For writer Juhi Chaturvedi, the past three years have been all about October. The Shoojit Sircar directorial that finally hits the theatres tomorrow is the story of 21-year-old Danish Wallia (Varun Dhawan) who falls in love with Shiuli (Banita Sandhu) in the most unusual way. But for Juhi, the three years have been like a cleansing process, “It has been a long journey but October is the kind of film that offers you to declutter all the other things that are going on in your life. As the focus was so specifically on the purity and simplicity of this character, Dan.”
Ask Juhi what is so special about Dan and she said, “If there is something called unconditional love, something called surrender, something called ‘purity of emotions,’ like when you do things knowing that there is nothing you are going to get in return, Dan is the kind of character who will force you to believe in that kind of love.”
In its promotional videos, October has been billed as a story about love and not a love story. But Juhi maintains that the expression is not about claiming ‘Oh it’s so different and nobody has ever done it,’ rather it is about the special way in which the film touches their hearts. “It is probably my and Shoojit’s vision of romance and our expression of how love should be. But everyone is entitled to have their own,” Juhi told indianexpress.com.
Juhi further revealed how the story for October came into being. “During Piku, Shoojit told me that he wanted to make a film about relationships. But it couldn’t be your regular run-of-the-mill love story. You see the kind of intensity and purity that Dan has in the trailer, that was actually my brief, the kind of completely unconditional love. And on that note, I started thinking of the story. But a lot of things have definitely come out from my own experiences, from Shoojit’s own experiences. That is almost always the case with me, you know, when I am writing a film, I borrow from my life incidents,” she remarked.
Juhi’s previous work which includes films like Vicky Donor and Piku is privy to the fact that the writer knows how to portray well-rounded characters who feel like real people with their own set of emotions and problems. Juhi reveals how she has always had a particular relationship with her characters and their names. In October too, while Danish’s ‘innocent and pure love’ was something that was set out straight from the get-go, the shaping of Banita’s character was something that made her struggle a little.
And for Juhi, the name ‘Shiuli’ was so special that till she didn’t get the name, the film’s story didn’t move for her. After all, Shiuli is not the kind of name that we come across in everyday life. She said, “For two months, I was struggling. I didn’t know who this girl was and whatever I was writing, it just didn’t connect. But the moment ‘Shiuli’ came, I called up Shoojit and told him I got the film now and he just laughed. So, even a name sometimes plays such a critical role that it helps me shape up the whole film a lot more beautifully.”
“I think that the path we set out for ourselves in the beginning, this is what Dan is. Within that space the purity we were seeking, I think I achieved that in my writing. And when the film happened, it just made it even more magical,” said Juhi before signing off.