To our surprise we got to know that the film`s staggering slump at the box-office had not dampened but rather strengthened the Dutt-Dhawan dosti.
Earlier this week, after the verdict on "Rascals" was clear, David, who was feeling guilty and out of sorts about letting his pal down, received a surprise call from Dutt telling the director to chill.
"Chalta hai, boss. Makes no difference if the film didn`t run. We`ll do another film together," Dutt reportedly told the deeply-moved director.
David confirmed that Dutt had indeed not taken the "Rascals" setback to heart. "Yes, Sanju called and had a long heart-to-heart with me. He is my real-life `Munnabhai`. `Mera dost hai, yaar!` Whatever remorse I might have felt at the way "Rascals" finally turned out was washed away. There is no room for regret in our relationship. I started my career as a director with Sanju."
Now Dhawan has agreed to quickly do another home-production for Dutt, but only after a break.
Said the spirited never-say-die filmmaker: "I need to recharge my batteries. Too much back-to-back work, too many films. I`ve been at it for 30 years and I`ve done more than 40 films."
"My son Rohit is about to release his film ("Desi Boyz"). I need a rejuvenating break. Not that I`m retiring. I`ve commitments including another film for Sanju. This time we`ll make sure it is a winner all the way. But no more serial filmmaking for me. I`ve learnt my lesson."
The other big lesson that David has learnt from the "Rascals" experience: "Never, never have trial shows. `Yaar, woh log sach nahin batate` (The people you invite for trials don`t tell you the truth)."
"So I was like the father of a marriageable daughter who didn`t know his daughter was not as lovely as he thought. Because no one said so. The whole world knew the film was not up to the mark. Everyone kept praising "Rascals" at the trials," he said.
In hindsight, David realised that he went wrong, seriously wrong, with his hackneyed formula of two guys panting after a chick.
"`Ab bahut ho gaya` (Enough of that formula). I realise I overdid it. But I`ve to tell you, "Rascals" made Rs.30 crore over the weekend. So the film is not as big a loser as people are making it out to be," he said.
"But I realize now that the formula needs to be changed. I owe it to myself. I owe it to Sanju who put his trust in me. As he rightly told me, hota hai. Hits and flops are part of the game. Both Sanju and I have seen enough of both failure and success," said Dhawan.
David promises to come back from his family holiday with a new idea and a new formula. "I have to! I`ve to compete with my son now."