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5-min read

Now, Shahid Writer Hits Back At Apurva Asrani; Calls Him 'Bad News'

News18.com

Updated: May 18, 2017, 3:56 PM IST
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Now, Shahid Writer Hits Back At Apurva Asrani; Calls Him 'Bad News'
Image: Youtube/ Screen grabs from Simran, Shahid trailers

Just a day after Simran writer Apurva Asrani called out Kangana Ranaut for her false claims over the film's script, another Bollywood writer, Sameer Gautam, has taken to Facebook to show the other side of the debacle over the writer's credits.

Sameer, who wrote the script of Shahid, took to the social media platform today and penned down a "personal rant" to point out the lesser talked-about side of the film industry. He took on Apurva's recent post wherein the latter slammed Kangana for calling Simran script hers' and urged Hansal Mehta to "show some spine". Sameer cited an incident from the Shahid days and accused Apurva of being "a regular offender."

He further voiced his opinion in support of filmmaker Hansal Mehta and referred to him as a humanist.

"Let me start by saying that I am the writer of Shahid that no one in the industry knows about except my team and my Director. You all know of Apurva Asrani as the writer of Shahid. Am I right? From the first day of my research where I did not even have Shahid Azmi’s address to the final shooting script and till the end of production, after which I also worked on the subtitles for the film’s festival cut," he wrote.

He made clear that he had tremendous respect for Apurva at the beginning. "Here was a man so humble, so friendly and with such stellar work, the editor of the great seminal film Satya in his repertoire. It made me believe in cinema more, it reminded me why we do what we do."

He further narrated the entire sequence of events - from him leaving Delhi to Apurva joining the team and wrote, "So now coming back to the point of this post, Shahid was written, shot and Apurva was now editing it. During which Apurva referred me to Nila Madhab Panda, for a film titled Jalpari. This was a wonderful gesture from Apurva’s side and my respect for him was at its peak. Deepak Venkatesha was the screenplay writer of the film. A few weeks later, when I came back to Mumbai and met Hansal Sir, the festival cut was ready. We worked on the subtitles for the festival cut and by Gods grace, our film was selected in TIFF, just to let you know, I was supposed to have a “Written By” credit then.

"One day, not much later, I got to know from a team member that Apurva is insisting on a screenwriting credit for the film. Sir was happy with this cut and he then spoke to me about this. At first, I did not know what to say and then I said "No!" because I had given the film 4 years of my life with nothing but that to show for it. Apurva kept at it and refused to work any further unless he was given a Screenplay credit for Editing this 'Fresh approach/ Narrative' to the film. Hansal Sir was in a Catch 22 situation and I could see it. It was difficult for him. He did not want to lose either of us. As much as he fought for me, he finally gave in to Apurva's demands and agreed to give him the credit. Hansal Sir felt sorry towards me, but I was clear that I will not continue to work for/with him if he has Apurva in his team from thereon. It was difficult but jo sahi hai, usmein sochna kya?(If it's right, there's nothing left to think!). I come from small town in India, that's just how we're made," he continued.

He, however, maintained this entire time that in an industry where "money talks and bullshit walks", one man always cared. "That man is Hansal Mehta; I call him Sir. I haven’t in my life called a lot of people Sir."

Sameer, who decided that he'll not work in the same team as Apurva, wrote, "I am not even a charmer like Apurva. It was a struggle to prove yourself against a man with a better face recall. He had hijacked the credit and positioned himself as the writer from the time it got screened in MAMI. I was not there and it is my fault. I was attending to my ailing mother in Delhi and I had to be there."

A thought that'd strike many is that why did he remain silent for so long. To this, he explained, "I don’t know. But people from nondescript small towns like me will connect with this. We have nothing from where we come. We have this quiet arrogance about ourselves because we don’t bullshit our way up. We are passionate and we work hard to be good at whatever we do. A credit monger can take away your credit but how can he or she take your ability away. So, I left it at that."

"Why Speak now? Though what is happening is not astounding for me because I am a Cinephile, the sheer magnitude of this hypocrisy is nauseating. Calling Hansal Mehta to show spine?... Huhh... Well, tell me a Director in the last 5 years who has done more in India for the voiceless Indian. You know what; I call that “Spine”. Unwavering and risking everything to show the plight of the voiceless human existence. Questioning our blind and often ancient logic by which we look at our lives, comprehend it. He is a humanist. If that is not showing spine than I don’t know what it really means."

He signed off by saying that he isn't the only one Apurva has stepped over and urged the ones who're supporting Apurva in his battle with Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut, to support him too.

First Published: May 18, 2017, 3:56 PM IST
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