Rachana Dubey (BOMBAY TIMES; July 18, 2017)

It's sheer destiny that made director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari zero in on the subject of her next outing, Bareilly Ki Barfi, which is produced by Junglee Pictures.

On her way back to Mumbai from the final schedule of her directorial debut, Nil Battey Sannata, she was whiling away time at a bookstore at Delhi's international airport. Out of idle curiosity, Ashwiny picked up the English translation of a French book, titled The Ingredients Of Love. And that was it -she was totally hooked and taken in by the story. In a matter of days, she not only completed the book, but also ensured that her husband, writer-film maker Nitesh Tiwari (of Dangal fame) reads it.

Ashwiny recalls, “I was tired, but I couldn't put the book down. I even made Nitesh read it and he agreed that the basic story could become the theme for a film.“ She adds, “I was so excited, I even told my producers, Abhay Chopra and Guno Chopra (late filmmaker BR Chopra's grandsons) about the story immediately. They put in a lot of effort to contact the publishers in France and procure the rights to the book.“

Bareilly Ki Barfi, which stars Ayushmann Khurrana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkummar Rao, sees Ashwiny and her husband team up as director and writer for the second time after Nil Battey Sannata. Nitesh, who adapted the book into the script, has changed the setting of the story from France to Uttar Pradesh.

He says, “It's difficult to adapt any book into a film. The French settings are alien to us, so we've only retained the basic theme and infused our own colours, quirks and characters into the story. The parents, friends and lovers, their professions and their basic habits have all been adapted to our culture. I got time to work on the script because Ashwiny was caught up with the post-production of her first film. I just hope that the audience likes my first tryst with breezy cinema.“

When asked if the couple was under pressure to deliver, given that their previous films last year were individually appreciated, Ashwiny admits, “I'd be lying if I said no. I don't want people to say, 'Yeh kyun kiya!' Though Nitesh is a harsh critic and has not been too critical in his views so far, I'm still anxious about what the audience would think. I hope I have done justice to his writing. The team was excited at the very thought that Nitesh was writing it.“