More than a year ago, Sanjay Leela Bhansali had met Abhishek Bachchan to play the poet Sahir Ludhianvi. They had a productive meeting and Bhansali told close friends that Abhishek Bachchan was the actor he had in mind for the part. However sources close to Abhishek say, there has been no further talk on the project or the character after the initial discussions.
Says a source close to Abhishek, “Abhishek has spent a lot of time preparing for the part. But he hasn’t really heard from Mr Bhansali recently. So he doesn’t know whether the director has changed his mind.”
Perhaps some clarity on the matter would be useful? In the meanwhile rumours of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan being cast as Sahir Ludhianvi’s muse Amrita Pritam have no basis in truth. Says a source close to the project, “Bhansali wanted to cast Priyanka Chopra as Amrita Pritam . He had discussions with Priyanka about the part. But if Bhansali casts Priyanka as Amrita Pritam he can’t cast Abhishek Bachchan as Sahir Ludhianvi. Abhishek and Priyanka don’t work together after Rohan Sippy’s Bluff Master in 2005.”
For those who came in late, Sahir Ludhianvi was one of the most prominent and influential poet-lyricist of the 1950s and 60s who changed the way poetry was used in Hindi films songs. Some of his immortal lyrics are 'Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai' (Pyasa), 'Chalo ek baar phir se ajbnabee ban jayen' (Gumraah), 'Mere dil mein aaj kya hai' (Daag), 'Aurat ne janam diya mardoon ko' (Sadhana) and 'Main pal do pal ka shayar hoon' (Kabhie Kabhie).
The talk about Sahir Ludhianvi’s biopic has been doing the rounds for a while now, with different actors’ names doing the rounds. Abhishek was last seen in Anurag Kashayap’s Manmarziyaan where his performance was appreciated. Then his movie with wife Aishwarya titled Gulab Jamun got shelved. Sanjay Leela Bhansali is now busy with Inshallah starring Salman Khan and Alia Bhatt.