While the films he listed include Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, and Kannada, what has caught people’s attention the most is Kamal’s note about Mahanadi, a film that he wrote and acted in.
The 1994 film was about a man who is caught in a conspiracy and goes to prison. His daughter is kidnapped and sold into sex work.
Kamal shared a very personal experience: “I have never spoken of what prompted me to write Mahanadi. Now my daughters are old enough to understand the ways of this world I can …I guess. My household help, all of them, conspired to kidnap my daughter for ransom.”
“They even did a dry run. By accident, I discovered their plan. I was angry, unnerved and ready to kill for my baby’s safety. But I saw the sense in time. I was to write a new script and I kept delaying it for a month. Later when I sat down to write, the script wrote itself ….maybe assisted by my fear, apprehension, and paranoia,” he concluded.
The films cut across genres and while you see some usual suspects like the classics Mayabazar, Sholay, Parasakthi, Chemeen and Kagaz Ke Phool, there are also some surprises like Aamir Khan’s Dangal.