Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan’s mother Teji Bachchan and late actor Sridevi’s mother Rajeshwari had once threatened producer Manoj Desai for shooting his film Khuda Gawah in Afghanistan. In a new interview, Manoj recalled that Teji had told him if Amitabh’s wife, actor Jaya Bachchan became a widow then Manoj’s wife would become one too. Sridevi’s mother asked him to stay back in Kabul if anything should happen to her daughter. She had also threatened to get him killed if he came back without Sri. (Also Read | When Amitabh Bachchan recalled shooting Khuda Gawah in Afghanistan’s ‘extremely troubled times’)
Khuda Gawah (1992) was extensively shot in and around Afghanistan cities of Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. Mohammad Najibullah, who was then the President of Afghanistan, provided security during the 18-day shooting of the film in 1991. The film is written and directed by Mukul S Anand. It features Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi, Nagarjuna, Shilpa Shirodkar, Danny Denzongpa, and Kiran Kumar.
In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, Manoj said, “Amitabh Bachchan’s mother Teji Bachchan ji had warned me that ‘Agar Amit ko kuch bhi hota hai aur agar Jaya ne safed saare peheni, toh teri wife Kalpana bhi safed saree pehengi. Tu idhar aana hi nahi wapis (If anything happens to Amit and Jaya has to wear a white saree, then your wife too will wear a white saree. You don’t bother to come back)’!”
He also said, “Even Sridevi’s mother gave a warning that ‘Manoj bhai, agar Sri ko kuch hua, toh Kabul se wapis mat aana. Tumhara khoon karwa dungi main idhar (Manoj brother, if anything happens to Sri, then don’t come back from Kabul. I’ll get you murdered here)’! So, you can imagine how risky it was. However, Amitabh Bachchan wanted an authentic location for the shoot.”
In 2010 news agency PTI, had quoted Amitabh as speaking about the shooting of the film, “Najibullah, the former President of Afghanistan was a great fan of Hindi films and he had urged Indian Government to arrange our visit to the country. When we were discussing the script of Khuda Gawah, I said let us go to Afghanistan to shoot. We went to Mazar-e-Sharif to shoot the sequence of traditional Afghan spot of Buzkashi. The President provided us excellent security when the shooting was on. Fighter Jet planes were keeping vigil in the sky and Army tanks were at the side of the sets. It just felt like a battle field.”