Filmmakers don`t read Hindi literature anymore: Manu Bhandari

PTI| Updated: Jan 12, 2014, 20:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Noted Hindi writer Manu Bhandari, whose novel `Yahi Sach Hai` was adapted into a movie `Rajnigandha` in 1974, says filmmakers of today do not read Hindi literature anymore.

"The difficulty is that Hindi directors do not read literature. You see directors of Bengali movies, all the Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay-literature has been made into films and many other movies have been made on literature and that is because the filmmakers there read literature," Bhandari said.

The 83-year-old writer said that it was noted filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, who started making films based on Hindi literature.
"Here it was Basu Da who started reading... He first made `Sara Aakash` based on Rajendra`s (Yadav) novel and then read my stories.

"After reading my `Yehi Sach Hai` he (Basu) said `I would make a film on this`, I said `Basu Da it is written in a diary form, it is the story of girl`s inner struggle, how would you make it into visual?` He said `that you leave on me`," Bhandari said.

Chatterjee, known for his middle-class oriented movies and exploring intrinsic human nature, made three movies based on Bhandari`s writings, most notably `Rajnigandha` which won several Filmfare Awards in 1975 including the best movie honour.

Bhandari also praised Chatterjee for the kind of films he helmed and denied that his movies lacked mass appeal.

"Basu Da made different kind of movies, not money-driven, but it was not like his films had low viewership, it was watched and enjoyed by masses," she said.

Bhandari, famed for her novels `Aapki Banti` and `Mahabhoj`, said she never thought that her work would be adapted into movies and telefilms, but is happy that the writing was well adapted on screen.

"I had not written for films, they were adapted from my novels and stories like `Yehi Sach Hai` was written in 1960 on which the movie `Rajnigandha` was made. Later I wrote `Swami`, which too was made into a film," Bhandari said on the sidelines of Bharat Rang Mahotsav, 2014.

"The films were well adapted and earned awards, celebrated silver jubilee. Same happened with telefilms that were made based on the stories I wrote. I had written them for myself, not for visual medium," the writer said.

Bhandari`s latest `Ujali Nagri Chatur Raja` is a humorous-satirical take on contemporary politics.