Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIPS & HOW TO MAKE THEM WORK: Salman Rushdie & Deepa Mehta's Camaraderie works wonders

Shriya Saran in Midnights Children

Salman Rushdie has been making news with his

typical tongue in cheek wit. Here to release his film ‘Midnights Children’, I was keen to hear his views on myriad issues blazing the media. What took me by surprise was the offbeat topic he spent much time discussing- his interesting insight into partnerships and working together, handling the sometimes conflicting ideas that partners run into when working together. Salman spoke at length about his collaboration with Deepa Mehta while making the film, and it struck me as an important insight in an environment where business partnerships are growing and new partnership opportunities enter a globalizing India.

Salman and Deepa’s camaraderie came across when they discussed their latest project ‘Midnights Children’ so enthusiastically. Quite obviously they’d had a blast doing the screenplay from Salman’s book for the film and translating a difficult subject into celluloid. And he elucidated as much. In fact I don't believe I’m being facetious when I say that he was also somewhat surprised himself at how wonderfully they’d worked together for a long span of over a year.

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Shriya Saran in Midnights Children
A partnership, especially when a creative collaboration happens, can be very tumultuous. People with different views, backgrounds, perceptions, decisions, hormones, can spell high drama. And yet here was a highly controversial author working with an opinionated director . And came out of it friends.

“Even to my surprise it was an easy collaboration. The thing is when you partner at work you can't molly coddle each other, you have to speak directly. And then novelists don't like collaborating. You have to be able to speak plainly through the long difficult journey, to be able to say unpleasant things. I had always believed that to work together is difficult. It was then incredible that we did it without bad tempers and yelling. I had been worried that two people like us sitting together can confuse the actors. I thought only the Cohen brothers who did it knew how. But we got along even in the cutting room” says Salman with a twinkle in  his eye , to which Deepa adds “We created an incredible screenplay together, off we went, did recees, found places, created the vision after extensive workshops”

So how do two people put their heads together in a working partnership to create an advantage? 
Salman cites the collaboration with an answer to my question “Deepa does not thwart the instinct of a partner. After the workshop, if I felt a particular way then we discussed it and did it with inputs by both of us” to which Deepa adds, “I don't like to control people in a working relationship, I leave them to unfurl their creativity”.

Working in a partnership is actually very advantageous where all the stress is shared with each other. It is also exciting to have another person to discuss ideas with, to do part of the work if you are tired, a person whom you can brainstorm with if you are unsure or should you  need a sounding board.  

The best way to nurture resentment is to be dismissive. It fractures a partnership when you break communication. In stressful situations it is best to keep voices down and breathe. Count to ten in stressful situations. People with different points of view, different backgrounds, and different work styles need

to respect each other, be able to give a patient hearing to the other point of view without just obdurately believing that they and only they know best.

Nisha JamVwal

Nisha JamVwal's official Twitter Page @nishjamvwal

Nisha is a Luxury consultant and a celebrity lifestyle columnist

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