Ashay - A Photobiography

In 1979 Govind Nihalani took Ashay on as one of his assistants and he worked as lighting cameraman for almost six years with Govind.Govind belonged to the Shyam Benegal "family" of film-making.As a member of Shyam's family,Ashay worked on the sets & behind the camera with Govind for films such as Arohan,Kalyug,Satyajit Ray-and so on.But when Shyam made Mandi,Satyadev Dubey suggested casting Ashay in the role of a young journalist in the film.Shyam cast him in that role.This photograph by Dev Benegal(one of Shyam's assistants & a close friend of Ashay) is taken off the sets of Mandi.

Ashay with Smita Patil off the sets of Mandi(1981).Some of Ashay's closest friends were people he bonded with while working in Mandi.Some of them were Smita Patil,Shabana Azmi,Ratna Pathak,Naseeruddin Shah and Kalpana Lajmi.Ashay in particular would recall how Naseer,Kalpana & he imagined themselves making a film in which all three of them-and only the three of them-had roles.

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