Date:01/03/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2007/03/01/stories/2007030100800200.htm
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A screenplay between covers

ANUJ KUMAR speaks to Rajashree about her first novel "Trust Me"

PHOTO: ASHEESH WADHWA

ALL ABOUT TRUST Rajashree in a reflective mood

Over the years books have become the inspiration of many a film. Now debutante writer Rajashree has done the opposite. She has written a novel in the form of a film narrative - cut to cut with razor sharp editing and no pretensions of erudition in language.

Written in first person and set in Bollywood and advertising world, "Trust Me" mocks at the men's pet phrase to woo a girl. Relating the journey of a girl who learns the man's mind, the hard way, Rajashree brings comic element in emotional situations and keeps the characters life-like making a rather usual story of a fumbling girl, stirring. "It is romantic yet real," is how she describes it.

Trained in direction from Film and Television Institute of India, not many know that Rajashree is a National Award winner for her short film Rebel in 1996. "I always want to try to figure out the rebellious side of my lead character but at the same time I feel films and book should work as emotionally healers, like Munnabhai has worked recently."

Finding plots

She clears that the Rupa publication is not her account completely. With a knack for finding plots from life and then building on it, Rajashree says she wanted to write a book from the time she was shifted from a vernacular school to a convent in Nagpur. "At that time I used to pronounce characters with a `ch' sound. Always in love with films once I stood for five hours in a queue to watch a re-run of Sholay." Her perseverance paid and she went on to assist Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Khamoshi and Mansoor Khan in Josh. Rajashree says none of them is like Jambuvant Sinha, the director in her novel, who believes in white shoes, black money and casting couch. "My point is aisa bhi hota hai not aisa hi hota hai. But I have worked with one such producer for a few days and the lead character Parvati is taken from a friend who kept on loving her boyfriend even after he dumped her for no reason. Rahul is more like me, a film freak." She explains, "I love to watch films in single-screen theatres and catch people's emotions. Last year I went to watch Fanaa in a theatre in Nagpur. Tickets were available only in black, but as the show started, they sold it at cost price. I got the front row seat with people singing "Subhanallah" along with Aamir Khan. I loved the experience." Rajashree clears she doesn't want to make a film on the subject but if somebody wants to buy the rights, she is game.

As for the use of explicit language where slangs and four-letter words abound, Rajashree says it was not deliberate, but the plot and characters required such treatment. "That somebody like Kiran Nagarkar has written good about it, proves my point. I have also got good response from women readers. In a way it's a joke on the lead character, who feels condescendingly about the film industry, still she is written about in a filmy way."

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