by Aneesh Bhanot
Sector News caught up with well-known film personality Vivek Mohan and asked him…
Where were you born and where did you study?
Vivek Mohan: I was born and brought up in Shimla. I was educated in KV/Harcourt Butler Jakhu Hills school and Govt. Degree College of Sanjauli, Shimla.
My late father, a reputed Psychiatrist, wanted me to become a Doctor too but I liked the Army – unfortunately they did not like me !! It seems I was too creative in SSB post UPSC responses.
Ah, such is life. So what did you do then?
Vivek Mohan: Well, after exhausting all my chances, my prolific Letter-to-the-Editor writings took me to do the only Creative course in India then run by the ‘3 A’s of I’ i.e. Advertising Agencies Association of India.
That was 1989. In the meantime, I also did a Diploma in Journalism from Mysore University.
Where did you work then?
Vivek Mohan: Indian Express was hiring me in Bombay after tests and an interview, but I chose a more lucrative and challenging Films Department of Lintas Advertising after being highly recommended by Vinod Advani, Creative Director of Frank Simoes who worked on Taj Hotel! Also, the Indian Express offer was for a Desk job.Interestingly both Indian Express and Lintas were in the same building – Express Towers in Nariman Point, Mumbai. Express was on the ground floor while Lintas was on the 13th and 15th floors. So, I thought to myself…let me start my career with a raise, let me go higher up !!!
And how was the experience working in Lintas…?
Vivek Mohan: It was fun ! Under Alyque Padamsee we worked with top-notch Ad filmmakers and I finally split to strike on my own with Neo Films who produced my debut National Film Award winning and critically-acclaimed ‘Malana’.
Since then, I have worked as an Independent plus as a Creative Consultant, making ads and films only in my hometown/State. My last film ‘Bus Stop’ in 2018 evoked a response from the HP High Court within 2 hours of its release!
That’s very inspiring. What about social media?
Vivek Mohan: I am running a Facebook Film page group and ‘SOS – Shivaji Park of Shimla’ successfully advocating playgrounds and open spaces for Shimla kids.
That’s really good ! What changes have you seen in Shimla over the years?
Vivek Mohan: Well, Simla became Shimla where H stands for Hell! Houses and Houses… Humans and more Humans! This is mainly because of lack of development in the interiors, so this City is a major attraction and everyone seems to flock here.
by Aneesh Bhanot