A man who wears many hats – engineer, poet, writer, actor, model, photographer, and documentary-maker – Milind Gunaji's down-to-earth charm and candid confessions at a recent event succeeded in adding to his admirers.
Milind, who was in the city on Friday at the book reading session of Meghna Pant's debut novel, “One & A Half Wife”, frankly admitted to the audience that he hadn't had time to read the book beforehand. To correct the folly, Milind settled down for an informal chat with Meghna to understand the story before reading out from the novel.
While discussing the various themes of the book – fortune-tellers, recession, East vs West – Milind revealed that he could read and prepare horoscopes very well, but didn't believe in road-side fortune tellers.
“I was told by one such fortune-teller that I would make a good politician. I don't want to test the accuracy of his statement by plunging into politics. I am drawn to mysticism and spirituality than the fortune-tellers with their parrots in tow,” he says.
The actor, who swears by Indian culture and family values, is also learning new age concepts like “giving space.”
“My son is studying to be an engineer. We have certain ground rules, apart from that he's free to do what he wants. I don't levy my ideas on him, much as I would like to,” says the father in him.
Exchanging their ideas and tips on writing process, Milind who has penned six books, says that writing, especially poetry, is a catharsis for him.
“Writing travelogues takes a little effort, but poetry is very easy. I sit with pen and paper and the words flow,” says Milind, who loves reading poems of Ga Di Madgulkar, Bahinabai Chaudhari and Ba Bha Borkar.
Milind, who's now working on the video version for his collection of poems – Man Pakhrache Hoi – quickly recited a few lines on “Mala” (attic or the loft) which is included in the collection.
He also shared his plans of tying up with Maitreyi Mass Media, and directing a movie called, “Malak” with them. It will highlight the lives of lavani artistes. Milind is also in talks with Umesh Kulkarni of Deool and Walu fame for producing his next venture.
Talking of various mediums and their synergy, Milind says that, “Strong content is a must for all. A book will sell only if it has strong story, a film will work if it has a strong script. We need good stories to make great movies, so we need good writers. A strong publishing market can infuse vigour in the filmdom,” he observed.
As a parting shot, he urged Meghna to include her mugshot on the book jacket because “ the readers are able to connect with her” and to the audience, Milind promised that he would finish reading the novel that night at his farmhouse in Khandala. That's frank Milind Gunaji for you!