A candid chat with 'Shuddh Desi Romance' writer Jaideep Sahni
Jaideep Sahni is one lyricist-scriptwriter who can be called anything but hackneyed. From Ram Gopal Varma's Jungle (2000) to his latest film, which stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Parineeti Chopra, this engineering graduate has told a different story with each of his films
“I write for the love of writing,” says Jaideep. Excerpts from an interview with CS.
Down memory lane
I grew up in a family of doctors and engineers. My parents were not film buffs. However, I was an avid reader. I remember my parents gifting me books on my birthdays. I was quite a bookworm. Looking back, I feel that reading perhaps helped me expand my imagination. However, whatever I have learnt about screen writing is on the job.
I have a specific approach towards a story. Somehow, I find it very tough to write a slapstick comedy or a boy meets girl kind of love story. All the films that I have written are very specific in nature in terms of subject and milieu. My upcoming film, a love story, is set in Jaipur, a town rooted in tradition but is now in the process of Westernisation. The story revolves around love in such an environment. I feel as a writer when you deal with ‘specific’ subjects, settings, etc, you work harder to make your films entertaining as you want more and more people to relate with your thoughts and ideas (smiles).
The right support
Life is not a cakewalk for any script-writer. However, I count myself as fortunate to have worked with people like RGV, Shimit Amin, Dibakar Banerjee, etc who have fully supported my ideas and vision. Most script-writers struggle to find a director/producer who will let them tell the kind of story they want to. I feel blessed.
The audience of the ’50s-60s were vastly different from that of the ’90s or today. People had a different mindset altogether. Some of the best films of Indian cinema have come from that period. I don’t think it’s fair to compare eras. Similarly, I don’t agree with the statement that the ’80 - 90s were the worst in terms of content. We had exceptionally well written films even then. However, they were far and few.
I have written seven-eight films so far. I sit down on a film only when I am truly fascinated by a subject. Writers face the writer’s block when they try too hard to put something down on paper. When I face that situation I sit down and analyse why am I writing this film in the first place. Is it for the money or for a friend or because the topic has a lot of potential? If my answer is the last one, I put my head down and resume writing with full gusto.