Taare Zameen Par (TZP) writer Amol Gupte has moved on from painting and Aamir Khan to do a film on roller-skating and wants Salman Khan to play the lead.
"TZP was just a small part of the work that I do with children. I've developed a life-long concern for issues relating to children. I regard them as the largest-growing private sector of the country. So, yes, my next film entitled India Item will have roller-skating in the backdrop," Amol told IANS.
Why is the film called India Item?
"Well, it doesn't have any item numbers. But children are an item, an issue on the Indian agenda...I had never styled a hit in TZP. That wasn't just a film for me. It was my way of letting the child within all of us live. India Item will carry that movement forward. I don't matter. The movement does."
Amol would love to have Salman in the cast.
"I'll certainly like to work with him. Not because he's a big star, but because I feel he cares for the weaker sections of our society.
"I've been spending a lot of time with dispossessed children. Dyslexia, which was the issue in TZP, cannot be the only issue that concerns me. There're so many others and I want to use the cinematic medium to bring all these issues to the surface."
Amol gave his guru Nikumbh's name to the teacher in TZP. "A large part of my social concern comes from my teacher. And I wouldn't want his name stained in any way."
He admits there's a lot of bitterness about the way he was treated during TZP.
"I'm human after all. For me working for and on subjects related to children is antidote enough. I start my film in June and July. Even if I don't get a nod from Salman by then, I'd start my shooting with the children."
Amol has been associated with roller-skating associations for a while.
"In fact, my son has been roller-skating for four years. As a skating father, I've been cleaning up my son's roller-skates and been very much a part of the skating spirit in my house."