'Not everything in my life is Baahubalian size'
The Baahubali films have made history.
S S Rajamouli, the director of India's most successful film franchise, speaks to Subhash K Jha about life after Baahubali.
How do you look back on the experience of making what turned out to be the most successful Indian film of all time?
We were so caught up in doing the best we could do for the film there was not much time to speculate.
Now, looking back, it is truly humbling to see the response and recognition to years of hard work that was put in by so many people.
Did your father, the film's writer Vijayendra Prasad, and you ever imagine such success for Baahubali?
When you give so much to a project, and tell a story on such a large scale, the success or loss is also on that big a scale.
Yes, we expected it to do big and we were also aware of what happens if it doesn't.
Personally, how has the experience changed your life?
Nothing has changed.
Life is exactly the same as before.
Maybe I have a little more personal time...
I have plans to do projects that are bigger and better.
Whether I will succeed or not, only time will tell.
Yes there is a sense of emptiness... though I can't say whether it is emptiness or fulfilment.
But a strange feeling that I can't define.
Are you in touch with your actors and crew?
Everyone has to continue with their own journeys.
But we try as much as possible to keep in touch.
Everyone will remember Baahubali as a wonderful phase in their lives.
An experience such as this is hard to forget.
Staggering box office numbers for Baahubali. How much of this wealth has actually come to you?
A fraction only (laughs)
You are a man of frugal needs. You live in a 2 room home that you refuse to move out of.
How has the Baahubali windfall affected your lifestyle?
I heard you are building a sprawling home for yourself.
I am quite happy in my beautiful home. I am not building any sprawling houses.
I am planning to build a small farm house two hours away from Hyderabad as an occasional weekend getaway.
Not everything in my life is Baahubalian size.
What after Baahubali?
Does that nightmare follow you as you embark on a life beyond the baap of all blockbusters?
What nightmare? It is a fantastic dream come true.
The next project will happen when it has to.
I have two commitments, but it's early to talk about them.
Baahubali now moves to China. What do you think about Dangal's success in China?
Dangal's success in China is unprecedented.
It is the power of an Indian story and Indian story telling. So proud of it.
Aamirji has laid a fantastic platform. I think this will help Baahubali when it releases in China.
What are your plans in Hindi cinema?
We believed and proved that there are no regional language barriers for a good story.
I try to make an Indian film that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Now that Baahubali is the undisputed supremo of Indian cinema, what would you attribute its success to?
It's not one man's success.
If we believe in the content, emotion of the story, with hard work and dedication towards a single goal right from the core cast and crew to the light boy, the probability of success increases manifold!