Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has confirmed that she has discussed a screen adaptation of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee’s Bengali novel Devi Chaudhurani with the legendary director Rituparno with whom she has earlier worked in Chokher Bali and Raincoat.
Devi Chaudhurani was first published in 1884 and later translated into English by Subodh Chunder Mitter. It chronicled the revolutionary charge by a woman at a time when most were still behind purdah (veil). Threatened by Devi Chaudhurani’s patriotic fervour that brought more women out on the streets, the British banned the book. The ban was lifted only post-Independence.
Rituparno had reportedly approached Aishwarya for the Hindi-Bengali bilingual when they were filming Chokher Bali and got a nod from her when she was in Kolkata last year to accept a Best Actress award for Raavan.
“My relationship with Rituda goes back a long way. He’s narrated almost every film subject to me. Whenever we meet he says, “‘Bubbu, let’s do it’ and I’m like, ‘Sure’” laughs Aishwarya, pointing out that both, Chokher Bali and Raincoat have bagged National Awards, for Best Feature Film in Bengali and Best Feature Film in Hindi, respectively.