A practising homeopathic doctor in Karama, Dubai, Dr Iqbal Mohammad strikes an unusual balance between work and a passion that lies in scripting stories for the Malayalam film industry. All his stories have struck gold for his producers.
Be it his debut story, Niram, a romantic drama and a box office success, or his second story, Meghamalhar, that walked off with awards galore (including two Kerala state awards), Mohammad is a storyteller to reckon with today. Not to forget the trendsetter, 4 The People (a socio-political story) and Arabikkatha (the Sreenivasan-starrer set in UAE). Can any Malayali film buff forget Diamond Necklace, a Fahadh Faasil film?
Mohammad is in Kerala now as his 10th story, Vikramadithyan, hit the screens on July 25 (It releases in the UAE this weekend). It is directed by his close buddy Lal Jose and features Dulquer Salman, Unni Mukundan and Namitha Pramod in the lead.
“This story is about three friends who are involved in a special relationship,” said Mohammad. “It’s not a triangle love story but more a story of two young men, who never defined themselves as enemies or friends. They are fiercely competitive when it comes to pursuing their respective goals in life.”
“Working with a friend allows freedom, besides being a pleasure to work with,” he added, referring to Jose. Their friendship dates back to the days when they worked under noted Malayalam director Kamal.
“Our communication is so constructive.”
Meeting with Kamal
A native of Kuttipuram, Mohammad used to write short stories from his school days. He happened to meet director Kamal while doing his homeopathy course at Ernakulam. “I showed him my first script. He asked me to assist him on another script though,” recalled Mohammad.
So, how does he find time for writing?
“Actually, homoeopathy is also an art. Individual analysis is required to arrive at a diagnosis. For both, my work and for writing, observation of people helps.”
Does that mean his stories are inspired from life? “Some yes, like Arabikkatha and Diamond Necklace. Both were based on real life, from someone I knew. Other stories begin as a thread and then I work on it with the director.”
Mohammad never misses the first day first show of his films. “It is a risk I take and is an exciting experience to observe people as they go along with the emotional plane of the movie. It is also the judgment day for me,” he added. He takes compliments and criticism in his stride.
“Last year, I received a call from an IT professional working in Saudi Arabia who told me that Diamond Necklace made him learn financial discipline,” Mohammad shared.
Will Vikramadithyan spell similar success? We can’t wait to find out.