MJHT Writer: Gautam On MJHT
As we had promised the TT readers, we interviewed Gautam Hegde, the writer of the popular youth show: Miley Jab Hum Tum (MJHT). Gautam's interview is surely an interesting read and the writer seems very aware about the fan following for his show, as well as the requests, demands, and complaints of the fans. Furthermore, to commemorate the landmark of 500 episodes by MJHT, he spills some secrets about the show. Read the interview to find out more.
1. How do you balance between the parallel love tracks on your show considering fans are always complaining their favorite leads never get enough screen time?
I don't think we ever manage a fine balance, but we do try. The reason being that at any given point, each couple becomes a supporting element to the other track. Sometimes Mayank and Nupur's track needs a support from Samrat and Gunjan and sometimes it's the other way round. Also, what happens is that when an episode, due to its treatment and the screen time, spills into two. So even though an episode was written with 12 scenes in mind with 6 each for the two main couples, on air, with the spillover, it may seem like one couple got more scenes. However, it's never intended. Mere liye toh sabhi mere bacche hai! It's not intentional.
2. What is your take on adding film songs to further the story? How much do they contribute to increasing the TRPs?
I think it always makes a scene or a sequence more interesting. But in Miley Jab we have also done original songs which have become popular. In fact, if I ever have to think from Gunjan's point of view, I start humming or think of the Kya Hua Yeh song. Isn't it so soulful? I love the lyrics and composition.
Songs do contribute to the ratings, but at the end of the day, it's always been content over a gimmick that works. Although, here I must say, today when I think of Khuda Jaane, it's the Miley version that I remember and not the original one. And Ishq Hua from Aaja Nachle is another favourite with the entire team because the song was executed in one single shot. There was no cut, so it required a lot of coordination of movement, lighting changes and choreography. And hats off to the guy who held the camera so beautifully on his shoulder and captured it. It took 7 odd rehearsals and 3 takes to get it right. Can you imagine how much his shoulder would have hurt? But he was only too happy, and so were we with the end result! :)
3. The story of MJHT has stagnated; as writers don't you feel discouraged when you have to write the same kind of scenes over and over again with just a few detail changes?
Hmm, interesting question. It's been over 500 episodes now! Itna college maine apni zindagi mein khud nahi attend kiya hoga! See, the brief of the channel is to stick to the college, because MJHT is the only show that sets itself apart from a Geet and Odhni which are into a family space. So yes there are times when we feel restricted and feel that we have explored so much, and now what? But daily soap hai so we keep trying comedy, romance, and drama. Sometimes, some things work, some don't. We learn and move on to the next week.
4. What is your take on the increasing demand for romantic scenes between lead couples on screen? An episode without these scenes (no matter how content rich) is received with disappointment.
The demand never dies. Baap re! The kind of mails one gets - ek episode mein ek couple ka scene aaya toh dusre couple ke fans feel we are being partial! We try to keep moments alive. And who doesn't like to see romance? Itney cute characters and such good looking faces. So, it's a justified demand. But moments ka overdose nahi hona chahiye... They should come unexpected. Tabhi mazaa hai.
5. When and how do you know if a serial's life time is over? Surely one can't keep on dragging a show, and deviating from the character sketches.
It's a subjective question. It's the channel that takes a call on the show coming to a closure. No one wants a show to drag. Why would we want to destroy something we created with all heart? But yes, like any other show, it's the law of diminishing marginal utility. A show will seem its freshest and best in the first year and then slowly it may seem like it's losing its charm. But as a team, we try to keep the polish glowing! From our side sabko, i.e. Sam, Nupur, Mayank, Gunjan, Dodo, Diya, Benjy, CJ, Annie, Chacko, Shilpa, Chinu the canteen guy, Shukla, Saxena, Aha, Bui, Bauji, Sheena, RV, pyaar se likha hai.
6. Will Samrat and Gunjun ever get married in the show?
They took one whole year to realise and proclaim love to each other! At that rate, man, I wonder when will they get married? I think they will be in their 60's and still Samrat and Gunjan will be great friends: he will help her find her glares, she will help him find his dentures, and she will read out the sports page for him as he feeds the cats! He won't be able to walk much as he would have fallen down the balcony ladder at the age of 63 and broken his hip bone! And then after having their bina shakkar wali chai, he will say in a coughing manner: ahoo ahoo, Chashmish, tum shaadi karogi? And Gunjan will be like: phir kabhi Samrat!
