• Publication date: April 14, 2011

SHABD SHABD

Shaukat Vashisth (Sanjay Dutt) is a popular Indian writer whose debut novel, penned ...

Shaukat Vashisth (Sanjay Dutt) is a popular Indian writer whose debut novel, penned in English, sold millions of copies around the world. Audiences were understandably anxious for his next project, but upon its release readers and critics alike scoffed at it. Many had complained that the story was far too unreal, complicated to read, or just too uninteresting. Shaukat subsequently succumbed to depression and did not write a single word for the next two years. His wife Antara, a schoolteacher, relentlessly encouraged Vashisth to continue writing. The author slowly accepted her advice; Shaukat decided that his next work should use the real-life experiences of others as its basis. One of his first research subjects was the family's housemaid, Rajni (Sadiya Siddiqui). While she provided the author with plenty of potential material, none of its was particularly captivating. Vashisth's next idea was certainly unconventional, even if questionably sane. For months Shaukat observed his wife's younger teaching colleague, Yash (Zayed Khan) go gaga for Antara without her realization. Shaukat at last brought Yash's crush to Antara's attention, not because of jealousy, but due to curiosity. Vashisth decided that encouraging his wife to experience the companionship of another man and its psychological consequences provided the ultimate source material for a new work. For the first time in two years he is invigorated and ready to create. Antara is ambivalent about the idea, but nevertheless accepts her husband's request to please him. In the beginning of her affair with Yash she is emotionally unattached, though as the teacher expresses his genuine love for Antara, she begins to fall for him. Strangely, Shaukat is unfazed by the affair as it becomes more serious, deluded into believing that the words he types dictate how Yash and Antara's relationship develops. Each page that the novelist writes generates more enthusiasm, and subsequently more delusional behavior as fantasy and reality become inseparable in the author's mind.