Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; March 15, 2017)

Shibani Bathija who has earlier written films like Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and My Name Is Khan, as also Kunal Kohli's Fanaa, is now penning a biopic on Tajamul Islam, the eight-year old Kashmiri girl who had made history last November by winning the gold medal in the sub-junior category at the World Kickboxing Championship held in Italy. The screenwriter met the young athlete and her father, Ghulam Mohammed, in Jammu in February and bought the rights to Tajamul's story.

“I had read about her victory online and was really inspired. The story spans her life from the age of six to eight and will focus on how despite living in the Valley, she trained herself and her family arranged funds to send her to the international competition. I took a ready contract and a cheque along with my dictaphone when I went to meet them,“ informs Shibani, who is in talks with some producers.

Insisting that it's a universal story, she wouldn't like to be pressured into casting an established actor as the father with the producer arguing that it worked for Aamir Khan in Dangal. “I want to collaborate with someone who understands the story and will present it right,“ asserts the scriptwriter, who is scouting for a director as well. She promises that the script will be locked, a partner found and a recce of Tajamul's hometown will be done in the next six months.

Will Tajamul play herself? “She is wonderful but the role spans from six to eight years and the child is already eight. So it would be better to have someone who can justify the age projection,“ reasons Shibani.

Has she reached out to Karan Johar? “I haven't discussed this one with him as yet as he has been busy with other commitments. But I will definitely meet him soon to take his advice and guidance regardless of whether it works out with him or not,“ she says.