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“Maybe it was just two minds thinking the same idea at the same time,” Seema Pahwa On Similarities between Her Film & Pagglait

 The  controversy surrounding the similarities between two recent films Seema Pahwa’s  Ram Prasad Ki Terahvi and and  Umesh Bist’s  Pagglait has now  snowballed  with  Ms Pahwa claiming that Umesh  Bist shot  his film in the same haveli in Lucknow where   Ms Pahwa’s film was  shot.

Umesh Bist in a chat with me  also claims he  has not seen Ram Prasad Ki Terahvi. While commenting on the alleged  similarities  between the two films, Umesh said, “You  are the best judge.I haven’t yet seen the  other  film. You have seen both.”

Sayd  Ms Pahwa ,  “As far as I know they  saw my film at MAMI(the Mumbai  Film Festival). They made their film after mine. They are so much ahead  of me in marketing, etc. Ekta Kapoor is  the producer. She knows  the  business inside  out.They  could  have easily made the changes needed .In fact the  mature thing to do would have been for the two teams to sit together and compare notes, so that there would  have been no embarrassing similarities.”

Ms Pahwa  is  not in the  least angry. “I am just sad  and puzzled. This  whole  episode  could have been avoided.”

The  veteran actress-turned-director  is still willing to  give the other  film the  benefit of  the doubt. “Maybe  it was just two minds thinking the same  idea at  the same time. I know  it sounds far-fetched. But it’s not  impossible. They even  shot in the house that we did. Again it could because they saw that property to be cinema-friendly. Just as  I felt  that the  house lent itself well to my vision, they too must have  felt the same….I don’t know.”

Ms Pahwa pauses  for  pondering  . Then says, “I just want to know why they didn’t make  the necessary changes to avoid  replication  when they had the  time to do. After all we  started shooting long before them. We released months before.  Initially they must have thought their film would turn  out differently although both are  about a joint family during  the 13-day mourning after  a death. But their protagonist is  a young girl and  ours an elderly lady. Unfortunately  the similarities  between the two films don’t end there.”

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