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Keeping It Fresh

Irrfan and Parvathy’s breezy rom-com Qarib Qarib Singlle, which released last week, is the toast of the town. Apart from the wonderful performances, the praise for the film is also due to the excellent team. This week, Suranjana Biswaswent behind the scenes with Kamna Chandra – story writer, to understand her processes.

On the story

I wrote it long ago. I used to write for television and radio, even Doordarshan. Initially, I wrote it as a play for radio and it was conceived as a short story. After I shifted to Bombay, I wrote Meena Vaishnavi’s Trishna, which was based on Pride And Prejudice. It was at this time that I enhanced the story a little. But the entire concept has been entirely reworked by Tanuja Chandra and Gazal Dhaliwal. A lot of modern-day factors have been added, keeping the concept the same. I think they have made it very contemporary, like the dating app concept was not there when I wrote the story. They give me credit because they said that the basic idea was mine.

On the director

What can I say? We live in the same house! (She is the mother of Tanuja Chandra) All I can say is, I never wanted to interfere in her work. She showed me the script after it was ready. I felt the script was very fresh and at par with today’s times. It does not resemble the scripts I have written during my career, for example, Prem Rog, or 1942 – A Love Story, etc.

On the actors

The actors were so good. I mean, after watching the film, I told Tanuja that the casting couldn’t have been better. I was very confident that Irrfan Khan would portray his role very well because it really suited him. I wasn’t too sure if Parvathy could pull off her role. I had just heard that she was a star from the South. But after I saw her performance, I conveyed to her how wonderful she was in the film. She did such justice to the role; the age and maturity of the character was so well-portrayed. I was so happy with the casting.

On the audience

The audience looked very happy when they came out of cinemas after watching the film. Inside, people were laughing and having fun. Everybody seemed to be enjoying the film. I overheard someone saying in the lift that she was going to come back and watch the film again! Even my friends called me to say that they were very proud of my daughter, Tanuja, for making a movie like this.

On future projects

I don’t really think about what is going to happen in the future. I try and keep writing, and just hope that one of my stories might turn into a film. At the moment, I have some stories. If people are willing to collaborate, I will give it a thought.

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