He was an unknown writer- director who roped in acting stalwarts Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher for his debut movie, Wednesday based on the Mumbai train blasts. Opening to positive reviews, the film was a sleeper hit and won Neeraj the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director. For his second film Special 26, based on a real- life jewellery heist he roped in Akshay Kumar to play the conman. Tight and gripping, it won critical acclaim but did not find much favour at the BO. His third outing Total Siyaapa, a cross- border love story with a twist failed to please the critics and the trade. It, however, had better luck overseas. Neeraj who keeps a low profile is producing Saat Ucchakey and has written a novel, Ghalib Danger. Here’s hoping the new- age director comes back with another gripping thriller!