Mumbai: It was a moment of triumph for director Sanjay Leela Bhansali when his film "Padmaavat", which had a tumultuous journey to theatres, walked away with three National Film Awards, including two for music.
The film won the best music director award (songs) for Bhansali in addition to best choreography (Kruti Mahesh Madya and Jyoti Tomar) and best playback singer to Arijit Singh for "Binte Dil" at the 66th National Film Awards that were announced on Friday.
Recalling the nation-wide protests that the film faced by Rajput groups, led by Karni Sena, Bhansali said creating music for the period drama kept him sane in the darkest moments.
"I made 'Padmaavat' through so much chaos and trouble," Bhansali told PTI post the National Film Awards announcement.
"It is the most difficult film that I have ever made. There has been physical assault, morcha, dharna, banning of the film and every possible thing that could have gone wrong. But every time I felt low, I created a song and it was a nice outlet for me. It (music) was a positive way of looking at all the difficulties," Bhansali added.
Despite the trials and tribulations, Bhansali says he chooses to look at the positivity that the film, which became a major hit, brought.
"In any creative field, an artiste goes through some difficulties here and there. In my case, it was more than necessary but you still look at it positively... We went to the recording studio and shut all the sound that was coming from the protests and concentrated on making music. It has come from the heart and it resonated with the people."
Bhansali said the awards, chosen by a jury of qualified people, encourages one to work hard.
"Any recognition, and especially the one coming from the government, means a lot. It is chosen by the jury of very qualified and respected people. It encourages you to work harder. It is a pat on the back and an emotional moment." The film featured Deepika as queen Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Maha Rawal Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Sultan Alauddin Khilji.
It is the first National award for Bhansali as a music director. He has previously won for awards for "Devdas", "Black" and "Bajirao Mastani" in different categories.
For Bhansali, music is his life.
"Music is everything to me in my films. Music is my life," he said.