Why are your main characters, be it in Ghalib Danger or your films A Wednesday and Special 26, the ‘good’, bad guys?
I don’t have a specific explanation for this, but I want my characters to be affable. They should be endearing to the reader or the viewer. I want the audience to like them; they should be interesting.
But they are rather black and white, quite contrary to the present trend of portraying protagonists in various shades of grey, where the bad side is not brushed under the carpet?
My idea is to draw an interesting character sketch. My characters are victims of circumstances; they were not born bad. They have become what destiny thrust at them and there is a human side to them as well. But not all my characters are like that. Some of them are rotten to the core, like Yakub in Ghalib Danger. Then there are Munna and Chintu, who have both good and bad sides to them.
The don with a heart of gold—any particular person who was the inspiration behind Kamran?
No, no one in particular. One gets to read and hear about all kinds of stories about the crime world. The inspiration behind the book was a distillation of such stories over the years.
Why did you take to writing a book when you could have made a film instead?
There was this big story in my head and I wanted to express myself completely, without the need for cutting out a lot of the script, as is required in films. So I followed the temptation to tell the whole story.
Will Ghalib Danger be made into a film? And is your next project a book or a film?
I have no plans yet of converting Ghalib Danger into a film, but I am not closed to the idea. My next project is a film and am working on the screenplay right now. It’s very different from Ghalib Danger, but yes, it again has a bad guy with a heart of gold.