I know we've read many articles debating Paheli's credentials to be selected for Oscars. but this is the first positive one I found therefore, I am posting it. Palekar, whose Paheli is this year's Indian entry for the Oscars, says many women have told him they wished a ghost would fall for them too! Who said Paheli hasn't been a successful film? It has been more successful than Shah Rukh Khan's other films like Ashok and Swades!" was Amol Palekar's quick rejoinder when asked to comment on the lukewarm response to the film. "Ask any film trade analysts or even Shah Rukh Khan." Paheli, directed by Amol Palekar and starring Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee in the lead, has been selected as the Indian entry in the foreign film category for this year's Oscar Awards. It has come in for a bit of flak from some sections of the public that asked "Paheli — what film?" But the man behind the film is least bothered. "I don't make films to win awards. I make films to tell a story in my own cinematic idiom. If I like a story or a novel and feel I can weave it on a celluloid canvas, I do it," says Palekar, who has received awards galore both from the domestic as well as foreign film fraternity. In 1996, Time magazine rated his Daira among the top 10 films in the world and his maiden Marathi film Akriet received international acclaim. Unaffected by current trends in filmmaking, Palekar pulls on. "I make films in the language which I feel is best suited to represent a particular story. If I think a story is best told in Marathi, the language that I was brought up on, I do so. But if I feel a story is best told in Hindi, fine, I do so." Paheli paints a dreamscape. The romantic story is laid out elaborately and framed magnificently in vibrant Rajasthani hues. The story Duvidha, by Vijay Dan Detha, on which the film Paheli is based, is a Rajasthani folktale, and Palekar maintains the rustic touches; the actors reproduce the accent to near-perfection. With the deserts of Rajasthan and the brilliantly coloured attires, including the pagris, adding to the feel of the film, it is the stuff cinematography dreams are made of. "I fully agree it is a completely romantic story. And many women have told me: `We wish there were really such ghosts who could fall in love with us'," chuckles Palekar. Shah Rukh Khan plays a ghost that falls in love with Rani Mukherjee, daughter-in-law of a trader (played by Anupam Kher). The story narrates how in the end the real husband (also played by Shah Rukh Khan) is overtaken by the ghost and the couple lives happily ever after. But Palekar's Paheli has a slightly contemporary touch, unlike the original story of Duvidha, when at the end of the film Lachi's (Rani Mukherjee) mother-in-law and sister-in-law take her side after she gives birth to a daughter, saying, "How can it be your fault to have fallen in love with a ghost when even we, his own relatives, were taken in by the disguise?" "The contemporary touch was courtesy my wife, Sandhya Gokhale. It was she who added the line where Lachi, on her wedding night, asks her husband to lift the ghungat. A conservative Rajasthani woman would never say it," explains Palekar, talking about the contribution of his wife, who is the film's assistant director and screenplay writer. Now, it's a real paheli as to who would win this year's Oscar!