‘The Zoya Factor’ slips out of Shah Rukh Khan’s hands

After three years of no-show, Anuja Chauhan’s 2008 bestseller The Zoya Factor has fallen out of Shah Rukh Khan’s hands and gone to rival producer Manmohan Shetty instead.

The novel about a young Delhi girl’s almost-telepathic affinity to the Indian cricket team was grabbed by Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies. Apparently, at that point of time the novel’s heady mixture of glamour and cricket had appealed to Khan. As a time flew by, the novel remained unused.

And now it has gone to producer Manmohan Shetty’s Walkwater Films. Hopefully, Chauhan’s novel would now be filmed rather than left to hibernate. However, when contacted Manmohan Shetty’s daughter Pooja said they haven’t yet decided what to do with the novel, or how to film it.

Tragically Chauhan’s other bestselling novel The Battle For Bittora seems to be suffering a similar fate. Its filming rights were acquired by Saregama nearly two years ago. But the movie project shows no signs of progress. When contacted Saregama’s CEO Apurv Nagpal informed that the project would now be looked into.

When reminded that Saregama had the movie rights of The Battle For Bittora for only three years Nagpal retorted, “We still have one and a half years.”

Anuja Chauhan must be holding her breath and praying that her two novels don’t suffer the fate of Chetan Bhagat’s two bestsellers 2 States and 3 Mistakes Of My Life. The filming rights of the two novels were bought by Sajid Nadiadwala and UTV, respectively. But no progress was made thereafter.

A tragic state of affairs in an industry that can’t stop moaning about the paucity of good stories and scripts.

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