Producer Karan Johar and director Shakun Batra were set to make a biopic of mother Anand Sheela, who was the secretary of the disputed spiritual guru Osho (Lord Rajneesh) a few years back. In which Alia Bhatt was to play the role of Sheela. Now that film might not come because Karan and Shakun have brought together a documentary ‘Searching for Sheela’ on mother Anand Sheela’s visit to India a few years back. It has been released on Netflix. The surprising thing is that it has no director. This is the reason why there is no direction in the documentary. In this, just from Sheila’s videos on trips to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune, some footage of Osho and his commune shot in the US in the 1980s are randomly seen here and there. In 59 minutes, Sheila’s sponsored interview here and her word of mouth are tired and repetitive.
Mother Anand Sheela repeatedly describes herself as Osho’s girlfriend. Whereas Osho tells him nothing more than his cunning and fugitive secretary. Sheila had the biggest role in taking Osho from Pune to America and settling Oshopuram there. In the documentary, she says that the most prominent allegation in the case that she was prosecuted in the US court was that she took this spiritual master there on the basis of fake documents. While media headlines blame Sheela for attempting to collectively poison people in Oregon County (US), conspiracy to illegally possess weapons and multiple murders.
On 22 July 1986, the US court sentenced Sheela to 20 years in prison in various cases. Sheila was released after spending 39 months in jail due to good treatment. 1990 She moved to Switzerland, where she now serves the aged and the sick. The world had forgotten Sheila, but she again made headlines with Netflix’s 2018 documentary ‘Wild Wild Country’. However, in 2013, Sheela recorded her memories of her life with Osho in a book called ‘Don’t Kill Him’.
You can see more in Sheela’s ‘Wild Wild Country’ than Sheila’s life, controversy and allegations are explained in ‘Searching for Sheela’. Without the director’s ‘Searching for Sheela’, she returns to India after 35 years, showing Sheela’s visit to India and meeting. This is exactly as if the camera of a news channel used to chase someone unnecessarily. In the documentary, we can definitely see how celebrity journalists ask silly questions to them and Sheila repeatedly says that she has answered these questions hundreds of times. No journalist has new questions to ask them. Karan Johar also asks Sheila in an interview if your love with Osho was really just on a spiritual level, then Sheila says that if your point is on a particular side then let me say that I did not have sex with her.
The documentary shows Sheela at page 3 circle parties. His car covers trips. In Baroda, Sheela goes to her late father’s house and looks emotional with old memories there. On reaching the flat in Mumbai, where she met Osho for the first time, the door is closed. The servant says that the mistress is not in the house and he will not allow her to come in without his permission. In ‘Searching for Sheela’ you see only Sheela, who you already know from other sources. The documentary is neither able to show any new side of her life nor does she get to know anything new from Sheela. It seems that all the footage has been handed over to the editor and it has been said that interviews of sponsored journalists, scenes of people getting connected to Sheela’s hotels, car trips and parties should be removed and bus links are added.
Sheila’s documentary has no meaning for Osho lovers. Also, those who saw young, beautiful, strong and controversial Sheela in ‘Wild Wild Country’, will also find disappointment here. While watching the documentary, it seems that an old woman listening to the cries of her death has come for the last time to see the places where her childhood and puberty has almost disappeared. After looking at those places after reliving a few moments of old memories, now perhaps she would never want to return here again.