Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch

The Director & His Muses

- Text by Urvee Modwel Photograph­ed exclusivel­y for by Vidushi Gupta Styled by Avneet Chadha

Meet the girls whose lives inspired Abhishek Kapoor to make a Bollywood love story with a transgende­r character in the lead ing: Twins Reyza and Saher Sahni, 25, and their mum, Simran ,46

Director Abhishek Kapoor, 50, is known to most people as simply ‘Gattu’. Where did that come from? “Guts,” he smirks. ‘Guts’ means courage. And certainly it took courage to make movies like Fitoor, Rock On, Kai Po Che and Kedarnath. Films that weren’t quite the usual Bollywood fare for their time, but which worked just as well.

But behind ‘guts’ there is usually a ‘gut feeling’. And there must have been some gut feeling in action when Abhishek stepped out of character in 2017 and agreed to meet Simran Sahni, a woman from Gurgaon—and a complete stranger—who had flown to Mumbai to pitch an idea that eventually led to the making of the filmmaker’s latest venture, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, his gutsiest movie yet.


Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is a romantic comedy with an unusual twist.

“When I met Simran, I wasn’t taking her very

Watch an exclusive behind the scenes video of this shoot. Scan the QR code below

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“[When scripting], we met a lot of trans people. We decided on a gym arena because that’s where guys work out, it’s all muscle and testostero­ne. And transition­ing is about pushing your testostern­one up, or pushing it down.”

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