrative and in the role played by story telling in shaping the way people think. After ten years of legal practise, he plunged into the world of films and was an integral part of the team that made Laggan. The intense and unique Lagaan experience convinced the story teller in him that here was a tale the world should know. The result is this book. He has also directed a full-length documentary of Lagaan, which is currently under post-production.
He has co-authored with Lancy Fernandes, The Fractured Civilisation, an analysis of caste society in the throes of change.
Back of the Book
"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 it 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 background, who came together to ride the 'wild horse' 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."-Aamir Khan
"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."-Ashutosh Gowariker
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