Farhan Akhtar: Ode to the boxers who fought against all odds
Uma Ramasubraniam for Mid Day
Over the weekend, the makers of 39Toofaan39 dropped the first song, Todun taak, which showcases Farhan Akhtar's character Aziz Ali's journey to becoming a boxer. Considering the Amazon Prime Video offering is centred on the sport, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has taken the opportunity to celebrate the real-life boxers of the country. The makers will release the extended version of Todun taak today, which features World Boxing Championship gold medalist Laishram Sarita Devi, silver medalist Sonia Chahal, bronze medalist Kavita Chahal, two-time Youth World champion Nitu Ghanghas and others. The leading man, who trained rigorously to pick up the sport before facing the camera, says that being in the ring taught him the values of resilience and determination. 'The film is a story of hope, faith and inner strength, fuelled by passion and perseverance, which are qualities a boxer imbibes through the journey of the sport. It took me eight to nine months of rigorous training to get into the skin of the character. It made me realise how physically, mentally and emotionally demanding the sport is. So, this video is an ode to all the boxers who have fought against all odds, and emerged as champions,' says Akhtar.The four-minute video, shot with the support of boxing academies across the country, begins with Akhtar's monologue and goes on to trace the struggles and successes of Indian pugilists, including the All India Federation Cup medalist Gagan 'The Pitbull' Sharma, National Boxing Championship gold and bronze medalists Arbind Kumar Prasad and Binod Kumar Prasad, and others. Through the film, the director hopes to honour the indefatigable spirit of pugilists. Mehra says, 'They go through intense training and have tremendous devotion towards the sport, which is truly inspiring. The song is a glimpse of the fight they fight inside and outside the ring every day.'
Which National-Award winning performance by Shabana Azmi is your favourite?