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Not a good year for the industry
It was not a very good year for the industry as a whole. The real estate and finance markets were down. As far as my films are concerned one Malayalam and one Tamil release did average business, but we were not able to release Kabhi Na Kabhi and the dubbed versions of Kamasutra. I hope the next year will be much better.


I deserve all the awards this year
1997 has proved a very "progressive" year for me. Almost all the films for which I have given music have done well. Judwaa, Virasat, Border, Ishq and the latest Aankhon Mein Tum Ho. My music has been noticed and I think I deserve all the awards for 1997. Last year saw Nadeem-Shravan dropping out of the race in a very dramatic way. But their being ousted from the scene hasn’t made a difference to me. Even when they were around, I gave good music. In fact, now, after their departure, I have decided to take on less films. The reason: I am working with some of the top directors of the country — Priyadarshan, Mansoor Khan, Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Dharmesh Darshan — and I want to give my best to them. I have even compromised a little on my fees so I could work with these directors. I am hungry for success, money is no longer important.


We're planning to hit other metros... the middle-east
In terms of the TRPs and revenues, 1997 has been a rather encouraging year for Naaved, Ravi Behl and me. Boogie Woogie has been rated as one of the 10 best TV programmes across all the channels. Hopefully, we will go out and hit the other metros, the middle-east and other exotic lands. Flashback also completed three triumphant years and hopefully it will be on air for a long, long time.


It’s been a brilliant year for us. Even after airing 67 episodes of Boogie Woogie we are in the top 5 list on Sony and no one has replicated the concept yet. Through this show, we have come across mind-boggling talent and we reached some great landmarks. We crossed the 50-episode mark, tapped the inter-collegiate talent and organised terrific specials viz. the daku special, look-alike special, Michael Jackson special et al. We are now planning to go national. There are lots of 'enthu' dancers calling us from places like Pune and Banglore. We will start off by branching out to Delhi. As of now, Boogie Woogie is the most watched show at 8.30 pm every Wednesday.


I launched a film after 12 years
This year has been pretty good for me. I launched my film, Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kate after nearly 12 years. But all these years I have always been a part of the industry. I was actively involved with a couple of serials. So I have not been out of circulation nor am I making a 'comeback' like some sections of the press have been saying.

As for films in general, I am disheartened at the state of affairs. People here have become so indifferent to films. The number of good films are on the decline with every passing year.

I haven’t planned anything for the new year. I have to complete about 20 days of shooting for Jhoot Bole ... Two songs and some scenes are yet to be canned. I am 76 years old today, and though I am mentally alert, it is not physically possible for me to remain the same old Hrishikesh Mukherjee, forever.


I'm still being harassed

It’s been a good year for me though my show was embroiled in a controversy over the episode on police encounters. Till date, I am being harassed by people who don’t want the episode to be telecast. But I am not going to be subdued. These things have become a part of my life. Alongwith the channel I am working to see that the episode is telecast soon. In 1998 I hope to steer clear of controversies. I haven’t planned anything new because, frankly, I don’t plan things. They just happen.


My father's demise was a major blow to me

The year 1997 turned out to be significant for me. My father’s untimely, sad demise was a major blow to me. There were rumours of our family business splitting up, of T-Series shutting shop... But these were all baseless and we proved them wrong when I took over as the managing director of T-Series in early September. I have tremendous responsibilities on my shoulders and I know everyone is watching me. I am looking forward to ’98 to prove myself.


I didn't want '97 to end
1997 was the greatest year of my career. Almost all the numbers I sang this year were chart-busters. Judwaa, Judaai, Yes Boss, Mohabbat, Hamesha, Ishq, Mr & Mrs Khiladi... the list is endless. My first non-film album, Main Deewana, too is doing very well. A dream year. I didn’t want ’97 to end.


I got my fourth hit and a son

1997 was a very special year for me. I had a release—Ishq— after three years. My son was also born in September.

Ishq was in the making for about two and a half years, yet no one was ever worried that it would lose its charm. That’s because the project was always close to my heart and I made my stars feel that even if they were working on 20 films, my film, Ishq, would be special. Ishq is my fourth consecutive hit. I’ve been successful with comedies, family dramas and frothy romances. Now it’s time I tackled a subject with more depth. So don’t be surprised if you hear that I’m directing a serious, emotional film next.


We'll fulfill our promise to the winners of Meri Awaz Suno

The past year has been particularly good for us with the worldwide premier of our telefilm Humko Ishq Ne Mara and our musical show Meri Awaz Suno faring so well. We will continue with what we are doing. We are not in favour of changing MAS radically, because we don’t want to be unfair to our participants. We have incorporated slight changes in order to make the show viewer friendly, but we don’t want to bring it down to a purely entertainment level. We want to stay faithful to the purpose of the show, which is to provide a platform for hopeful singers. Additional programmes are in the pipeline for 1998. We will also fulfill our promise to the winners of MAS by giving them a chance to sing for the next Yash-Raj production.


It was a great year
The year was a great one for me and Border, of course, the greatest achievement. What else? I haven’t planned anything as such for the next year, though I have been working on a story.


I didn't have any major releases and I fractured my leg
1997 was not really a bad year even though I did not have any major release and I fractured my leg. There was also the controversy over my reported exit from China Gate but I prefer not to remember these things. Now I’m looking forward to 1998 because I have some good films like Quilla, China Gate and Desh lined up for release. I’ve just signed Chutti Kar Doonga, an NFDC film in which you’ll see me in a very different role.