One of the reasons I became a writer was a movie named Shabd, released a few years ago. In it the protagonist is a writer, played by Sanju Baba. And he wins a Booker. That was the starting point of my own Nobel dream. That Baba is declared clinically cuckoo at the end is something I chose to ignore.

Other than this little-known inspirational gem, the writer community has been cruelly neglected in our films. I’m not counting Chetan Bhagat, of course. He’s been played by Aamir Khan, Arjun Kapoor and Sushant Singh Rajput so far, and if rumours are to be believed, is in talks with Meryl Streep to play him in his Hollywood debut.

Here is my tiny attempt to stand up for my “pen pals” and rectify this lack of representation. Given below are 29 quotes from famous films ... with a twist. What if the lead characters had been writers instead of cops, criminals, dockyard workers, bar owners or taxi drivers?

“Tumhara genre kya hai, Basanti?”
Jai/Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay (1975)

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn ... unless it’s an interview you want.”
Rhett Butler/Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (1939)

“Go ahead, review my book.”
Harry Callaghan/Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact (1983)

“Here’s looking at me, kid.”
Rick Blaine/Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)

“I coulda’ had class. I coulda’ been a contender. I coulda’ had a hardcover edition.”
Terry Molloy/Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)

“I see dead people. They won’t buy my book.”
Cole Sear/Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999)

“I want to be alone – i.e., the only writer here.”
Grusinskaya/Greta Garbo in Grand Hotel (1932)

“I will look for you, I will find you, and I will bore you.”
Bryan Mills/Liam Neeson in Taken (2008)

“I wish I knew how to quit me.”
Jack Twist/Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

“I’ll be back ... at the next lit fest.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984)

“I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to stock her book.”
Anna Scott/Julia Roberts in Notting Hill (1999)

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t edit.”
Don Corleone/Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972)

“Life is like a lit fest, Forrest. You never know who you’re going to get as moderator.”
Mrs Gump/Sally Field in Forrest Gump (1994)

“May the Force to pin your editor down be with You.”
Han Solo/Harrison Ford in Star Wars (1977)

“Nobody’s perfect ... till they’ve bought my book.”
Osgood E Fielding III/Joe E Brown in Some Like It Hot (1959)

“Say hello to my little friend – my newest book...”
Tony Montana/Al Pacino in Scarface (1983)

“That was the most fun I’ve ever had without talking about myself.”
Alvy Singer/Woody Allen in Annie Hall (1977)

Love means never having to say you haven’t bought my book.”
Jennifer Cavilleri Barret/Ali MacGraw in Love Story (1970)

“Well, what if there is no tomorrow? Buy my book today.”
Phil Connors/Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (1993)

“Hum itne baat karenge apna book ke barey mein ... ki confuse ho jaoge ki saans kahan se le ... aur paadein kahan se.”
Salman Khan/Chulbul Pandey in Dabangg (2010)

“You had me at ‘hello’. Bought my book?”
Dorothy Boyd/Renée Zellweger in Jerry Maguire (1996)

“Bade bade lit feston mein aisi choti choti baatein hoti rehti hain.”
Raj/Shahrukh Khan in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

“You can’t handle the sales figures!”
Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men (1992)

“I’m King of the World ... until the next review.”
Jack Dawson/Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic (1997)

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Go buy my book, no?”
Travis Bickle/Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver (1976)

"You’re gonna need a bigger boat ... for my ego.”
Brody/Roy Scheider in Jaws (1975)

Vijay: Aaj mere paas paisa hai, bangla hai, gaadi hai, naukar hai, bank balance hai ... aur
tumhare paas kya hai?
Ravi: “Mere paas Right of First Refusal hai!
Amitabh Bachchan/Vijay & Shashi Kapoor/Ravi in Deewar (1975)

“Kitne returns the?”
Amjad Khan/Gabbar Singh in Sholay (1975)

“Writer. Published Writer.”
Sean Connery/James Bond in Dr No (1962)

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli has written two novels (Ice Boys in Bell-Bottoms and Jump Cut) and a play (Dear Anita). If you show him the money, he’s open to thinking it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.