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    Childhood, world jazz talents keep Sandeep Chowta busy

    [Interview by Hindol Sengupta]
    Monday, January 17, 2005
    After debuting with a short film on drug abuse, Bollywood music composer Sandeep Chowta''s next project would be a film on childhood and an international jazz music album.
    "I believe that children nowadays are not children any more," Chowta told IANS. "From the beginning parents want to make them super humans - they want them to come first in class, win prizes in sports, public-speaking, music, gymnastics, just about everything.

    "So kids are no longer kids, their bodies might not change, but they mature super fast in their mind and suddenly you find them doing things that are far beyond their age. But that's natural - we don't allow them to be kids any more," said one of Hindi cinema's most talented music directors.

    "I mean how many kids play hide and seek nowadays? It seems that their lives are so rigidly fixed, so forced into a routine that they have no time for anything else," said Chowta, who has just finished his first anti-drugs film "Dead End".

    In "Dead End", a 10-minute film, Chowta selected five first-time actors and shot a deeply disturbing tale of casual drug use taking a deadly turn.

    "Drugs seem to be everywhere nowadays," said Chowta. "There are far too many people experimenting with them. And a lot of them are not like junkies; they are causal users in parties and other places, doing drugs just for kicks until they get fatally hooked.

    "Drugs have suddenly got a hip, cool image and a lot of people believe that it'll never hurt and they couldn't be more wrong. Through my film, I've tried to show how things can suddenly go wrong."

    The film, which Chowta now hopes to show in festivals, colleges and theatres across the country, is derived heavily from the jazz-loving music director's own experiences.

    "What was most effective for me as a first-time filmmaker was that I had seen so many such drug users, I've been in situations where people were experimenting with drugs without realizing how devastating it could be.

    "I want the film to be shown suddenly without warning during the interval or before the main film begins in a theatre. People will be shocked and I want them to be shocked.

    "In our lives, unfortunately, we do a lot of haywire things and don't understand what is good or bad until it's too late."

    That's why the man behind the haunting Bollywood scores like "Asoka", "Company" and "Kaun" and the ecstatic music of "Mast" and "Pyar Tune Kya Kiya" said he is making the film on childhood.

    "It is important that we hold on to childhood, take care of our children before it's too late."

    But the interest in films, said Chowta, doesn't mean he is moving away from his first love - music.

    "I have always really loved jazz," said Chowta. "Now at last I'm making an album that'll feature some of the greatest names in jazz. I cannot divulge all the details of it but there will be 16 jazz international gurus of jazz - a fantastic amalgamation of tal

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