When one of Bollywood’s most famous scriptwriters, Sanjay Chauhan (who is in his late 40s himself) asks you not to grow old from the heart, the song Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji (from Ishqiya) starts to play in your head.
The man who gave us brilliant scripts for movies such as I Am Kalam, Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar is truly a kid at heart. HT City catches up with him at DAV Public School, Sector 8, Chandigarh, as he spends his sunny Sunday morning playing cricket with the staff and students of the school.
The actual reason for his visit was to interact with the students of Dikshant International School, Zirakpur. So, we start off on that note. “I told the children that it’s very important to remain young at heart. The moment you become an adult, you stop learning. So, when I’m here, I’m either learning from these children or refilling my energy from their zeal. I, personally, have no qualms behaving like a kid when amongst friends,” says he.
Talking about the various difficulties he faces while writing scripts, he shares, “Cinema has it’s own grammar. It’s very different than novels. Certain emotions that can be explained in a novel cannot be portrayed on screen. In biopics too, one has to show a life span of say 50 years in just two hours! Script writing is not just an art; it requires a lot more.”
So, what helps him keep the freshness alive in every script? “When we watch a movie with a bunch of our friends, I believe that our ‘collaborative IQ’ raises by at least 30%; thus, we know what to anticipate. That’s where a good scriptwriter comes in; we have to keep the audience’s anticipation in mind and present them with something fresh every time. The idea is to reinvent, not recycling.”
About his current projects, he says, “I have written the story, screenplay and dialogues for Marathi movie, Gulabi, directed by Guddu Dhanoa. I have also written the story for director Nila Madhab Panda’s (I Am Kalam fame) Love is Not Mathematics.”