Writing for Bollywood

Timeri N Murari in Nth Position:

The disadvantage of living away from India too long was that I’d not kept an eye on Indian television serials nor heard of Mr Sanjay Khan. So when his office called and announced that Mr Khan wished to speak to me, I was uncertain who he was. He came on the line, a friendly, forceful voice telling me he’d read my novel Taj – a story of mughal India, loved it and wanted to discuss a television serial. Could I come up to Bombay to meet him? As Taj had been published in the UK back in 1985, was a best seller and translated into 10 languages his call was a surprise. (Since then Penguin India reissued the novel in 2004 and it became a best seller again). Of course, I checked out who he was – the producer/actor of the Tippu tele serial, the fire that broke out in the Mysore studios and his near-death experience. In other words, he had a track record though I’d never seen his work. But friends spoke highly of his serials, all made for Doordhasan (DD), the government controlled television channel many years ago when DD was the only television channel on the subcontinent, and you had no alternative.

A Mercedes met me at Bombay airport and whisked me to his Juhu office, Silver Beach…

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