Shibani Bathija: Our films are like our food2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Screenwriter Shibani Bathija is feeling good and looking even better. Having won two awards in the Best Story category for My Name is Khan this year – at the IIFA Awards in Toronto and the Zee Cine Awards in Singapore – she’s in her best creative space, writing an English feature film.
She’s shed 38 kgs off her person and the only weight she carries around now is that of a heavyweight writer in the mercurial film business – a well-earned title. Three out of the four films she has written so far – Fanaa, Kabhie Alvida Naa Kehna (KANK) and My Name is Khan (MNIK) – hit bullseye, save for Kidnap. That is a good ratio.
The celebrated writer spoke to Firstpost about her switch from being a TV programme developer to a storyteller, and the recipe for writing a Bollywood script: Excerpts:
When and how did you decide upon screenwriting as a profession?
I was working in Sony television in developing programmes and a part of my job was dealing with a lot of writers. And there is a lot of pressure in television to produce and I was always on their case for getting a certain quality of work and I realised it was just not possible for them under such pressure. So I wondered if I was just a frustrated writer taking out my angst on them. I was being a complete bitch and I thought I should do something about it. So I started writing on weekends. It took me a few months to write the first film script, as I was more of a film person anyway. Karan Johar was very kind to read it and pass it on to Aditya Chopra and I started working for Yash Raj. Eventually, a couple of years later, Fanaa happened with Aamir Khan and Kajol in 2006.
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