Neeta Lulla Arranged Fabrics At Midnight As SLB Wanted Aishwarya To Run In Burning Saree In 'Devdas'

Neeta Lulla recently shared an unheard anecdote about the iconic scene of Aishwarya's 'Paro' running to Shah Rukh's 'Devdas' in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Devdas'.


By Priyanka Dutta Last Updated:


Neeta Lulla Arranged Fabrics At Midnight As SLB Wanted Aishwarya To Run In Burning Saree In 'Devdas'

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film, Devdas is truly a magnum opus. Based on a budget of Rs 500 million at that time, the movie received several accolades. Devdas was released back in 2002, and ahead of its theatrical release, the movie was featured at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, wherein it received mixed reactions. However, post its release on the silver screen, SLB's creation received much love, and it was the highest-grossing film of that time. 

For those who don't know, Devdas was based on a 1917 novel of the same name and featured Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the lead roles. As per several reports, Salman Khan was the first choice for Devdas as Sanjay Leela Bhansali knew his strengths and weaknesses, however, the Tiger 3 actor reportedly said no to the same as he wouldn't have scenes with his then-ladylove, Aishwarya.

Neeta Lulla shared how Sanjay Leela Bhansali visualised Aishwarya running in a burning saree in Devdas

While the movie has a separate fanbase of its own, there's a particular scene wherein Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was seen running towards Shah Rukh with her saree's pallu on fire. Recently, the costume designer, Neeta Lulla, revealed an unheard anecdote about the same scene.

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In a conversation with Radhika Bajoria on the YouTube channel, Wiping Out The Norm, Neeta mentioned that Sanjay Leela Bhansali changed his plan about the scene at the last minute and asked her to arrange a 15-meter-long saree. Recalling Sanjay's words, Neeta revealed that SLB told her that he visualised Aishwarya Rai running down the stairs with her pallu on fire, and for the same, he needed two sarees, which would be 15 meters long. Talking about the same, Neeta said:

"He told me, ‘I just visualised her (Aishwarya) running down the stairs with her pallu burning, and I need a 15-meter long silk saree for the flutter. I need two of these sarees because if one burns we have another.'”

Going further in the interview, Neeta Lulla stated that during that time there were no mobile phones, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali called Aishwarya and Madhuri to ask them if they had these red-white puja sarees. As it was 10:30 at night, Neeta continued to ask SLB if she could leave the set, and the director asked if they could shoot that scene the next day. To which, Neeta gave confirmation.

Sharing how she worked the whole night to stand out in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's visualisation of Aishwarya running down the stairs with a burning saree, Neeta Lulla stated that she requested a cloth vendor to open his shop at past midnight, and after he agreed, she took up the material and reached home. Neeta shared that her embroidery team was present at her home, and they worked till six in the morning on the fabrics, and the shoot of the same sequence began at 9:30. Neeta can be quoted as saying: 

"He came at 12-12:30 to open the shop. I got the fabric, and since I had already called my embroidery team, they had already started stitching the borders. We finished the sarees at 6 in the morning, and I reached the set at 9:30 when the shooting began.”

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Watch the video here.

The most expensive costume of SLB's 'Devdas' had a price tag of Rs. 15 lakh

There's no denying that Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas was the highest-budget movie of that time, with an expensive set and costumes. According to a DNA report, only 'Chandramukhi's kotha in the film had a cost Rs. 12 crores. In the movie, Aishwarya had a wardrobe of 600 sarees, and the most expensive costume was Madhuri Dixit's green lehenga, which had a price tag of Rs. 15 lakh.

What do you think about Neeta's revelations?

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