Going to be action packed

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 08:27 IST | Suman Mahfuz Quazi

A workshop by a cinematic body ropes in a stunt director for a session on safety and the art of action in films

Going to be action packed
Abdul Rashid Mehta (left) and Sanjay Dutt in a scene from the 1991 film, Sadak

Most of us are likely to remember 1994 hit Bollywood song from the action-packed drama Mohra called Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast. Who can forget the glamorous Raveena Tandon pelvic-thrusting her way into so many Indians' imaginations in white couture? But it is possible that only a handful can recall the end bit of the song where Suniel Shetty barges in to take on Tej Sapru, who played a bad guy, and in the midst of all that hullabaloo hurls and pins a bearded man in a black sherwani onto a table. That man was Abdul Rashid Mehta.

Mehta, who has been circuiting on the fringes of the industry for the last 42 years, has worked as actor, stunt director and double in several classic hits of yore. Having started his career with the 1978 blockbuster Satyam Shivam Sundaram starring Zeenat Aman and Shashi Kapoor, the veteran went on to star in seminal Hindi films, including Gaddar, Janbaaz, Deewana, Saathi and Eena Meena Deeka. What's inspiring though, is how at 59, he's going strong as an action director.

Abdul Rashid Mehta
Abdul Rashid Mehta

This Saturday, in an initiative put together by Cine & TV Artistes' Association (CINTAA) called Stunts Are Us — Workshop on the Art of Action & Safety, Mehta will be conducting a two-hour-long session, which is open to all, in a bid to shed light on the nitty-gritties of action in films. Since he will also be educating participants on safety measures in casualty situations like a fire, there's much to take away as well for those who don't belong to the cinematic space.

"There are very little things, which if you keep in mind can go a long way in ensuring your safety," he tells us, speaking about how it's important to take simple measures like being aware of your blood group beforehand in case of emergencies and injuries on set or otherwise, or being cognisant of exits on set, an open amphitheatre and even sports stadiums. The session will include a talk on the use of different kinds of paddings and harnesses that are used to ensure the safety of actors and stunt doubles during shoot as well. "I will be sharing information on the different variants of harnesses and paddings, explaining which one to use for what occasion," Mehta informs.

And though today Mehta is a pioneer in his field, 44 years ago when he forayed into the industry, it was all a product of happenstance. "I was looking for a place to exercise in and around my house in Mahim, where I still live. All those years ago, gyms were not so common. A little away from my home, there was what we call a baari, or an open space. I noticed that a lot of people were exercising there. So, I joined them. It was only after a few days that I realised I was actually training to be a stunt man. This was 1975," Mehta reminisces. All quite surreal, isn't it?

On: September 14, 3 pm to 5 pm
At: CINTAA, Karthik Complex, Laxmi Industrial Estate, Andheri West.
Call: 9324432324
Cost: Rs 100 (for members); Rs 500 (for non-members)

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