I Was Late for Shatranj Ke Khilari, Rues Gulzar

RBN Web Desk: Poet and filmmaker Gulzar has said that he closely missed an opportunity to work with auteur Satyajit Ray in the latter’s Shatranj Ke Khilari. The film is widely considered as Ray’s most ambitious project and comprised several leading Hindi film actors including Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi, Farida Jalal, Faroq Sheikh and others.

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai recently, the Aandhi director said, he heard that Ray was making Shatranj Ke Khilari in 1975 and went to meet him. Gulzar requested Ray whether he could write the script for the film since it had a unique subject. Ray politely turned him down in his rich baritone, and said that he had already committed the script to someone else, Gulzar recalled.

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Gulzar, considered one of the finest filmmakers in India said, this was his second lost opportunity to work with Ray. He had earlier started writing the script for the Hindi version of Goopy Byne Bagha Byne (1969). However, Ray abandoned the project probably after a fallout with the producer, Gulzar said.

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