Gulzar's project on Tagore
Veteran Mumbai filmmaker Gulzar will soon embark on a project that is avowedly close to his heart - a 15-hour television series based on a clutch of timeless stories authored by Rabindranath Tagore.
"I am reading my favourite Tagore stories all over again in order to select a few of them for adaptation for television," says Gulzar. "That is the greatest joy of making a serial on these stories - it gives me an opportunity to revisit the treasure trove that is Tagore."
Doordarshan will fund the Tagore serial as part of its renewed emphasis on popularising classic Indian literature. Says Gulzar: "Today children have various recreational options - computers, television, home video. Literature is being crowded out of their collective consciousness. I want to do whatever I can to bring our literary heritage out of the margins."
The national broadcaster has been enthused no doubt by the strong market response to Gulzar's previous literary TV series, Tehreer… Munshi Premchand Ki. Gulzar's interpretation of the master storyteller's Godaan, which forms the largest chunk of the serial, is currently on a repeat run on Doordarshan's national network.
The 14-hour Tehreer… Premchand Ki fetched Doordarshan an unprecedented Rs 10.5 lakh per hour in sponsorship. The current per-hour sponsorship rate on Doordarshan is Rs 7 lakh.