R Balki says he wrote Pad Man script while Twinkle Khanna was writing a short inspired by Arunachalam Muruganantham, although they are distinct adaptations
Even as fans await Akshay Kumar’s upcoming biographical drama Pad Man with anticipation, cinephiles continue to harbour the notion that the film is a cinematic adaptation of a leaf off Twinkle Khanna’s latest book. However, director R Balki tells mid-day that he wasn’t abreast with Khanna’s short story on the same subject when she requested him to draft a script for a cinematic outing.
Social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganthanam, who created a low-cost sanitary napkin-making machine, had caught the attention of Khanna. “Twinkle had met Muru [Muruganthanam] and she, along with Akshay, told me that they wanted to make a film on the man,” says Balki. Given that the trio was involved in conversation with Muruganthanam as part of research for the film, Khanna decided to pen her short story for the book The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad, simultaneously.
“So, the book and the script were written at the same time. I didn’t know what Twinkle was writing, and she didn’t interfere with the script. Yes, we were having discussions about the man, but, I hadn’t read the book and she didn’t have a clue about the script. Surprisingly, we both finished writing at the same time.” The exercise, as Balki calls it, made for an interesting observation for Khanna and him. “It is like having two different adaptations of the same man’s life. One was literary, the other, cinematic.”
However, the filmmaker asserts that his script, and hence the film, is also a reflection of Khanna’s vision of the man. “Making a film on this person is an opportunity I didn’t want to miss.”
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