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Nandita not to direct Tabu-Balan starrer adaptation

No confirmation on director for Chitra Banerjee’s Vine of Desire starring Vidya Balan and Tabu.

entertainment Updated: Jun 12, 2010 13:16 IST

Nandita DasYet another adaptation of a novel is in the offing. Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, known for her book, Mistress of Spices, has been approached for another film based on her book, Vine of Desire.

Earlier, her books Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart were made into a film and TV series, respectively. For Vine of Desire, Divakaruni got a call from the White Feather production house.

The author, whose latest book, One Amazing Thing, was recently released, confirms the news, saying, “White Feather approached my agent a few months ago.”

The author, however, says that she never writes with an adaptation in mind. “But I do think in visual terms. I was a painter for many years, and that tends to affect how I write. I am quite excited at the moment, though, that Vine of Desire is being made into a film,” she enthuses.

Leading ladies
Ask Sanjay Gupta, of White Feather productions, and he replies: “Yes, negotiations have happened for the novel. In fact, we’ve already zeroed in on the two lead female roles. They will be played by Tabu and Vidya Balan.”

It’s been six months since Nandita Das was reportedly approached by White Feathers production house to direct the film. Divakaruni says, “They have not given me any information beyond the fact that Tabu and Vidya have been signed up, and that Nandita may be the director. We might have to wait a bit for any more news.”

Gupta doesn’t confirm the news either.

Das denies
However, given that it was a relationship-centric story between two sisters, Das seemed to be an apt choice to direct the novel.

A few months back, Das had reportedly stated that it was “too soon to talk about the project,” as she hadn’t read the book yet. The update is that Das has still not gone through the novel and says that she will not be a part of the project anymore.

Why? “For starters, I haven’t read the book!” she exclaims. Ask her if her impending pregnancy is the reason for not directing it and she quips, “Yes, that is one of the reasons. Chitra is a very sweet lady, but I’m not directing the film and I don’t know why there is still so much speculation about it,” says Das.

Vine of Desire
The book continues the story of Anju and Sudha, the two young women at the center of Divakaruni’s novel, Sister of My Heart. After years of living separate lives, Anju and Sudha rekindle their friendship in America. The love they feel for each other provides support. It gives Anju the strength to pick up the pieces of her life after a miscarriage, and Sudha the confidence to make a life for herself and her baby daughter, Dayita, without her husband.

The women’s bond is shaken when they confront the deeply passionate feelings that Anju’s husband has for Sudha. Meanwhile, the unlikely relationships they form with men and women in the world outside the immigrant Indian community as well as with their families in India profoundly transform them and they question the assumptions of their lives.

First Published: Jun 12, 2010 13:03 IST