Trisha Das Photograph:( WION Web Team )
National Award winning documentary filmmaker Trisha Das to WION on her book 'Ms Draupadi Kuru' being made into a film and her ultimate love for books.
While there hasn't been an official confirmation, National Award winning documentary filmmaker Trisha Das' book 'Ms Draupadi Kuru' is in the pipeline to get a feature adaptation and she's waiting anxiously for it to materialise. Opening up about what's keeping this young author cum filmmaker busy during the pandemic, Trisha Das, sister to popular comedian Vir Das is happy making stories for those who want to read.
WION: How do you feel about your book being adapted into a feature?
Trisha: Nothing is final yet so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Ms. Draupadi Kuru and The Misters Kuru both lend themselves very well to the screen and obviously, a lot of people are invested in these characters, including me. Meanwhile, I’m focusing on the release of The Misters Kuru, a sequel that’s been long due and so far I am very happy to see rave reviews.
WION: What was the thought process behind this book that is based in mythology and yet reads to the present audience?
Trisha: Ms Draupadi Kuru, the first book in the duo, was released in 2016 after I spent five years writing it. I’ve always loved mythology. However, I was always irritated at the treatment of women in mythological stories. I thought about what it’d be like if the same women were given a shot at another life, one set in the modern world, with all the opportunities and challenges that come with it. If they were given choices, instead of being told what to do. Once I plotted a story about the women – Draupadi, Kunti, Gandhari, and Amba – I started thinking about the men, specifically the Pandavas, and wondering what kind of choices they’d make if they were given a second chance as well. That’s how I came to write the books.
WION: Did you ever fear getting slammed for your take on mythology?
Trisha: I did get slammed, by people who hadn’t read the book. All kinds of vile things were posted online. However, my readers understood that the books come out of a place of love for the Mahabharata – they’re basically a kind of fan-fiction. I’m not trying to slander these characters, I’m trying to reinvent them, make them relevant to a younger crowd.
WION: How difficult is it to write mythology fiction without hurting sentiments of people?
Trisha: It’s almost impossible to avoid hurting people’s sentiments, irrespective of what you write or create as an artist. With mythological fiction, people are obviously very familiar with the details and the characters so it makes it doubly hard. That said, there are also people out there who are tired of rehashed mythology and want to see something fresh and different. I’ve heard some amazing stories from my readers – a young reader whose first introduction to the Mahabharata came from Ms. Draupadi Kuru, another reader who read the books while in hospital and they helped her with a difficult time in life. So there is a lot more good than bad and it’s worth it for that.
WION: What are you busy with during the pandemic?
Trisha: I’ve been walking a lot. It’s almost funny how much of an appreciation I’ve developed for fresh air. Other than that, I’ve been busy with family and writing. It’s been a difficult time obviously, especially for a lot of our extended family and friends. Writing has always been a form of therapy and it’s helped me maintain my mental health this last year and a half.
WION: Any future projects you'd like to discuss
Trisha: I’m working on two novels right now. One is an alternate history novel where I re-imagine hundreds of years of Indian history and the other is a romantic comedy set in Delhi. I decided to write the rom-com because I felt I needed something happy, light, and heart-warming to help cope with all the gloom and doom around us. I know many of my readers feel the same way.