From Rockstar to mathematician
While most would have presumed that after his star turn in Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar, Ranbir Kapoor would jump into a biopic on the late Kishore Kumar directed by Anurag Basu's, this might not happen anytime soon, say sources.
In fact, after Basu's Barfee is complete, where Kapoor plays the male lead, he might start in another biopic, based on the life of a well-known mathematician in Bihar.
But while this role will be nothing like Russel Crowe's John Nash (A Beautiful Mind), the American mathematician who despite suffering from paranoid schizophrenia made some revolutionary contributions in mathematics and economics with his work in game theory and differential geometry, it will be no less interesting.
The film is reportedly based on Anand Kumar, a 38 year-old mathematician from Patna, who despite an underprivileged background, contributed to top scientific journals and papers. His father worked as a clerk and Kumar completed his education while helping his mother sell papads.
He has been the subject of several documentaries and is well known for his Super 30 programme, which has helped several economically disadvantaged students bag admission into top institutes like the IITs.
According to a source, Anurag Basu, while wrapping up Barfee, has quietly been researching on Kumar's life, even making a few trips to Patna to meet him.
"The Kishore Kumar biopic might take longer to research than Anurag thought. In the meanwhile, Anurag has been rigorously looking up Anand Kumar's life," said the source. Basu was reportedly blown over when he learnt about Kumar's background and his contribution to maths and society.
The source added that Basu, who believes Kapoor will be perfect for the role, has already spoken with the actor. "Anurag has spoken to Ranbir about Anand. And Ranbir is eager to get into the heart and mind of the mathematician."
When contacted, Basu said, "I've been to Patna frequently to meet someone on whom I plan to make a film. Beyond that, I can't say much."
Incidentally, Amitabh Bachchan's character in Prakash Jha's Aarakshan was partly modelled on Anand Kumar.
Who is Anand Kumar?
Anand Kumar's father worked as a post office clerk in Bihar. Anand attended a Hindi medium government school, where he developed a deep interest in mathematics and submitted papers on Number Theory, which were published in several top math journals.
He secured admission to Cambridge University, but could not attend because of his father's death and poor financial condition. Since Patna University's library did not stock foreign journals, he would travel every weekend on a six-hour train journey to Varanasi, where he would study at the BHS's Central Library.