7. Mayank and Nupur fans are highly disappointed with the current track. They feel that the characters of Mayank and Nupur are being butchered tremendously. There's no stability in their characters. Comment.
I sometimes get mails about how Mayank suddenly becomes over romantic and Gunjan's becoming all brave, but I think we need to realize that people evolve. The most boring person will have his mood swings when he will be enthusiastic about something. So if a guy sings in a bath tub for a romantic date with his wife, I think that much benefit of doubt can be given. He can have excitement in his life, can't he? In a film, we show characters evolve such as Jab We Met, where we accepted how Aditya evolved. On TV, I think somewhere we are so used to stereotyping ki character aisa nahi karega, ek hi type ke kapde pehnega…sisa thodi na hota hai ki roz ladkiyaan ek hi style ki salwar kameez pehenti hai? Par TV pe it happens.It should change one day though. We try to retain the essence of the character, but after 3 years, if he's the same as episode 1, then where is the groW*H, right? But intrinsically, the souls remain as they were in episode 1.
Also, I got a feedback about how Nupur suddenly came back to a normal space after the Dhruv incident and how Mayank should have, through a process, got her back to normalcy. Trust me, we had discussions about this, but sometimes, we have to go with what the entire team feels. At that time, the track had a lot of gloom, so we did a moment or two to justify the same, and moved into a lighter space with the whole Cristina, the maid Amba and bath tub date episode. And we got a good feedback for that as well. Also, it's not a show in real time. So, we need to move to the next story. Is liye…
8. Why can't Gunjan ever apologize to Samrat? Recently, she blamed Samrat for her sister's death and acted horribly with him, but now that Nupur is back shouldn't she apologize to Samrat? Isn't she guilty of causing him pain and acting rudely?
I buy this and we will keep this point forward. But again, it should come as a nice moment. Right now, they are not in their 'love zone'. Currently, they are platonic and later their chemistry will soar up which is when this should come. You know it's like somethings are best left unsaid. I wouldn't want my best friend to say sorry to me. I would rather he or she mean it in the way he or she behaves, and then one day it's just that one receptive hug that says a lot without having to say much? Achha lagega na aisa moment?
9. Nupur has been through a lot recently, and yet we don't see much support from her husband or from her sister. They both cried for her when she was presumably dead, and completely changed themselves. However, now those two same people refuse to accept her in college. Isn't that quite unrealistic and inconsistent?
They don't refuse to accept her, at least not Gunjan. It's just a bit awkward. Like, have you heard of those teachers whose kids are in the same school? How it becomes awkward for them…hence it was that space, and now, the track is evolving. Keep watching.
10. Is the show ending, and if not then what should one expect for the future?
Shubh Shubh bolo! Dassera hai! Agar kuch bura laga ho, toh Raavan samajh ke jala do aur keep watching for the acchaai! Happy festival wishes.
11. Any messages for the fans?
Keep loving the show. We like both our couples as we watch it as a show. The creative team is not partial to a particular jodi. A lot of decisions are taken keeping in mind a lot of practical issues from budgetary constraints to time limits, to artistes' dates and lack of time. A daily soap is tough. Also, sometimes, it's just unfair how fans view everythng from an artist's pint of view. If a scene is good, wah, kya sahi perform kiya and if a scene is bad, chee, creatives suck! I mean, hello, it's the same creative team and the same artists. So, please, let's be fair to everyone on the show and not be judgmental about it. Also, to all those who make those nice videos and write detailed transcripts, good work guys! Par considering a lot of you are students, aap log padhaai kab karte ho? Koi na, changa!
Finally, Gautam was kind enough to provide the fans with some MJHT trivia, without us even asking! Please read below for some fun facts in Gautam's own words:
Here, some trivia for you since we turned 500. :)
- The working title of the show was Bade Bade Sheher, Chhotey Chhotey Sapnay..
- Arjun had tested for Samrat's part.
- Navina tried the maximum number of wigs for the show.
- Jaskaran Singh was the first actor amongst the 6 of them who got finalized for the show.
- Annie, Benjy and Chacko were the quintessential A, B, C around Diya. But we decided to give B for Benjy to Samrat.
- I still don't know what Benjy's full name is!!
- http://www.tellytadka.net/component/content/article/1-latest-news/229-mjht-writer-gautum-on-mjht.html ( d link )
plzzzzzzzzzz do click d like button if u like dis!!