Bollywood Hungama
Last Updated 17.08.2019 | 3:20 PM IST



“Mahabharat greatly influences my writings” – Salim Khan

In what could be perceived as Salim Khan’s concerted move back towards active script-writing, the renowned writer has hopped on-board as the creative consultant on the marathon Mahabharat serial which has been on air on Star Plus since Septeember 2013.

Apparently Salim Saab, a Muslim thinker-writer married to a Hindu, knows the Mahabharat and its characters better than anyone else in the entertainment business. The serial’s creative head and director Siddharth Kumar Tiwari spends a couple of hours every morning with Salim Saab to get a hang of the Mahabharat.

When contacted Salim Saab admitted he was indeed on board as the serialized Mahabharat‘s resident consultant. “Yes, I am indeed on board as the consultant for Mahabharat. And it speaks volumes for the spirit of national integration in this country that when the Mahabharat directed by B R Chopra was televised in 1988 then too a Muslim Dr Rahi Masoom Reza Saab was on board. He had done a wonderful job. I hope people say the same about my interpretation of the Mahabharat.”

When the makers of the new Mahabharat needed an expert on board they went to ‘Bharat‘ Manoj Kumar first.

Says Salim Saab, “Manoj Kumar told them to come to me. He said there is no man in the entertainment industry who knows the Mahabharat as well as me. I am not going to dispute that. I’ve not only read studied the Mahabharat closely I’ve also read extensively on it.”

Adds Salim Saab, “I firmly believe that no better screenplay than the Mahabharat has ever been written. The Mahabharat greatly influences my writings. The human weaknesses, social issues, the characters’ dynamics and the dramatic tension in my writing are derived from the Mahabharat. To take two examples, the 786 billa in Deewaar and the coin in Sholay both had their antecedents in the Mahabharat where certain leitmotifs run through the drama. I’d like to consider myself a reasonable authority on the Mahabharat. I’ve not so far met anyone who knows about it better than I do. However I am willing to concede that person’s superior knowledge of the epic if and when I meet him.”

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