The reclusive media-shy filmmaker Shaad Ali who rose to fame with Saathiya his remake of Mani Ratnam’s Tamil Alai Payuthe has come a long way.
Ask him if he is exhausted by his journey that has now taken him into the world of hockey player Sandeep Singh , and Shaad protests, “It’s been quite a journey . yes. I wasn’t supposed to make a film on sandeep Singh. I was toying with the idea of doing a film on my grandmother the legendary freedom fighter and activist Lakshmi Sahgal who passed away in 2012.I was deeply attached to her.I’ve already put together a documentary on her life. I want to do feature film based on my Naani’s relationship with my Naana(Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal).”
Shaad can’t get over his awe for his grandmother. “He was indeed grand. My Naani had an astounding political career. She was part of the Indian National Army during the Freedom Movement and was closely affiliated withSubhas Chandra Bose.My film would explore her political history in some detail.My Naana was from Punjab. MyNaani was from Tamil Nadu. They came together during World War 2 . They fought and they loved together , and they made a life together.It’s an amazing love story.It was the coming together of not just two individuals but two political ideologies and cultures.”
Shaad wants to make this bio-pic on an epic level. “It is my debt to my grandmother that I must fulfil. Doing a bio-pic on Sandeep Singh in Soorma was a kind of warming-up for me. I know I can now pull off a true-life story without faking the emotions.”