Shoojit Sircar is one of the few contemporary filmmakers who have blended off-beat and commercial cinema so seamlessly. On the day of Piku’s release, we decide to pick his brain on all things candid.

What’s keeping you busy these days?
I am currently busy with a film about football. I have really enjoyed scripting it.

What is your biggest regret?
That I was not born in the time of Satyajit Ray. I would have really loved to assist him, watch him work, and observe him handle actors, cameras and music. His works form my bible, and my greatest regret will always be that I could never meet him.

What is your biggest achievement?
That I started my career in theatre. Being actively involved in the process of staging a play with no money and only passion made me the man I am. Whatever I am today, I credit to my theatre days at Act One, a theatre group based in Delhi, run by my mentor NK Sharma.

What is the one thing every man should know about women?
That they are calmer and smarter than us.

What do you desire?
A machine that immediately turns my scripts into films, just the way I envision them.

Which recent film do you wish you had made?
Nebraska (directed by Alexander Payne).

What are you searching for?
Peace.

What one experience changed your life?
When my film Shoebite (starring Amitabh Bachchan) did not release, I was disillusioned, disheartened, and shattered. But, I continued with my work (making TV commercials), and, soon, Vicky Donor released, followed by Madras Café. That period taught me not to hold on to things; to move on. Life has much more to offer.

Which is your favourite place on earth?
Kolkata.

What irritates you most about people?
When somebody calls me ‘Bro’.

One skill every man should possess?
Honesty.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My wife, Jhuma.

Which word or phrase do you overuse?
Laabhly (lovely).

If you could live someone else’s life for a day, whose would it be?
Mahatma Gandhi’s.

What makes you happy?
Spending time with my family and writing with my good friend and writer Juhi Chaturvedi.