Hansal Mehta’s Next: From The Margins To The Mainstream

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After the jaw-dropping finesse of Shahid and Citylights, Hansal Mehta has it all set for his new venture. The national award winning director is currently working on his next movie that deals with homosexuality. When asked to shed light on the subject of his movie, Mehta told the Press Trust of India that “The film is based on many such true incidents which are happening in our country for a long time. Marginalization of people based on religion, caste, gender and sexual orientation is not new. I feel the debate on sexual orientation should be a part of mainstream.”

The movie is based on the real life story of a gay professor, Dr. Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, who was caught on tape for indulging in consensual gay sex, and therefore suspended just a few weeks prior to his retirement in 2010. Though the suspension was later revoked and the professor was reinstated to his office, the incident made headlines and brought unnecessary ignominy for the professor. A highly sensitive issue, this movie is delving deep into the debate on sexual orientation. Mehta is of the view that “We all face marginalization for different reasons in a regressive society. Such minorities make a big part of our country. Their wishes should not be cornered.” A girl named Ishani Banerji mailed him the story to which he could not help but respond. Adorning the internet with all due credits, the director got the idea of making this film in the beginning of last year through an e-mail.

Hopes were never as high as they are now, as this film-maker has been critically acclaimed for his sheer flair of telling true stories. “I don’t understand anything other than real cinema. I try to keep the stories as true as they can be,” said the director while promoting his previous movie, Citylights. Joining the crew, this time, we have none other than Manoj Bajpayee who has agreed to essay the role of the 60-year-old gay professor. Sprinkling a tad bit of respite on all speculations; the actor has finally revealed that he will soon begin shooting for the movie, which is scheduled to kick-start anytime this January. Along with Bajpayee, we will also see Rajkumar Rao playing the role of a journalist.

Likely to be titled, Aligarh, this movie is still in the making. However, it has already begun garnering undulating conjectures about how gay-love is going to be projected in a society which is still not very receptive towards issues such as homosexuality. Well, conjuring up the perfect recipe of utter brilliance, Hansal Mehta, Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkumar Rao have us all hooked for a treat that we are sure to savor for a great while.

Till then, it’s all about the waiting, really!

Sangeeta Purkayastha

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