Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari's debut novel 'Mapping Love', who has made a name for herself in the film industry by directing women-centric films like 'Nil Battey Sannata', 'Bareilly Ki Barfi', 'Panga', was recently published. Excerpts from Smita Srivastava's conversation with Ashwini on novels, upcoming web series, and other issues...
How did the novel 'Mapping Love' start?
'Mapping Love' started three years ago. When the corona epidemic started last year, I thought that now if I have to stay at home, then I will end it. Started writing every day. I realized that if you work with discipline, that work gets completed.
You travel a lot and write a diary. Did those experiences also help you write this novel?
When I travel, I don't write a diary. But yes, 'Mapping Love' was with me wherever I went to stay connected to my characters and story. In that, I used to continue my story. Coming home, she used to write on her laptop.
Are you planning to make a film about this story?
If a producer friend likes it, I will direct it, but I will not write the screenplay for it. I will write the screenplay the way the book is written because of my association with the novel, so will stay away from it. Well, writing a book and writing a screenplay are two different things. I haven't thought of making a film on it yet.
How much freedom is there in writing fiction novels compared to making up stories for movies?
I feel like you live in loneliness between you and your book. You create and write your timeline. No one tells you whether it should be like this or that. Writing a novel and making a film are two different processes. The responsibility of the book rests entirely on your shoulders. There are a lot of people in films who are your partners, they all carry the weight of your story.
What is special about 'Love Mapping' for today's youth that they will read and connect with?
It seems to me that this book can be important for today's generation. In both cases building a relationship and giving an apology. We often take relationships lightly. Some things are not forgotten, but when you forget things and start the relationship again, it is forgiveness that brings you stagnation. That will be the biggest lesson to be learned from this book.
Bringing 'Fadoo' web show on OTT. What things are ready to tear?
(smiling) 'Phadu' is very different from my previous work. This is a mail-centric story. I am telling this separately because female-centric is happening a lot these days. Directing a web series is quite different from directing a film. It will be a different kind of challenge and I love challenges.
AAP is making a documentary drama on Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi and a film on Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and his wife Sudha Murthy. Do you like the biopic?
There are so many good people around us who have done so many good things that they are our inspiration. It is very important to share their journey. By the way, writing a biography is very difficult, because you have to tell their story to the whole world. We are telling such stories which will be very inspirational for the people of the country and the world in the future. Be it Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi's win at Wimbledon or Narayana Murthy and Sudha Murthy, they are our inspiration.
You are going to direct with your husband Nitesh Tiwari for the first time...
We both know our strengths. We work as a team. No one is big or small. We are working together just as we work with any of our partners.