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Ananth Mahadevan on ‘Laapataa Ladies’ plagiarism: ‘It cannot be a coincidence’ – Times of India



Months after raising plagiarism allegations against the makers of ‘Laapataa Ladies,’ Ananth Mahadevan has opened up about the controversy, expressing doubts about the originality of the Kiran Rao directorial. Mahadevan claims the film’s premise bears a striking resemblance to his debut directorial venture, ‘Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol’ (1999). However, he maintained that he does not believe either Kiran Rao or producer Aamir Khan were aware of the alleged copying.
‘Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol ‘, made for Channel 9 from Australia and telecast on DD Metro, featured a unique storyline about brides getting mixed up at a railway station. Mahadevan stated, “A premise like brides getting mixed up at a railway station… It cannot be a coincidence. I was very amused, frankly, because we are all colleagues here, whether it’s Aamir or Kiran. We’ve all worked together. I was also flattered that they actually wanted to think about this (story).”
In a conversation with director Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri on his YouTube channel I Am Buddha, Mahadevan noted that while the initial portions of both movies are similar, ‘Laapataa Ladies’ diverges to focus on women’s freedom and their fight for rights. He suggested that the film’s writer might not have intentionally copied the story and that Aamir and Kiran might not have been aware of the resemblance.
Reflecting on how he conceived the idea for ‘Ghunghat Ke Pat Khol,’ Mahadevan credited veteran character actor Satyen Kappu. He said that they were sitting with Farooq Sheikh and shooting for Chamatkar. During a break, Satyen said, ‘After our marriage, my wife was wearing a veil. Since I had to immediately leave for a shoot, I took her along and sat her down at a bus station. Then I went to check the bus timing. When I returned, my wife was missing. When I looked around, I saw her walking away with the porter who was carrying my trunk. So, she thought it was me.’
Hearing this, Farooq Sheikh saab said there’s a story in this. It was absolutely novel. “So, we started writing,” Mahadevan recalled.
Despite the controversy, Mahadevan laughed off the matter, though he noted it would have been nice if the ‘Laapataa Ladies’ writer had acknowledged inspiration from his film, if that were the case.

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