While this process was on, Dr Alex and Anil went to Delhi and thereafter to Calcutta to shoot a documentary about the Ganges. Dr Alex was a great patron of the “Clean Ganga” campaign and he had to be associated with anything to do with the river that is so sacred to our culture. As a part of this endeavour he wanted that the future generations should be educated to realise its importance. He therefore, wanted to make a documentary which could be screened in schools after which he could lead these children on a journey to trace the river right from its source at Gangotri to the point where it merges with the Bay of Bengal at Ganga Sagar.
While they were at this journey along the Gangetic plains trying to narrate the story of Ganga, the mood or temperament that they were into brought Anil to narrate a story his friend, Mr O V Prasanan. The story was about a mother and a child that was set in the backdrop of Kerala in a riverine landscape such as the places that they were then visiting. Listening to the story moved Dr Alex to such a great extent that he suggested Anil to first make a film in Hindi, with the story that he had narrated, before he ventured ahead with the current project that we were working on until then. He reasoned that such a project would give Anil the necessary base to set right his course towards making a successful star-studded international film, since until then all his credits were in Malayalam. Anil was immediately onboard with the idea and by the time they reached back Chennai they had a completely new plan in place.
By this juncture, since Dr Alex and I were involved to such an extent in the progress of the idea of the suggested story we decided to commit ourselves into the making of it in whatever way we could. The name we instantly decided for the film was “Maiya”. We set about with the preparatory work for writing the script. In the meanwhile, Dr Alex realised that since we had decided to get involved with the making of the movie in full throttle, there was a need for us to set up an organization or entity to handle all the aspects concerned with the process in a formal manner by launching a company. I had no objection to the idea for as long as Dr Alex was a part of it, since I had neither any prior experience in the film industry nor did I know Anil all that well. That was the birth of “Iris Green Films” and “Maiya” became its first project. Since, we were into formalising a setup to handle the project and for the novice that I was in the field, I was uncertain of the role or responsibility I should be handling. The artist in me was inclined more towards the creative aspect of the process. Dr Alex, however, had already made up his mind on the role he envisaged for me. He wanted me to be the Producer, but not just the one simply responsible to handle the funds, as I understood until then. He wanted me in a position from where I could oversee the entire process as it unfurled, make course corrections where required, including those pertaining to creative aspects and take decisions and enforce implementation without being taken for granted by anyone. I started understanding the all-encompassing role of a producer from a wider perspective. Here again, I felt that he probably had more confidence in me than I had in myself. When I discussed the proposition with my family, they had no problems with it, especially because it came from Dr Alex.