What inspired you to write the story of a single mother?
Well, I wrote a screenplay on the journey of a single mother because in that narrative is the heartbeat of my own mother. I come from a home where my mother was the only emotional umbrella under which we found all the warmth and comforts and sustenance. My father would come and go and not as often as we'd want him to.
It is going to be a movie called Hamaari Adhuri Kahaani. How is this film different from your previous projects?
Hamaari Adhuri Kahaani has the gender equality clamour that is going on. It deals with the question that if women want gender equality can women be in sexual servitude? Questions like who does her body belong to, does she have the right to make choices and what does she choose to be. These are narrated in a very Indian way. The film is not a cosmopolitan interpretation. It's a mangalsutra adorning, sindoor sporting woman who has her husband's name tattooed. She has gone through the traditional barricades and come to self-actualisation. It taps that strata of society for who my film Arth is probably a little too bold a narrative.
The 'triangular drama' or the love triangle concept is something you've worked with time and again. Why, according to you, is it inexhaustible?
My mother found herself in a triangular situation of my father and his legitimate wife. I experienced the emotional trauma of that triangle in my cradle. With all of them apparently conforming to the dictates of society here there was a major departure. Then, I was hurled into an extra-marital affair with an actress who was fiercely lonely. She somehow reminded me of my mother. She was alone and I needed to play the prince on the white horse. My yearning led to a tragic scenario. The narratives in which you're born have a fierce pattern of repetition.
Your wife Soni Razdan is directing a film after almost 10 years. How similar or different are you both in terms of direction?
My wife has tremendous restraint. She is very mild, although in her heart she has a volcano that's going to explode on screen. She comes from a space that's different. She was groomed in a different sensibility. She has been working very hard on her film, which is a drama from the perspective of a woman who has an extra-marital affair. She will do it in her own unique way. Her cinematic universe is very different from mine.
Some directors stick to a certain tone or genre of films whereas some (like you) experiment. What's the safer bet?
Unless you deconstruct your own self your certainties are going to take you towards the graveyard. People don't want the same experience. There is a right wing mythology where you stay within the parameters of what is prescribed. The left wing mythology has more danger but more creativity, and more infamy. You will get a lot brickbat for not conforming to the rules of the market place. But, steering out has given me my bliss. I've been able to nourish my company by my nomadic spirit that moves into unchartered spaces where the miracles lie.