Published: 05th June 2020
Was Virus from blockbuster film 3 Idiots named after AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe?
Did you know that AICTE Chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe may have inspired the 3 Idiots character Viru Sahastrabuddhe, played by Boman Irani
We have all watched 3 Idiots directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Besides the funnily named protagonist played by Aamir Khan, a lot of people remember the whimsically evil character of Viru Sahastrabuddhe aka Virus played by Boman Irani. But did you know this character's name may have been inspired by Anil Sahasrabudhe, who is the Chairman of the AIl India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)?
During The New Indian Express' webcast series Expressions, host Kaveree Bamzai asked Anil Sahasrabudhe if he was the person on whom the character Viru Sahatrabuddhe, who was the Director of the fictitious ICE in 3 Idiots, was based, he laughed and said, "Yes, I have told about this incident to many people in the informal sessions. Very interestingly, When 3 Idiots was released, I was the director of the College of Engineering in Pune. As we all know, the college is over 160 years old and it is a stone structure. Many film directors used to come and ask us to rent out the facility to shoot their movies. I initially gave permission to shoot the movies. But my experience was very bad."
Prof Anil Sahasrabudhe
And that's why he started refusing to allow shoots. He further added, "The film teams that come for shoots have a big crew and they would litter the whole campus. Since the college is a heritage building, I decided to stop giving it for film shoots. This was known to my clerical staff and they were stopping it at their level itself. Similarly, the 3 Idiots team had apparently come but I have not met them personally. I learnt of this incident from one of my cousins who has connections in the Bollywood industry. He even asked the film team about the name of this character."
After having been refused permission to shoot, the film's production team had been walking around campus. He recalled, "When we visited the campus to ask permission, the clerk said that the Director of the college would not give them permission. They roamed around the campus and found my name written on the name plate of the director's bungalow. That's how they probably decided to name the character Viru Sahastrabuddhe."
Much later, when Sahasrabudhe met Ladakhi entrepreneur and inventor Sonam Wangchuk on whom the film's protagonist is based up on, he happened to share this experience, "Wangchuk told me that the movie team had approached him to ask if they can shoot in his school campus and he had denied them permission. However, I laughed and told him that the movie director has shown you in a good light but I (his namesake) am shown in a negative character."