Posted by Fenil Seta
The Nobel laureate is the subject of the actress’s Bengali-Marathi bi-lingual which rolls in October
Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; May 9, 2017)
After Bam Bam Bol Raha Hai Kashi in Bhojpuri, Ventilator in Marathi (which bagged the National Awards for Best Director, Best Editing and Best Sound-Mixing), Sarvann in Punjabi, the yet-to-release Sikkimese film, Pahuna and Goan film, Little Joe, actress-producer-singer, Priyanka Chopra, is now rolling with a Bengali-Marathi bi-lingual, Nalini, which will also be dubbed in Hindi.
The period-romance recreates Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s real life romance. In 1878, when he was 17 and staying with Dr Atmaram Pandurang Turkhud at his Mumbai-home, Tagore fell in love with his 20-year-olddaughter, Annapurna. She had just returned from England and since she was conversant with English etiquette and the language, she became his tutor. As the classes progressed, an intimacy developed between the teacher and her young student. On Annapurna’s insistence, he gave her the name Nalini, and immortalised her in a poem he wrote for her and set to music too. However, Tagore’s father did not approve of his lady love and the liason ended. In 1880, Annapurna married a Scot, Harold Littledale, and the couple left for England.
“It was a platonic love story and the film will narrate it from the point of view of a young student, who visits modern-day Santiniketan and sees a picture of Annapurna captioned ‘Nalini’,” says National Award winning director Ujjwal Chatterjee, whose wife Sagarika has written the film. “Casting is in progress and the film is expected to go on the floors by October.”
Nalini was initially supposed to be titled Sound of Silence after the Simon and Garfunkel’s classic. Sagarika reveals that they had started writing the film in 2011 and it was expected to be a larger story with Tagore’s first love as only a part of the narrative. “But when we met Madhu Chopra (Priyanka’s producer mother) around two years ago, they wanted to know how much of the story was factually accurate and true. I showed them my research and they agreed to produce the film. It has since materialised into a saga of unrequited love,” Ujjwal informs, while Madhu Chopra adds, “Priyanka wants good stories to reach audiences. Nalini has great potential and is an entertaining subject. We’re happy to be associated with it.”