Veteran filmmaker on storytelling


Diipti Jhangiani in conversation with veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal in DNA

A few years ago I made a film, Welcome To Sajjapur, we had a peon at office, very bright, superb memory but he couldn’t read or write. I would write his letters sometimes, they were very formal, about the family etc. He went to his gaon (village) and got married. Now his wife could write. Being newly married her letters were very intimate, very private; her letters they were really meant for him, the poor fellow didn’t know how to read them. You can imagine! Sometimes I would read them for him, it would be in confidence, but what if it were read by somebody else? I was fascinated by this exchange and that’s how the story formed.

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