Kolkata, Mar 7: The story of the Vidya Balan starrer suspense-thriller ‘Kahaani' is inspired by real life experiences of novelist Advaita Kala's brief stay in Kolkata.
Advaita, who wrote the story of the film which releases this Friday, told PTI that despite facing a language barrier and the chaos and poverty of the metropolis, she was bowled over by the warmth of the people of Kolkata as has been reflected in the film.
‘Kahaani' shows Vidya playing a seven-month pregnant woman who comes alone to Kolkata from London in search of her husband.
Quite similarly, Advaita too had landed in Kolkata from the US to work at the Oberoi Grand hotel here. She was retracing the footsteps of her then boyfriend who had worked at the same hotel a year ago.
“For me it was very romantic. I would want to go to bookstores he used to visit and walk on the streets where he used to go. In the film, I have emotionally drawn Vidya's character and her journey from these experiences,” she said.
“Those few months in 1999 were enough to be fascinated by Kolkata. It is a very powerful city and hits all your senses. Along with the worker's union culture and politics, it has beauty and poverty,” says the bestselling author of ‘Almost Single'.
Describing Kolkata as a great city where one could stay alone, she says people come and leave like the tide.
Describing Vidya as the hero of her film, she says she always wanted ‘The Dirty Picture' star to play the lead.
“In my mind I was always thinking of Vidya while writing the story and so I retained her real name as the name of the protagonist in the film,” says the author who has not seen the final cuts yet.
Pointing out to her debut novel ‘Almost Single' which made her a ‘chick-lit' star, Advaita says in all her work, there is an element of personal life involved.
“The protagonist there was a young, modern and independent woman working at a luxury hotel. I too have been associated with the hospitality industry for long,” she says.
Directed and produced by Sujoy Ghosh, ‘Kahaani' also explores the darker underbelly of the city. Advaita added, “Kolkata can be an alien and a strange place for outsiders. With trade union culture and a heavily-politicised environment there is an underlying hostility in the city. You face some resistance.” ‘Kahaani' will soon be published in the form of a novel later in the year.
“Once I started writing, I realised that it can be a novel too. So the book will also be coming out in the next few months,” she says.
Advaita has also written the screenplay for the Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra starrer ‘Anjaana Anjaani'.