Aisha director Rajshree Ojha reveals that for Chaurahen, her first independent film that was completed in 2008, Oscar-winning lyricist Gulzar has lent his poem for a song and Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty has composed the background score, for free.
Rajshree choses Gulzar’s published poem, Kuchh Bhi Qayam Nahin, from his book, Pukhraj. “He was more than willing to give it to me at no charge. He was very accommodating,” says Rajshree, who is finally set to release the film on March 16.
Gulzar, however, had a small condition. His undersigned letter to Rajshree reads, “I would like to clarify that this permission does not permit you to market this song commercially, independently or collectively. You can, however, use this song for promotional or publicity purpose of the film.”
Set in Kolkata, Kerala and Mumbai, Chaurahen is a film on relationships and features Zeenat Aman, Victor Banerjee, Roopali Ganguly, Soha Ali Khan and Shyan Munshi in pivotal roles.
It’s based on three short stories by author Nirmal Verma. Rajshree had approached Gulzar and Pookutty after he shot the Kolkata portion.
On the other hand, Pookutty holds Rajshree in high regards and this was his way of encouraging prospective independent filmmakers. “I do one big film along with many small films. With independent movies, I get the freedom to do what I actually want, in terms of creativity. This film has a very interesting narrative, and captures the sentiments of the three cities,” says Pookutty.
Pookutty further adds that it’s also a way to give back the industry: “We made it to wherever we are today because someone had believed on us in our first movie. This is my way of giving back to the fraternity. I am happy that such films come to me.”