Shooting star

Zeishan Quadri has made an arduous journey from Jharkhand to Mumbai and tried his hand at everything from script-writing to production and even directing a film

  • Published 15.11.15

All the important turning points of my life are professional. When I moved out of Jharkhand in 2003, I was suddenly exposed to what the world beyond was like — the immense possibilities as well as opportunities that existed. I had gone to Meerut to do my BA and I realised there that I was a bit of a frog in a well.

Till then I had only known the world as it was in Wasseypur with its gang fights. I saw that outside my birthplace there was growth, development, love and progress. And this was an eye-opener. It also gave me the perspective to later write Gangs of Wasseypur — as I realised that the place and the activities there were unusual.

I had joined a BPO in Delhi in 2007 and was working with HCL when the recession struck in 2008. I was forced to leave my job and I made my way to Mumbai. I had made up my mind that I would try my luck in India’s commercial capital, whether I worked in the Hindi film industry or even in a regular office.

After I wrote the Gangs of Wasseypur script, I zeroed in on four directors who I wanted to show it to — Anurag Kashyap who finally directed the movie was one of them. The script was 140 pages long — most film scripts are only about 40 pages. But Anurag Sir, whom I met on May 30, 2009, loved the movie so much that he decided to shoot it in two parts. And that is why we had Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2. The film was received really well at Cannes. Meeting Anurag Sir and him agreeing to direct the movie certainly was a huge turning point in my life.

More recently, in 2013, I formed a production house called Friday to Friday. I did this to help my friend Rohit Khaitan the producer for the movie Prague, for which he could not find distributors. The new production house distributed the film and Khaitan was kind enough to add my name as associate producer in the movie’s credits. Starting the production house also exposed me to the other side of the movie making business.

Friday to Friday also gave me the impetus that I needed to direct a movie. Meeruthiya Gangsters was released this year and was appreciated by many movie critics. It has certainly given me a lot of confidence. After watching the movie, Anurag sir has asked me to start writing the script for Gangs of Wasseypur 3. I am back with the same team that I started out with. The movie certainly has been an important milestone for me.

(As told to Saimi Sattar)