Gowariker decided to make Jodhaa Akbar, but only after he finished the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades, the script for which was ready.
In December 2001, Haidar Ali and his daughter Venil began research on the Rajput princess Jodhaa's marriage with the Mughal emperor Akbar. As there was little information available, father and daughter roped in a senior journalist from Jaipur, S N Pushp.
After Swades released, Haidar Ali met Gowariker on January 1, 2005 and handed him the story of what was to become Jodhaa Akbar. It remained with the filmmaker for some time as he wanted to verify the historical evidence. Dialogue writer K P Saxena came onto the scene later, and Jodhaa Akbar began to evolve.
In this archival photograph, from left to right: Haidar Ali's sister Naqi Ali (Nandini Kamdar), Haidar Ali, mother Pramila, the first Miss India, and brothers Asghar Ali and Maurice Abraham. Photograph: Courtesy Haider Ali.
Also read: Jodhaa Akbar's music: A musical conquest