Mahesh Bhatt is a prominent Indian film director, producer and screenwriter. His films show an unusual engagement with the psychological damage arising from infringement of social norms, situations which are characteristic deep mental/emotion damage and trauma. Mahesh Bhatt was born to Nanabhai Bhatt, a Hindi film director-producer. Mahesh Bhatt's last film as director was Kartoos (1999). Thereafter, Bhatt retired as a director, and took to screenwriting full-time, churning out stories and screenplays for over twenty films, many of which were box-office successes, like Dushman, Raaz, Murder (2004), Gangster (2006) and lastly Woh Lamhe(2006), based on the life of actress Parveen Babi, and on whom he has also scripted the 1982 film Arth. In 1970, Mahesh Bhatt dropped out of college to enter films.
He began his career as an assistant to Hindi director Raj Khosla. At age 21 he made his debut as a director, with the film Sakat (1970), this was followed by Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain in 1974. His 1979 film, Lahu Ke Do Rang, starring Shabana Azmi and Vinod Khanna, bagged two Filmfare Awards in 1980. His first major hit came with Arth (1982), when he turned to his personal life for inspiration.
Later, he made many more films taking insights from his personal life, where he highlighted personal narratives, ranging from illegitimate birth to extramarital affair and created critically acclaimed films such as Janam (1985) and Naam (1986). A stand-out film from his earlier period is Saaransh (1984), an exploration of an old couple's anxieties in a universe governed by arbitrary violence, and dramatic films like Kaash (1987), which dealt with real-life family situations with a tragic end. In 1987 he turned producer, when he set up his own banner Vishesh Films, with his brother Mukesh Bhatt.
He went on to become one of the most recognised film directors of the Indian film industry in the coming decade, giving both serious films like Daddy (1989), launching his daughter Pooja Bhatt as a film actress, and Swayam (1991); as well as commercial romantic hits like Awaargi (1990), Aashiqui (1990) and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), in which he cast his daughter Pooja with actor Aamir Khan. He next directed Sadak (1991) and won critical acclaim for the films Sir (1993), which saw Pooja Bhatt acting along with Naseeruddin Shah and Criminal (1994). In 1994 he won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award for his film, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993). In 1995 he moved to television, then a newly opening up medium in India.
He made two TV series, the English language "A Mouthful of Sky" written by Ashok Banker and the popular Hindi language serial "Swabhimaan" scripted by writer Shobha De. Following this, he directed drama films like Dastak (1996), the debut film of actress Sushmita Sen, and Tamanna (1997), and tried his hand at comedy with Duplicate in 1998. His film, Zakhm (1998), was returned to the censor board because of right-wing pressure critical of its references to the Mumbai riots of 1993. In 1970s, he became a follower of Osho Rajneesh, and later found spiritual companionship and guidance with philosopher, U.G. Krishnamurti, whose biography he later wrote as, U.G. Krishnamurti: A Life, in 1992. Apart from this he has edited several books based on conversations with U.G. Krishnamurti.
Mahesh Bhatt's latest book 'A Taste of Life: The Last Days of U.G. Krishnamurti' published in June-2009. Mahesh Bhatt married Kiran Bhatt, in 1970, and the couple had two children, a daughter Pooja Bhatt, a former actress, now a producer, and Rahul Bhatt, an aspiring actor. His second wife is Soni Razdan, an accomplished film actress and director. He has two daughters from Soni Razdan, Shaheen Bhatt and Alia Bhatt. Alia made her debut as an actor in Karan Johar's film Student Of The Year. Bhatt also had an intimate affair with Parveen Babi. Emraan Hashmi a Hindi film actor is his nephew.