In the new film Road to Sangam, Paresh Rawal is playing an interesting character. His name in the film is Hashmat Ullah Khan and he is the mechanic, who repaired original vehicle for immersing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi. To bring the element of the real into the story, the film is shot at original locations in Allahabad. “We shot amongst the Muslim community in Allahabad and enjoyed their hospitality and curiosity. In spite of having some controversial statements, they have supported us throughout, because they realised that it is neither with malice nor is it with any negative intention. It was only because it was part of the storytelling exercise and to drive the point of Gandhgiri home,” comments the director/ story writer Amit Rai. Amit used the real name of the mechanic for Paresh’s character.
In fact, Paresh Rawal, who is playing the character of devout Muslim Hashmat Ullah Khan is in real life a thread wearing Brahmin. But when he played the character he got into it and did each and every ritual with complete sincerity and devotion. “His getting into the character didn’t surprise me, because he is an A class performer. What surprised me is his total sincerity towards the rituals because he respects all religions with equal fervor,” says the director.
Road to Sangam is a simple story of a God fearing, devout Muslim mechanic named Hashmat Ullah (Paresh Rawal). A renowned mechanic by profession, he is entrusted with the job of repairing an old V8 Ford Engine, unaware that it was once used to carry ashes of Mahatma Gandhi to immerse in the ‘Sangam’ of holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati. Its historic significance becomes Hashmat Ullah’s bane and salvage.
A powerful bomb explosion rocks his town leading to the arrest of Muslim youths of his locality and Hashmat is caught in the vortex of this complex situation. A strike to close shops and work is called by the prominent community Leaders Mohammed Ali Kasuri (Om Puri) & Maulana Qureshi (Pavan Manhotra).
Based on this fulcrum, Road to Sangam, a confluence story of heart, mind and soul, woven around the crucial fact of the last journey of Gandhiji on this earth. The movie impresses to delve into the psyche of a very important community of the Indian society as it also tries to understand and explore their insecurities, apprehension, suffering and still holding an understanding to the call of their nation.
Thus begins his journey. A journey of Gandhian values and principals… A journey of nationalism… A journey called ROAD TO SANGAM (CONFLUENCE)…
Presented by Gypsy Films and produced by Amit Chheda, the star cast of the film is Tushar Gandhi, Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Javed Shaikh, Pavan Malhotra etc. Music is by Sandesh Shandilya, Nitin Kumar Gupta, Prem Haria & Vijay Mishra.