Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s film Jogira Sara Ra Ra is going to hit the theaters today. Renowned writer Ghalib Asad Bhopali is associated with the writing of this film. He describes this film as a comedy as well as romantic, which can be seen with the whole family. Excerpts from a conversation with Urmila Kori on her film and career
When did the idea of making a comedy film with Nawazuddin Siddiqui come to you?
We felt Nawaz’s sense of humor during the film Babumoshai Bandookbaaz. Apart from this, the film was dark, so it did not get family audience. At that time it was decided that the next film would be a comedy and would be for the whole family.
How comfortable is Nawaz on the sets?
He is very comfortable on the set but also remains a bit reserved. He doesn’t have any tantrums, but every creative person has his own whims. He is also not untouched by that. He wants everyone to respect him. They don’t like insensitivity. At the script level, he wants it to be in the right graph. He is very particular about it. He also asks about other artists. Usually actors focus on themselves, but he focuses on the totality of the scene. Every actor is special to him.
After watching the trailer of Jogira Sara Rara, we realized that you have a weird sense of humour.
My humor comes from my mother. He had read Ibne Safi’s Jasoosi Duniya books a lot. Ibne was a writer in the 50s and later he moved to Pakistan. Spy thrillers were a bit vulgar in those days, but Ibn Safi’s specialty was his humor, there was no vulgarity in his stories, so it left an impression on my mind. Many people got inspired by him. The famous scene from Sholay where Amitabh Bachchan meets Basanti’s aunt for Veeru’s relationship. That comic scene was taken from his novels. Even the scripts of Kader Khan were influenced by Ibn Safi. What I read is influencing my writing now. I read a lot of comics so I wrote Shaktimaan. I read a lot of detective novels so I got a chance to work on the detective series Adhikari Brothers. I was impressed by the comedy.
You and the film’s director Kushan Nandy have been together for a long time, how would you describe your association?
We have known each other for more than 15 years. He is very creative. Our struggle has been the same. We understand each other very well as our thought process is similar. His father is a writer and I am the son of a writer. We both had many things in common. We were like lost twins. I am lucky that I am working with such people. It’s great to work for friends like him.
What is your opinion as a writer that Hindi films are not doing well for some time now?
The basis of any film is writing. In Hollywood the writer is usually the producer of the film. He plans everything in this way. Not so in our industry. Our manufacturers think from the point of view of sales. He doesn’t care about the script. The audience has a lot of options and after the lockdown, they need motivation to step out of their homes. Now films are released on OTT after a month so people do not want to go to theatres. Many films from South did well because they got variety.
Realized from this movie trailer that you have a weird sense of humor?
My humor comes from my mother. Those books which he read a lot to the detective world of Safi. He was a writer in the 50s and later he moved to Pakistan. I will read those books too. Spy thrillers were a bit obscene in those days but Ibn Safi’s specialty was his humour, there was no obscenity in his stories. So it left an impression on my mind. Many people got inspired by him. The famous scene in Sholay where Amitabh Bachchan meets Dhanno’s aunt was a comical scene taken from his novels. Even the scripts of Kader Khan were influenced by Ibn Safi. What I read is influencing my writing now. I read a lot of comics so I wrote Shaktimaan. I read a lot of detective novels so I got a chance to work on the detective series Adhikari Brothers. I was influenced by comedy so now I got to write many comedy series and films.
You were a successful writer of television serials but then why did you stay away from TV?
I started with the Shaktimaan series. I like to work in my comfort zone. Earlier the way of working in television was different and now it is different. Earlier there was only one producer, director and one writer, we discussed and started working on the serial. Now there is a lot of struggle in it because a lot of people have come into it. Everyone’s thinking is different and you have to please everyone. It becomes difficult to please everyone. I am happy with the work I am doing and the people I am working with.
Your next project?
This film will be followed by Kunfaya, which is a different genre, a paranormal story. We have done a comedy, a thriller and now a paranormal film. Harshvardhan Rane and Sanjeeda Sheikh are in this film.