The last sequence of the Maurya Re song in the movie Don was actually the first to be shot. Months before shoot of the film or song started 5 cameras were placed in different parts of the city of Mumbai to shoot real visarjans (immersions) of Idols of Lord Ganesh on the final day of the Ganesh festival. Besides capturing visuals of the actual Visarjan this was done to capture the actual atmosphere, feeling and crowds.
The song Maurya Re celebrates the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. At the start of the festival clay idols of Lord Ganesha are placed in homes or publicly in elaborate pandals. Daily prayers and offerings of food and flowers are made to the murti (idol). At the end of the festival the idol is carried in a procession and immersed in a body of water.
The team went through the footage that had been captured by the five cameras and chose an idol and Visarjan sequence that they liked. This idol was recreated for the shoot of the song that happened months later. The recreated idol is what you see in most of the song.
In order to recreate the chosen Ganpati Idol the team tracked the origins of the Idol featured in the chosen Visarjan footage. The size of the idol was worked out on the basis of the footage and what worked for the Chawl location where the song was being shot.
Vijay played by Shah Rukh Khan was the eponymous leader of ‘Vijay Band’. The theme of the truck on which the band was placed was the firki (pinwheel). The firki was crucially important as it provided a moving element in an otherwise static backdrop.
The idea behind the choreography of the song was to make the song about and for the lakhs of people who celebrate the festival. A very large number of dancers and background actors were used. The art department procured over 90 instruments for the song.
The colour pallete for the song was primarily yellows and oranges with a touch of blue and some green. The Vijay Band truck had an additional element of pink added to it.
The chawl was decorated with flowers, tinsel and bunting (toran). Pooja samman, mithai, flowers and hanging handi’s were organised for authenticity and to give actions to the various actors.
Director. Farhan Akhtar
Choreographer. Rajeev Surti
Production Designer. Aradhana Seth
Set Decorator. Nandini Shrikent
Cinematographer. K.U. Mohanan
Production House. Excel Entertainment