Juhi Chaturvedi On The Courage It Took To Pitch Vicky Donor To Shoojit Sircar, Film Companion

First Movers in Film, empowered by Bumble, a social networking app where women make the first move, features women in entertainment who challenge the status quo, rewrite the rules and break stereotypes. Writer Juhi Chaturvedi has arguably given us some of the most poignant, unique and keenly-observed stories of the decade with Vicky DonorPikuOctober and Gulabo Sitabo. She tells us what it’s taken to become one of the most successful screenwriters of Bollywood today.

Edited excerpts of her conversation with Film Companion editor, Anupama Chopra:

Anupama Chopra: Is there a first move that you made in your professional life that enabled you to be where you are today?

Juhi Chaturvedi: Yes, absolutely. I think my strength has been to trust the person in front. For example, you know when Rensil (D’Silva) and Shoojit (Sircar) were doing Shoebite, they needed somebody to write the dialogues and it’s not that I was the first person they came to. The work had already started. They had already given drafts to couple of other writers and for whatever reason they thought that I could give it a try. I never thought, ‘Arre, why should I? Why are they asking me for dialogues? Should I or should I not?’ When someone shows trust in you, I think it’s important to just go with it. My advertising career was quite comfortable. You have a nice job, the salary is taken care of, and then the perks of a multinational company. But if somebody sees something completely out of the box in you, which you have not seen, then trust them. I feel this has been my strength for many other things also.

And after that, picking up the phone and calling Shoojit for Vicky Donor was also himmat ka kaam.

Anupama Chopra: Please tell us about that himmat ka kaam

Juhi Chaturvedi: That call could have gone ‘Okay, thank you. I don’t know you anymore.’ But, you know, you have to trust your instinct, and when there is something right waiting, I feel that it just manifests itself into whatever shape it has to take. Otherwise it was too bizarre an idea for me to think and for him to agree. The very fact that I made that phone call, that himmat definitely changed things. But I would like to say that me sharing that idea and he actually thinking about it took mutual himmat.

Anupama Chopra: What are the first moves that you would advise women to make in their lives so that they can take charge of their lives?

Juhi Chaturvedi: The first move that they must make is to believe that they are complete in themselves. That’s the first step for anything. The first move that you have to make is towards yourself. Instead of looking outwards, look inward and that’s where you exist. You cannot neglect yourself, your health, your everything.

Watch the full episode of First Movers in Film Empowered by Bumble here:

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