Vanity vans are no more exclusive in Bollywood, says Amitabh Bachchan, revealing that they was first introduced by Mahmohan Desai. The megastar added that the late filmmaker gifted him one too.
“At the studios these days, the largest space is taken up by the vanity vans for artists, talent, directors, writers .. It was never like this in our time… ok .. like earlier days! There were make up rooms if you were important enough, sharing an office space with two others if you had just started off, and did your changing and make up in the production bus that transported the staff and crew .. At times for an all night shoot, you just dozed off on the floor of the set… getting a room was a luxury,” wrote Big B on his blog.
“But Manmohan Desai, the master, was different. He had a back problem and needed to lie down as he travelled to the sets, so he built himself a van where a bed could be placed and put up a television set inside, something that was unheard of, and wait put a mirror at the back of the sleeping area, to watch the TV lying the wrong way round !! Why so ? Because he said the imagery is better when it reflects off a mirror !!! Its laterally inverted but so what he would say ! And then within a few days presented me with one,”
Amitabh says that in those days the vans used to have few basic facilities.
“It was not what vanity vans are like today. It had a bed, a bathroom, and seating with a fold out table on one of them. I put in a pull out make up tray with mirror, to do my make up in there and desperately tried to fix a music system within. It took several pioneering efforts to be able to achieve that, but finally it all came around, and because I had a general license for it, I moved around the city in it.
“Gave me privacy. Gave me a bed to rest on for the hour long drives and a ready wash room ! Ecstasy and delight!! Ok so lying on the bed during movement was somewhat arduous at every bump or turn, you slid off to the floor. Nothing I could do about it. But the great innovator Mr Man Mohan Desai did have a solution. Seat belts that strapped him up as he lay !! At times it looked like contraptions used to pin down a violent patient in hospitals,” wrote Amitabh.
Desai had teamed up with Big B in hits like “Mard”, “Coolie”, “Naseeb”, “Suhaag”, “Parvarish” and “Amar Akbar Anthony” – IANS