Jaydeep Sarkar: ‘Ishq Mastana’ inspired by Kabir’s poetry


Screenwriter Jaydeep Sarkar recently directed the short film ‘Ishq Mastana’, part of the anthology series ‘Feels Like Ishq’. The storyline of the film identifies with Sant Kabir’s ideology and poetry.

Starring Tanya Maniktala and Skand Thakur, and set in the milieu of protests, ‘Ishq Mastana’ has received rave reviews.

In an exclusive conversation with IANS, Jaydeep Sarkar shared the reactions of his directorial film, “The response to ‘Ishq Mastana’ has been really overwhelming and lovely. The love that we’re getting from it even today after a month of show releasing is really touching and fulfilling,” said Jaydeep.

“One of the things I’m really moved by is how so many young people are sharing the work of Sant Kabir on social media and discussing it. Even if people have rediscovered Sant Kabir through this film, I feel that it has done its job,” said Jaydeep.

Jaydeep has worked as an assistant with ace filmmakers Anurag Kashyap and Sudhir Mishra. He has been part of Sudhir Mishra’s films ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’ and ‘Daas Dev’.

The director takes inspiration from Sudhir Mishra’s body of work, as his latest film ‘Ishq Mastana’ draws references from Mishra’s ‘Haazaron Khawaishein Aisi’ that was also set in the milieu of student protests.

He said, “Of course, there’s that inspiration because I worked for Sudhir Mishra for many years. ‘Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi’ is set in St Stephen’s College, where I studied.”

“Student activism is common across both films. Both the films are set in two different generations, but there are some things that are constant about students and their engagement with politics and the world they live in. These are themes that had attracted me to Sudhir Mishra’s work because these are the themes of my real life as well. That’s why I was always so grateful to him. There definitely are subliminal overlaps between the films,” he added.

Jaydeep had quite a journey in Hindi films from assisting directors to directing and writing his films. He shared looking at his journey in retrospect.

He said, “I never went to a formal film school. I learned it on the job whether it was working with Anurag Kashyap or Sudhir Mishra. These are the two filmmakers I completely respect and adore. I really look up to them. It was a privilege to work with them,” said Jaydeep who directed the critically acclaimed short film ‘Nayantara’s Necklace’, featuring Konkona Sen Sharma and Tillotama Shome.

“I learned pretty much on the ground. It has been an enriching experience assisting the two stalwarts. They both enable you to find and keep your voice intact. While I’ve learned from them. I’ve been able to hone my craft and present my voice with the sharpness that I keep working on every day,” signed off Jaydeep.