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Had to go to the depths of my own pain to write this story: Shonali Bose on The Sky Is Pink

In a Facebook post in July this year, the filmmaker had shared how the upcoming film has a personal connection for her.

Photo: Instagram/@priyankachopra

Sonal Pandya

Writer-director Shonali Bose's The Sky Is Pink went on the floors today (8 August) in Mumbai. The family drama, based on the life of Aisha Chaudhary, has a personal connection for the filmmaker. She revealed how the late teenager and author was eager to see Bose's previous film, Margarita With A Straw (2015), but unfortunately, the young woman passed away before it was released.

In a Facebook post from late July, Bose shared how Aisha's parents, Aditi and Naren, reached out to her a couple of years ago.  

"In January 2015, 18-year-old Aisha Chaudhary watched the trailer of Margarita With A Straw thirty times and told her parents — I hope I live to see this film. She said that because she knew she had only a short time left on Earth. Unfortunately, she died before it released. Her parents — Aditi and Niren Chaudhary — watched the film when it released. They loved it and tracked me down in LA [Los Angeles] and said they only wanted one filmmaker in the world to tell this story and that was me. Not only because my film was Aisha’s dying wish but because I had lost a child too. Their own son’s name is also Ishan. I felt my spine tingle and knew the Universe was calling out to me. I had to go to the depths of my own pain and euphoria about death and write this story."

The filmmaker's son, Ishan, passed away in 2010 and the Chaudhary's other child is also named Ishan. Bose went on to say that The Sky Is Pink is her late son's blessing as well as Aisha's. She received a text from producer Siddharth Roy Kapur about actress Priyanka Chopra wanting to meet her for the project on his birthday.

"This year on my Ishan’s birthday (his 24th — 8 years after his death) I woke up to a message from my wonderful producer Sid — saying that PC [Priyanka Chopra] wanted to meet me in NY [New York]. I was in LA with Viv. Ishan, as you know, always gifts me on his and my birthday and his death-day. The text coming on his birthday was an out and out gift from him. This film has his blessing," she wrote.

Bose's sister Mimi also passed away as The Sky Is Pink was in pre-production, assembling the look tests for each character. "Making the film from this place of loss and love is powerful," she wrote.

A few days ago, at an event in New Delhi, Chopra said at an interactive session about the upcoming film, "It's an incredible movie of dealing with death, grief and at the same time, making it a celebration of a person's life, instead of being bogged down by it."

Bose also revealed that the film's title might be changed to another in Hindi. The Sky Is Pink is expected to be released in the first half of 2019.

She ended the post with a beautiful line from the film, "As the mother tells her young son Ishaan in the film — 'The sky can be any color you want it to be. You make your own sky. Mine is iridescent with so many of my loved ones lighting it up'."