Will Paheli be the first one?Hoping so are Amol Palekar, Sandhya Gokhale and of course Shah Rukh on SMS [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Pune, September 27:[/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What is it with Pune and Oscar nominations? Once again the movie that’s made it to the most prestigious film awards in the world from India has a very strong city connection — director Amol Palekar and scriptwriter Sandhya Gokhale, his wife, are from amche Pune. While we all ponder this, here’s unravelling Paheli and what made this film - about a bride, a bridegroom and a ghost - pip stronger contenders and bigger box office successes like Black, Page 3, Parineeta and Veer Zaara to the nomination post. [/FONT]This one’s an unusual triangle all right. GHOST IN LOVE This one’s an unusual triangle all right. Paheli is the story of a Rajasthani girl whose husband goes away on business for five long years soon after their marriage. A ghost, who encounters the marriage party on its way back from the wedding, falls in love with the bride and ultimately enters her home after taking on the husband’s form. He however confesses his true identity to the girl who accepts him. Later, the husband returns and the girl is caught between a ghost who loves her dearly and the man she is actually wedded to. The haunting storyline is captured with breathtaking shots of Rajasthan in all its splendour by Ravi K. Chandran along with a foot tapping score by M M Kreem. SHORT TAKES * Director Amol Palekar had gone to Shah Rukh Khan to request him to play the lead. However, SRK fell so much in love with the story that he asked Palekar if he could also produce the film. * The film is based on the story Duvidha written by legendary Rajasthani author Vijaydan Detha. The contemporary script is written by Palekar’s wife, Sandhya Gokhale, who is also the associate director of the film. * There were rumours that during its making, there was discord between Palekar and SRK throughout the 46 day-long shooting. Palekar laughs it off. “Some people become very uncomfortable when there’s no problem and these baseless rumours were a result of that kind of thinking.” PALEKAR’S HIGH * I don’t think Paheli had a mixed reaction at all when it was released. People simply loved it. Even the critics praised it. If there were some who tried to bash it, I guess they may be feeling a bit sorry now. * Paheli will hold its own at the Oscars because it has beautiful content, a very progressive thought and is, above all an Indian film. THE BETTER HALF As screenplay writer and associate director, Sandhya Gokhale had to take on much more than what these two responsibilities called for, says Palekar. “She was one of the major pillars of the film.” For Gokhale, the challenge was to script a story that retained the folklore, added a contemporary feel to it and also brought out the feminist view. “I am especially happy that the nomination was unanimous. As for my role now, I am there to do whatever Amol and Shah Rukh require of me.” THE STRATEGY For Palekar, it’s too early to think of an Oscar strategy, but he’s clear on one thing - no lobbying.‘‘There’s a popular misconception that one needs to lobby to get through to the Oscars which is clearly against the rules. Members of the jury though need to get to see the film. Shah Rukh will be in the States for the next three months, so together we will promote the film.’’ While Shah Rukh (who is abroad at present) and Palekar have been messaging each other since the announcement, it’s only when King Khan returns that they plan to “sit down and scratch our heads on what needs to be done. I will also talk to Ashutosh Gowarikar, Aamir (Khan) and Sandeep Sawant and take their advice,” adds the director. * Also there’s time. The Oscars are on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood.