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Ritesh Batra to Write and Direct Adaptation of Indo-Canadian Author Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ for HBO

Ritesh Batra to Write and Direct Adaptation of Indo-Canadian Author Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ for HBO

  • The seven-part series is expected to be filmed in India in early June through November.

Indo-Canadian author Rohinton Mistry’s critically acclaimed, award-winning novel “A Fine Balance” is being adapted into a seven-part series by HBO. It will be written and directed by “The Lunchbox” fame “Ritesh Batra and produced by Blueprint Pictures and Northwood Entertainment.

According to Variety, “exploratory casting for the series has already begun in the U.K. by Robert Sterne, who handled casting on shows such as ‘Game of Thrones and ‘The Crown.’” Shooting is expected to start in India in early June through November, the Variety report said.

“A Fine Balance” is Mistry’s third novel. It was first published by Canada’s McLelland and Stewart in 1995. It centers on a rich widow, two tailors and a young student from vastly different parts of Indian society whose lives intersect in a tiny apartment — traverses the political landscape in India from the country’s independence in 1947 through to the 21-month state of emergency called by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi between 1975 and 1977.

The book went on to win the 1995 Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize. “Since its publication, the book has earned a reputation as one of the foremost novels about India post-Independence,” Variety said. It was selected by Oprah’s Book Club — “which was, at the time in 2001, a rare feat for a Canadian novel,” Variety said. The book also won the 1996 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book Overall.

The story was adapted for the stage by the U.K.’s Tamasha Theatre Company in 2006 and 2007, and the BBC recently dramatized the book for a radio play that was released in 2021.

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Mistry’s second novel “Such a Long Journey” was also adapted for the screen, with the 1998 movie starring veteran British-Indian actor Roshan Seth.

The Bombay-born Mistry earned a BA in Mathematics and Economics from St. Xavier’s College. He emigrated to Canada with his wife-to-be Freny Elavia in 1975 and they married shortly afterward. He worked in a bank for a while, before returning to academia at the University of Toronto where he got a BA in English and Philosophy.

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