Jaideep Sahni’s 15-year creative collaboration with Yash Raj Films’ has seen him write some brilliant hits like Bunty Aur Babli, Rocket Singh : Salesman of the Year, Shuddh Desi Romance, Aaja Nachle and the cult classic Chak De! India starring Shah Rukh Khan. On the 13th anniversary of this generation defining film, Jaideep says director Shimit Amin and him had all the creative freedom from Aditya Chopra to make this film which is now regarded as one of the best films that the industry has ever made.
“I had wanted to tell this story for a few years. So, when Adi asked me after Bunty Aur Babli what I wanted to do next, I told him that I wanted to do this film which could somehow form a bridge between the world of women athletes and the rest of the country. As I told him more about what I’d seen and felt, he agreed that it was a shame that not enough people knew about this world, and also that it could make a really great film if we got things right,” says Jaideep.
Jaideep has made a mark in Bollywood in his own right, much like director Shimit Amin who too wowed everyone with his brilliance as a visionary director. The duo was encouraged to push the content envelope by Aditya, who wanted their distinct voice and vision to shine through.
“Shimit and I have been friends since the time I was writing Company and he was editing Bhoot at Ram Gopal Varma’s office but it was Adi’s conviction after seeing Ab Tak Chhappan that he must be the director for this film. Adi’s and Shimit’s faith in the film as producer and director at that early stage was very reassuring for me since I knew my writing was going into the hands of people I trusted and respected,” says Jaideep, who like Shimit, is a complete outsider and both were handpicked and groomed by Adi because of their sheer brilliance.
Jaideep, thus, feels he has always been given a free hand at YRF which is why he has written such diverse films. He says, “5 of my scripts, all very different from each other, have been produced by YRF. These have been directed by 4 different directors. There’s something different about a studio built and run by filmmakers, which cannot be described superficially but working filmmakers understand and appreciate.”
Interestingly, Jaideep completes 20 years in the film industry. He debuted as a writer for Jungle in 2000 for Ram Gopal Varma. He collaborated with YRF in 2005 with Bunty Aur Babli and has since then worked closely with Adi.