SwadesAshutosh Gowariker’s Swades is one of our favourite films. And among those counted few films in which we really liked Shah Rukh Khan.

What we knew was that the film is based on a tv series. What we didnt know was the long story behind this long film! A reader of our blog mailed us some interesting info about it. Its in first person account by Mr V. On Swades, Whats Your Raashee, Lage Raho Munnabhai & more! Have replaced few names with their intials. Read on.

Hi…Last afternoon I was at a brunch hosted by AL to celebrate his birthday….As the wine, mojito’s and beer started doing the rounds and the guests were getting a tad reckless…..Sanjay Chhel who was seated at my table along with GB suddenly stated…Swades was V’s script…..we all knew it… It had come on Zee TV’s Yule Love stories as a 1.5 hour, two 45 minutes episode story in 1996!!!!!!!!! Ashutosh played SRK’s role in it as an actor….i was taken aback at this sudden announcement! It was a de ja vu.

Cut Back to:-

Swades Premiere. December 2004 at Fame Malad…. During the interval inside the smoking room of the multiplex… as I was puffing away along side Abbas Mastan and a few others… Anurag Kashyap walked in saying…. V- Bhai this is your script Waapasi on Zee Tv… I will never forget it…..Abbas-Mastan turn to look at me wondering who the hell i am… and also who the hell is Anurag!!!!!!!!!

That night post the premiere….Satya the producer of the Yule love story who gets the credit for story of Swadesh, Anand Subramanium, an alumini of FTII who directed Wapasi and myself were stopped by Ashutosh wanting to know our reactions as we were the original creators of the film according to him……..All we said was he fucked up a simple love story of an NRI who comes to pick up his Kaveri amma…discovers his roots in a village, feels guilty seeing poverty and exploitation of poor and also finds his soulmate and decides to stay back.

By trying to be in Appy’s words ‘A shantaram’ he went haywire with that electricity making incident which is incidentally a chapter in a Book titled Bapu Kutir… Bapu Kutir is a compilation of events & expereiences of some 10 people who gave up lucrative careers in the corporate world to follow Gandhian principles!!!!!!!!!!

The event in the film comes as tangent from no where… The Yule Love Story episode begins with the hero landingin Delhi looking for Kaveri amma and meeting the herione in the travel agency who gives him the wrong address and he takes a caravan bus to trace her and the story ends when his caravan leaves the village and the herione thinks he has left for good and turns to walk back and to her surprise he comes back in his caravan and honks behind her!!!!!!!!!

The character of Dayashankar Pandey of a village buffon wanting to go to USA in Swades is a character created by Naushil Mehta and myself in a play called Suitable Bride way back in 1996. Incidentally Suitable Bride is the inspiration for What’s Your Raashee…Its infact a straight lift of my play…. NM and I directed the play and also adpated it for stage from the novel Kimball Ravenswood. Seema Kapoor played 12 roles and Babbloo Mukherjee played Yogesh Patel…Darshan Jariwala plays the same character he played in the play!

Incidentally the play was a musical and had 12 songs… we had to drop the songs after the first 5 shows as the running time of the play was 3.5 hours and we realised audience were getting impatient. What’s Your Raashee is also 3.5 hours with 13 songs!!!!!!!!!!

There are 8 people who get the credit for screenplay in Swades and one of the guys told me that my dialogue script of Waapasi was photocopied and circulated amongst the 8 of them to change it from TV to a film script… Scene to scene, dialogue to dialogue ( i used to write dialogues in those days) were kept as in the original!

And exactly like Swades I am told I am getting a credit in What’s Your Raashee too in the begining acknoweldgements………You may ask why am i talking about it NOW!!!!! ST the producer of the show on Zee wanted to file a case against Ashutosh and UTV for cheating me of my credits and compensation… I didn’t want to file a case as i felt it was pointless exercise.

Ashutosh on his part had asked my permission to do the film saying he is using only the story and changing the screenplay….Well he did change the screenplay….By adding 40 minutes of NASA begining and end of film and a good 30-40 minute of the Bapu Kutir.

The reason I am talking about this today is I feel after what Amole Gupte went through…and more over… SC…whose idea Gandhi and Godfather… narrated to Mr. Dutt during the making of Khoobsoorat becomes Lage raho Munnabhai!

I feel there is no harm in giving the due people their credit or atleast let people know the real people behind these works…My name comes in the acknowledgements of Swades and Whats Your Raashee but I feel Swades is more Anand Subramanium than Ashu Gowarikar…..And Lage Raho Munnabhai is Chel rather than Hirani and Abhijat Joshi… and as for Taare Zameen Par… people in the know… know who directed the film 🙂

Wooohoo! Some revealations and it all seems so believable except the Lage Raho Munnabhai part! Whats your guess ?

BTW, according to IMDB, the writing credit of Swdes has nine names as follows.

Story – M.G. Sathya and Ashutosh Gowariker

Screeplay – Ashutosh Gowariker, Sameer Sharma, Lalit Marathe, Amin Hajee,  Charlotte Whitby-Coles, Yashodeep Nigudkar & Ayan Mukherjee 

Dialogue – K.P. Saxena

Comments
  1. Sudhir Nair says:

    Well here’s some juicy gossip. On reading this I can almost hear Ashu shouting “Shut Up Fightclub!”
    Can’t believe the Lage Raho Munnabhai story though. I think Raju Hirani would have credited Sanjay Chel if it was is. Specially after Raju is giving CB credit even though he says that 3 Idiots is not completely based on FPS.

  2. Leopard says:

    V is Vinod Rangnath.

  3. Sonal says:

    so u guys r chosing not to believe the one abt hirani and munnabhai but ready to believe ashu’s one… any reason for that? And honestly I don’t see the cribbing here by this V dude.. I mean he was credited in both swades and wyr. Plus ashutosh never hid that both the films were adapted from different places. i don’t see the hoopla here at all. Oh also wanted to ask.. why did he bring tzp and AK in it? Aamir has duly credited amole for writing the script even in promotions. Just cos they had a fall out doesn’t mean AK didn’t credit. And kudos to both none has talked bitched abt each other in public. they simply said they went separate ways and amole gave him the script to direct. Amole even accepted popular awards for tzp.

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