Winning praise for Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai, writer Kingrani on how Manoj played a key role in fine-tuning the social drama’s script
In 2017, Deepak Kingrani left his cushy corporate job in the Netherlands to pursue writing. Six years on, the screenwriter is flooded with congratulatory calls for penning Manoj Bajpayee’s powerful social drama Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai. From earning in euros to moving to a creative job in Mumbai wasn’t a difficult shift, he says, as his passion for writing kept him going. “I got to write Special Ops , which was a fantastic experience. There wasn’t a single day when I regretted leaving my job for this,” smiles Kingrani.
Apoorva Singh Karki’s directorial venture, which sees Bajpayee as a lawyer, is based on the 2013 rape case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu. Through the ZEE5 film, both Karki and Kingrani wanted to focus on sexual abuse involving godmen. “Being a father to a daughter, I personally connected with the story. For us, the story began with the idea that we know [there are] bad guys. But when someone you worship and consider god-like breaks your trust, the betrayal and pain is far more. We are all spiritual people, and we don’t like how [faith] gets a bad perception because of these people,” says Kingrani.
What makes him happier about the success of Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai is that the screenplay was a collaborative effort, with the leading man bringing in his years of expertise. “Manoj sir has a rich experience of working with several directors and reading scripts. He’d often sit in our script-reading sessions. Sometimes he would tell me, ‘I need a strong dialogue here to convey the emotion,’ while Suparn [Varma, creative producer] would play the devil’s advocate.”