Nishikant Had a Thing for Five-Star Hotels: Mushtaq Shiekh

Mushtaq Shiekh and Suhasini Mulay remember Nishikant Kamat.

3 min read
Mushtaq Sheikh with Nishikant Kamat.

On Monday, 17 August, filmmaker Nishikant Kamat passed away at the age of 50. He was undergoing treatment in Hyderabad for liver cirrhosis. Screenwriter Mushtaq Shiekh and actor Suhasini Mulay spoke to The Quint about their memories of Kamat.

Mushtaq and Nishikant were working on the script of a thriller titled Sanak. The duo were on it for almost a year and they were meeting people regarding the same. Abhishek Bachchan was also supposed to be a part of the project. Speaking about his association with the director, Mushtaq said that Nishikant was very good with his craft.

"Nishikant could visualise scenes so clearly and distinctly. When people write scripts they are all over the place. You can say multiple things, but Nishikant would tell you exactly what was needed. It just goes to prove the quality of artiste, and I think Nishikant was one of them. We were working on a script and it was his last. Now, the script doesn't have the vision of the man."
Mushtaq Shiekh

Mushtaq also added that Nishikant was a foodie and he had a thing about five-star hotels. "He was a big foodie. Whenever we planned a meeting, the first thing Nishikant would say was, 'So Mushi, what would you have?' I remember if it was an evening meeting, samosa and chutney had to be there. If we met during lunch, he would ask 'What will you have for lunch? Would you go Indian or Italian?' I love eating as well so we would just gobble everything. I can never forget that radiant smile of his. One could never fathom that he was fighting liver cirrhosis. Even in the last two years he was very radiant and happy".

Elaborating on Nishikant's love for star hotels, Mushtaq said,

"People have their own comfort zones. I love the smell of coffee and so I prefer to work out of coffee shops. Nishikant had a thing for five-star hotels. While working on films, he would always operate from Marriot. He practically lived there. From room service to housekeeping, everything is sorted in a five star. That speaks about a person who did not like cluttered spaces."

Suhasini Mulay recalls the first time she met Nishikant. "I met Nishi for the first time on the sets of a serial called Piya Ka Ghar. At that time he was doing a little bit of acting and had made a short film for UNICEF. I knew him as Nishi, I didn't know him as Nishikant Kamat because that's how I was introduced to him. After years, I saw Nishi's photo and I was like, 'huh'? I called my friend and asked her if he is the same guy she introduced me to. She said yes. Next thing I know is Nishikant contacted me for Rocky Handsome. I was apprehensive as I thought it would be another graceful old lady or some 'bloody queen'. But he assured me it was an interesting role and narrated it."

While speaking about the experience working with him, Suhasini Mulay says,

"I have to tell you I have not seen the film till date but it was great working with him. He knew exactly what he wanted. We were shooting in Ramoji studio in Hyderabad. He was replicating Goa there. With minimum props and lots of green curtains he put up something brilliant".

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