1. Did you know that the original choice for the title role was not Deepika Padukone? It was Parineeti Chopra. Shoojit went to Parineeti to play the Big B’s beleaguered daughter in Piku. But PC Jr argued she was already doing a father-daughter film Daawat-e-Ishq. Director Shoojir Sircar shrugged and rang Deepika’s doorbell. As luck would have it, Daawat-e-Ishq bombed. Piku was a cult success. Daane-daane pe likha hota hai khane wale ka naam. Same goes for roles.

2. Irrfan who played Rana Chowdhary preferred Shoojit Sircar over Ridley Scott. In 2014 Irrfan opted out of the Ridley Scott sci-fi spectacle The Martian which later released to raves .Ridley Scott is the director of such futuristic classic blockbusters as Alien and Blade Runner. Irrfan had told me, “Yes,I was offered The Martian.The director Ridley Scott and I met . I had a memorable conversation with him.What an inspiring man and talent. He is so many things at the same time and yet he told me he had seen my Lunchbox. I asked him how he could find the time to see films after being a producer, director and so many other things.He said films like Lunchbox were his bedtime stories. Can you believe it?”Speaking of the role that was offered to him Irrfan had said, “It was that of a NASA scientist. While Matt Damon was in outerspace my character was very much on earth. But meri baatein hawa mein ho rahi tthi(but I was talking in the air).”This was not the first time Irrfan was offered a role by Ridey Scott. “He had earlier offered me part in film with Russell Crowe which too I couldn’t do due to time constraints. Maybe I’ll be third time lucky.”Alas, that was not to be.So why did Irrfan say no to Ridley Scott?“For Piku,” came the prompt reply. “I had committed my dates to Shoojit Sircar’s film, and no regrets about that. Piku is an important film in my career. For the first time I was seen in an overt romantic role. Not that I haven’t played romantic roles . I have, in Maqbool and The Lunchbox. But in these films I didn’t get a chance to romance my heroine with poetry and banter. Shoojit is a good filmmaker,and I’d love to work with him again. But more importantly, he is a wonderful human being.”Irrfan has no regrets about losing out on The Martian. Weirdly the part that was offered to him, of an Indian character named Vincent Kapoor was played by an African American actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

3. Deepika learnt Bengali to play Piku Bannerjee. Not that she had to speak much Bengali. But whenever her character was agitated she was required to break into Bangla. Deepika didn’t want to appear fake when breaking into Bengali. Director Shoojit and his wife helped her with her accent and diction. But there was also a proper voice coach on the sets.

4. Amitabh Bachchan’s character Bhaskar Bannerjee was a direct tribute to Hrihikesh Mukherjee’s Anand. In Hrishida’s film Mr Bachchan’s character was named Bhaskar Bannerjee. Shoojit Sircar is a big fan of Hrishida. Which Bengali director is not?!

5. Moushumi Chatterjee who played the chatterbox aunt Chobi Mashi returned to Hindi cinema after 8 years. She was persuaded by Shoojit who is a big fan of the actress. She didn’t know his work. So she watched Vicky Donor and Madras Café. He told Moushumi he would scrap the role if she didn’t play it. I doubt that’s true. But Shoojit got what he wanted.