22-year-old Shaheen Bhatt, an Arts graduate says she had always known that she wanted to write but her ultimate aim is to direct. "Jism 2 happened by chance. Dad was working on the script and I said I wanted to write too. It's been a phenomenal experience working with dad. He's extremely inspiring to work with. I had thought working with a veteran like him would pose problems and he might have ego issues but he's really open to whatever ideas I have. We will finish writing the screenplay by the end of May."
So what happens when there is a conflict between her (a voice of today) and her dad's voice of experience? She laughs, "When dad and I have a clash of opinions we yell for three minutes back and forth. Ultimately, if he thinks I am right, we do it my way and if he can convince me that he's right, we do it his way. We respect each other's views and give each other lots of space. Dad has been really supportive.
It could have been very intimidating working with someone as experienced as dad but in reality, he's the easiest person to work at."
She isn't worried about being accused of trailing in Pooja's path of being a writer, and then director, "I am sure there will be comparisons too but it doesn't really matter. We are both very similar and yet different in many ways. People shouldn't take these things so seriously."
Papa Kehta Hain...
Mahesh Bhatt adds, "Each creative person chooses an entry point to get an hands-on experience. Shaheen wanted to try her hand at scripting first. She wants to experience her journey on paper to screen. She has been writing with me for the last three years -- helping me write my column and books, but this is the first time that Shaheen expressed a desire to write a screenplay."
Bhatt adds that having a younger person writing with him has generated the excitement in him. "It's an humbling and learning experience and also keeps me on my toes. One's ideas have to be shaped by young consumers and Shaheen guiding, daring and challenging my old ideas and smashing them into something new and interesting has been a most exciting process. There's a kind of mutual respect when we are working together. I don't patronise her because she's too young. All work of art comes from strong emotional impulses and that is the foundation of Jism 2."