Director's cut

What Meghna Gulzar learnt from her father Gulzar

The most common question Meghna Gulzar has to field is, ‘What’s it like being the daughter of such famous parents?’ It’s also a subject she is tackling in her new release Talvar, where the tragedy of a daughter’s loss puts the parents in the hot seat. Roles are reversed.

It couldn’t have been easy for Meghna Gulzar to live in the shadow of her celebrity parents. She hopes to change that with Talvar, which has been receiving enthusiastic reviews since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month. Variety called it a ‘well-crafted whodunit and praised Talvar for its Rashomon-style execution of multiple-viewpoint dramaturgy. (Read the review.)

Meghna could finally be coming into her own. But the journey has been long and arduous. She was barely in her twenties when she began assisting her father on the tele-serial Kirdaar. She made two documentaries for Doordarshan on domestic workers and private security agencies, but her work with her father gave her exposure to ‘film material’.

Meghna had her first brush with actual film-making in an episode based on a short story by Urdu writer Rajinder Singh Bedi, titled Rehman Ke Joote. She is credited in one other episode.


Meghna then assisted Gulzar on his films Maachis (1996) and Hu Tu Tu (1999), working on the scripts. Picking the thread of the story’s importance in a script, she broke out to write and direct her own film, Filhaal (2002). The film explored the subject of surrogacy and was considered ahead of its time.


Meghna waited another five years to make a film on a lighter subject. But Just Married (2007) didn’t give her the breather she was hoping for. The same year she also directed a short film as part of the Dus Kahaniyaan anthology, but the well-intentioned short was lost in the hype. However, it helped her form a team with director and music composer Vishal Bhardwaj, who has been a long-time collaborator of Gulzar's.


Meghna remembers the time: ‘Vishal ji was like a great support on this because this subject and the genre are completely unknown to me. He is an accomplished writer. When he watched Dus Kahaniyaan, he was so impressed that he expressed his wish to produce my film and that did happen after 8 years.’

The result of that long wait is Talvar. Meanwhile, she wrote a book on her father, Because He Is…

Speaking of her father’s influence on her work, Meghna wants the message to be loud and clear: she is different from him, although she does value his brevity. ‘Trying to keep it simple and brief is something I learnt from my father.’

The only time Meghna Gulzar could have got away from her famous parents, or, in particular, far from her father’s looming presence, is when, at 15, actor Kamal Hassan asked him for permission to cast Meghna as his heroine. She could have become famous sooner, but perhaps she would never have made Talvar in that case.

Photograph: IANS

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Why should inclusion matter to companies?

It's not just about goodwill - inclusivity is a good business decision.

To reach a 50-50 workplace scenario, policies on diversity need to be paired with a culture of inclusiveness. While diversity brings equal representation in meetings, board rooms, promotions and recruitment, inclusivity helps give voice to the people who might otherwise be marginalized or excluded. Inclusion at workplace can be seen in an environment that values diverse opinions, encourages collaboration and invites people to share their ideas and perspectives. As Verna Myers, a renowned diversity advocate, puts it “Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Creating a sense of belonging for everyone is essential for a company’s success. Let’s look at some of the real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

Better decision making

A whitepaper by Cloverpop, a decision making tool, established a direct link between inclusive decision making and better business performance. The research discovered that teams that followed an inclusive decision-making process made decisions 2X faster with half the meetings and delivered 60% better results. As per Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino, this report highlights how diversity and inclusion are practical tools to improve decision making in companies. According to her, changing the composition of decision making teams to include different perspectives can help individuals overcome biases that affect their decisions.

Higher job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is connected to a workplace environment that values individual ideas and creates a sense of belonging for everyone. A research by Accenture identified 40 factors that influence advancement in the workplace. An empowering work environment where employees have the freedom to be creative, innovative and themselves at work, was identified as a key driver in improving employee advancement to senior levels.


A research by stated the in India, 62% of innovation is driven by employee perceptions of inclusion. The study included responses from 1,500 employees from Australia, China, Germany, India, Mexico and the United States and showed that employees who feel included are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty, suggest new and innovative ways of getting work done.

Competitive Advantage

Shirley Engelmeier, author of ‘Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage’, in her interview with Forbes, talks about the new global business normal. She points out that the rapidly changing customer base with different tastes and preferences need to feel represented by brands. An inclusive environment will future-proof the organisation to cater to the new global consumer language and give it a competitive edge.

An inclusive workplace ensures that no individual is disregarded because of their gender, race, disability, age or other social and cultural factors. Accenture has been a leading voice in advocating equal workplace. Having won several accolades including a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate equality index, Accenture has demonstrated inclusive and diverse practices not only within its organisation but also in business relationships through their Supplier Inclusion and Diversity program.

In a video titled ‘She rises’, Accenture captures the importance of implementing diverse policies and creating an inclusive workplace culture.


To know more about inclusion and diversity, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Accenture and not by the Scroll editorial team.