I could have got an Oscar...

...oh, okay, that's stretching it....

You have all read about script reading sessions. Let me relate one. A debutant film director, who is already established in another aspect of film-making for which he has won awards, approached me a while ago to write a script. He had read my columns on terrorism. This is how the meeting went…

“Theme is terrorism,” he said.

“You have a story idea?”

“No, no, I leave it to you. Bas, see that we have interesting characters. I am getting top stars. It is big budget, we will have helicopters.”

“What will the helicopters do?”

“Big budget hai na.”

“So they will circle the air, whether they are needed or not?”

“Something like that, koi action scene we will put.”


“And strong woman character. You are best at that.”


Socho…this will make dhamaka.”

“Yes, we will have firearms, I guess….”

“Of course, big budget.”

“Okay, so in the first scene we will have this sound of shooting…the camera pans to waterfall and then slowly zooms into a few drops on a rock; zoom in closer to one drop…”

Arre, wait, wait…I will do all this. You write the script, build story, characters…this panning-zooming is my department. I am the director!”

“Oh, I forgot.”

The film did not happen. No, not because of him, but he said, “Problem will be there. You are Muslim, and writing on terrorism will make trouble. But this project will not go ahead. You or no one.”

“It’s okay, I have not thought about anything beyond that water drop.”

“Think of other subject. Woman oriented.”

“That is so exciting. Village woman or city?”

Haan, that we must think.”

“We can show city woman going to village…”

“Make it ulta.”

“No, that is common…you know, scene at VT station, the woman comes out wearing a ghagra-choli, her hair in braids, and cannot cross the road; there is traffic and she is confused. Very ghissa-pitta.”

“Then how you will show city type in village?”

“We can show her going to reform the place. First scene there will be background sound of water falling, and then you see her eyes.”

Arre baba, that all you leave to me, I am the director.”

The End!

Not quite. The other day he called and said he had a major project. “Even Hollywood will be involved. Interested?”


“You don’t understand. This can put you in the big league.”

Size does not matter in everything. I said no, but not before imagining the shot of rain falling in sheets in the Grand Canyon and a lazy drop caught on the tip of a rock.


  1. "Problem will be there. You are Muslim, and writing on terrorism will make trouble"

    Are you sure or is it one of those stories,like the one Shabana aunty came up with pretty recently.

    Here is a list of muslims that have made a movie on terrorism:

    1)Khalid Mohammed(who made three crapy movies along with Fiza)
    2)Main Hoon Na(Farah Khan) where Indians are made to be shown as devilish,if not more than the Pakis
    3.Dhoka-another film that dramatises and exaggerates the 'atrocities' on muslims,scripted by Shagufta Ali.

    So what made that debutant director make that remark?Or did he really make that remark?Shabana aunty has four houses in Mumabai yet she can think of a story imagining herself a victim.What about you,FV?

  2. Three things I wish to talk about ....First Directors ...If I leave aside a Mani Ratnam and Madhur Bhandarkar and Shamit Amin and writers like Jaideep Sahni ....rest all films are thought in the loo ...at the bar or.....

    Second ...Farah Khan ....she proved common minimum intellect of all indians is not Zero ,..it is minus ten ....please god help her ...

    Third ....Scripts and indian movies ....reminds me of " Wednesday" .....awesome is teh word ....hats off to Naseeurdin Shah.....he has beaten teh combos of all stars in ten straight minutes...it is called hole in one ....handocap of ZERO.....

  3. It was a funny incident and I think you would be good with films with visual image you create.Share more of these.

  4. Anon:

    Oh please...this particular incident took place at a sensitive time. Had I wanted to do a victim act, I would have 'used' it then. I don't feel that way, and the way this post is written should make it evident. Just chill...

    Fiza? Hrmph...


    Thanks for sharing your views. I must watch 'A Wednesday'.


    Yes, I think so too!


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