Forty eight and famous Sujoy Ghosh was the flavor of the season with the surprise hit of 2012, KAHAANI. What comes as a complete surprise is how this man who was the Media Manager of Reuters, drawing over Rs.50 lakh per annum, gave it all up to pursue his passion.
“But then, life is all about taking that chance!” he says. He ended up directing his script JHANKAAR BEATS which was appreciated and made money but his next film HOME DELIVERY was a disaster at the box office. Sujoy laughs “I was trying a new style of narrative but it went down faster than the Titanic!”
After this, with no money but plenty of dreams, he took a chance and walked into the sets of one of Mr. Bachchan’s films to read out a script to him. It was called BORIVILI and never got made but Bachchan did agree to be a part of ALADDIN. So once again the man did a chance pe dance. But he danced alone and the film flopped.
Did it devastate him? “No,” he says smiling, “had I been 25 it would have been as traumatic as a break up but I was forty, a married man with two children and responsibilities. I couldn’t afford the luxury of being devastated – I had to find a way!”
Filmmaking, he shares, is all about taking a call and then having the nerve to stand by it. “It’s a bit like buying stock. So I took those calls – some worked. Some didn’t… My job as a filmmaker is to tell a story and my benchmark is my grandmother. I have to beat her at telling a story… I go with whatever excites me!”
Of course he flung the industry rule book out of his window. “There is this invisible law book in Hindi cinema. For a movie to be a hit, it has to fit into rule A, B, C, D and so on. Going by that, KAHAANI didn’t fit in but all my actors and crew were very convinced about the storyline. KAHAANI was woman centric quite by chance. When I wrote it the central fascination came from the idea of the mother. I wanted to harness the strength of a woman, a mother who can be a midget and yet will do everything to protect her child at all costs. For instance, my mother still sustains me. She takes care of my expenses. So I thought, what if I dropped the character of a mother in a place like Kolkata, and left her to find answers to some questions, and we could end up with a thriller. I have always thought of how a person who loses a dear one in a blast, for instance, would go and search for what really happened to him during the blast. I wrote KAHAANI with that person in mind. And the city which brought me up was the location of my script.”
And the rest as they say is history and Sujoy is chasing his quirky convictions which have altered his life, making him a writer, director and actor… Yes for Rituparno Ghosh’s film SATYANESHI, Sujoy played the renowned detective Byomkesh Bakshi. “If I’m offered an opportunity I run with it,” he says and he is still running, stumbling at times when Vidya and Kangana walk out of his next film but up and running in a trice!