“This industry has such an arrangement, which is uncertain and involves team work. Neither you get the full credit for the success or full blame for the failure ” – Dilip Shukla
Meet Dilip Shukla, a very renowned Indian film writer. His debut film as a writer was the blockbuster Ghayal (1990) and he went on to write the other blockbusters including Damini (1993), Mohra (1994), Elaan (1994), Anth (1994), Ziddi (1997) among others. He is known for writing dialogues for cult film Andaz Apna Apna (1994). He is the writer for famous film series- Dabangg starring Salman Khan as Chulbul Pandey. His 2019 releases include Dabangg 3, as dialogue writer, the third installment of the series.
Q. You are a very successful and renowned screenwriter in Bollywood. You always wanted to write or it just happened. How has been your experience?
I always wanted to do writing. I am from Lucknow and right from the beginning, was passionate for theatre. In Lucknow, I use to write scripts for the theatre and it is very true that I came to Mumbai to become a writer. I had and still having a good journey. As far as experience is concerned, we just think that it is an experience, we never say it is a bad experience. We should learn from it, so I will definitely say it’s been a very good journey.
Q. When did you come to Mumbai and when you got your first film ‘Ghayal’?
I came to Mumbai in 1982 and after 7 years, got Ghayal in 1989. The film released in 1991 and after that I did lot of good movies.
Q. Did your family support your decision initially?
No responsible parent will allow their child to go and make such a career in an uncertain industry, which has very less possibility of making your career. No family will want their kids to go in such a place, but the people who dream, they go and fulfil their dreams.
Q. You have worked in various genres. What do you think is a good film ?
Film should be remembered. Film should teach you something, there should be a film which make you think and learn. There should be a film which makes you laugh. For example, Damini is a movie that stays in your heart and teaches you something. On the other hand, Andaaz Apna Apna is a movie that has a humor and makes you laugh. I like the movies, that my audience likes. There are some movies which are not successful enough but that give you certain experiences and whatever the reason might be, I accept it that somehow the work I did, was not that good . I think, the things that my audience like is a good work.
Q. ‘Dhai Kilo Ka Hath’ from the film Damini . How did this thought came to you or about umpteen superhit dialogues, which you penned?
In this case dialogue is not that big but the place, in the circumstances it has been used in is very big way. I think that it is been used at the right place in the film because when a woman is struggling and nobody is standing for her, people are angry and they want some someone to stand for her. So, when that support comes for her and that is where, this dialogue ‘Dhai Kilo Ka Hath’ has been said. So yes, it has been used at the very correct place.
For example, if you see the dialogue Swagat Nahi Karoge Hamara in Dabangg 2, it is not that epic dialogue, we say it in our regular life. But the place, the character and the scene in which the dialogue has been delivered and by such big celebrity, so it became a hit.
Q. How important is the coordination between the writer and director?
The coordination between a writer and director should be very good and in fact, the coordination should be good not only between the writer and the director, but also, the producer. So, these three people should have a belief of whatever they are doing and the trust on their work is what brings them together and makes the film work.
Also, I think the relationship between a director and writer is like a poem and words. If the words are not in coordination with the thought of the poem, it becomes meaningless.
So, the idea of making a film is all about belief- belief in the director, belief in the writer and belief in the producer.
Q. You have been in the industry for more then 3 decades and have successfully connected with all age group audiences including children, teenagers and adults. What has been your mantra?
I believe in working constantly and I think, the work I am doing today is going to help me learn and grow in future. So automatically, you get focused with your work. The writing should be different from the others and not likely what others are writing and making already. There should always be your style of uniqueness in every story you write. I think about what the audience will like, what is their state of mind and thinking also matters because, if you make a film just thinking about yourself, it does not work. You have to think – what the audience will like.
Q. How do you see this industry. What has been your understanding?
This industry has such an arrangement, which is uncertain and involves team work. Neither you get the full credit for the success or full blame for the failure. This is an industry where you can also get the profit for someone else’s work or will have to go through the blame of someone else’s wrong doing. This is a field where you are constantly struggling. Here it is like everybody knows everything but nobody knows nothing. I think that this career line is very good, but you have to be very patient for that.
Q. What advice would you like to give to budding professionals and people who would like to enter in this industry?
First, not to do what everybody says. Second, don’t go as per the wind goes, do not fall for the time being things. You have to think what will last for long and not for the time being.
Q. What is next from you?
I have thought about this concept for the Doordarshan and I’m working on it. so it is a series, which shall constantly go for three years. The story is about a small village called Lutiyapur, which is a very rural village with very less source of education and resources. The village evolves to a digital village over a period of time. I have named it ‘Lutiyapur 00km’ and is going to be a very fun and exciting ride.
Also, I want to design and understand the web series format. I have worked on ‘Black Gold’ and it’s about the world of opium. And let’s just hope for the best.