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Rekha, Amitabh Bachchan inspire book on Delhi's red light district

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A shelved film, which was to have starred Rekha and Amitabh Bachchan, is said to have inspired Mayank Austen Soofi's latest book.

The Delhi-based author started work on Nobody Can Love You More, after rights to an earlier short story - which would have featured the veteran actors - were reportedly bought by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

'Jab Tak Hain Jaan' premiere in Mumbai, India: Rekha

© PA Images / Rafiq Maqbool/AP

'Jab Tak Hain Jaan' premiere in Mumbai, India: Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bachchan

© PA Images / Rafiq Maqbool/AP



"In 2008, during my second visit to Pakistan, I went alone at midnight to the Heera Mandi red light district in Lahore, attended a mujra and watched a lot of girls and musicians," Soofi told Digital Spy.

"On returning to Delhi, I blogged about it and… I don't know how, a rumour started in the Indian media that Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali would be adapting my article on Heera Mandi into a film.

"Newspapers including The Times of India and Indian Express reported that Bhansali had purchased the rights of my book."

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan

© PA Images / Aijaz Rahi/AP



Soofi decided then that the subject of his fourth release would be Delhi's red light district GB Road, and spent three years documenting the lives of people living and working in the neighbourhood.

The author uses popular Bollywood film tracks including 'Sheila Ki Jawaani' and 'Munni Badnaam Hui' as a backdrop to the lives of the characters he features in the book.

Bhansali's lost film was also expected to star Rani Mukherjee, Shabana Azmi and Anil Kapoor in supporting roles. The filmmaker is currently working on Ram Leela with Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

Released through Penguin, Nobody Can Love You More is out now.

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