When the makers of " 12/24 Karol Bagh
" decided to shoot a daily soap in Delhi, little did they know that their concept of telling the stories of the bylanes of Karol Bagh and Lajpat Nagar would trigger a trend of sorts.
Referred to as one of the first soaps on Indian television to have been shot and produced in the capital, "12/24 Karol Bagh" successfully managed to find a different setting for daily soaps. But the decision was not easy. Shashank Bhardwaj, director of "12/24 Karol Bagh" admits that he too had apprehensions about shooting in the city. But going by the positive feedback that his show has received, he wouldn't mind creating another show based in Delhi now. Says Shashank,"I thought it wasn't possible to shoot in Delhi. But I was proven wrong. Everything ? from the actors' pick and drop facilities to the lighting and real locations ? was handled well. And Delhi became the perfect setting to explain the class-divide around which the story revolves. So, if we chose families from Karol Bagh and South Extension, it was to show the difference in perspectives, upbringing of girls and approach to various problems. We couldn't have thought of another location that was better than the capital."
The show " Ram Milaye Jodi
", which deals with the clash of two cultures, customs and rituals, too has its story set in Delhi. Explains Rajita, the scriptwriter, "Delhi doesn't belong to any state but to the entire nation. I have also incorporated the incidents that I witnessed during my eight-year-long stay in the city ? most importantly the upbringing of the female protagonist, which is a blend of contemporary values and old ideas. So, it is interesting to see how the protagonist, despite belonging to a family rooted in values, has an exposure in a metro like Delhi. This exposure helps her to think broadly as compared to the thinking of those belonging to smaller cities."
Even "Sasural Genda Phool" highlights the class-concious Delhi society. Explains Mitali Bhattacharya, the writer of the show, "Sasural Genda Phool" is the Hindi adaptation of a Bengali show set in Kolkata. We chose Delhi and not any other metropolitan because of the culture the city boasts of. It's a perfect blend of values which Old Delhi is popular for, and the contemporary thoughts that are found in New Delhi
. We have shown the Hindu-Muslim camaraderie in our serial. The idea is to focus more on bonding well without any religious differences, something so typical of Old Delhi. So, if Suhana, played by Ragini Khanna
, faces difficulties in adjusting to her husband's joint family based in Old Delhi, it is real and viewers haven't had any difficulty in relating to it. Shooting in Delhi's neighbourhoods like Greater Kailash, South Extension, Chhatarpur, etc, was an added advantage for us."
According to Vijay Krishan Chaturvedi, who has directed shows like "Bhagyavidhata", "Lagi Tujhse Lagan", "Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo", was in the city to shoot a sequence of " Apno Ke Liye Geeta Ka Dharmyudh
", says Delhi has now become the best TRP strategy. "Yes, in fact that is a key reason. Since Northern belt is the TRP zone, it works in favour of the show," says Chaturvedi. Way to go, Delhi!
While film directors are breaking away from stock images like Delhi's monuments for their narratives, directors of TV serials are just discovering Delhi. For the serials based in Delhi, a scene or two at least at monuments like Red Fort or the Qutub Minar has become imperative, but topping the list of shooting locations is India
Gate in Lutyen's Delhi. Almost every TV serial that is based in Delhi has been shot at the India Gate, including soaps like "Ram Milaye Jodi", "12/24 Karol Bagh", " Rishton Se Badi Pratha
", "Apno Ke Liye Geeta Ka Dharmyudh", and " CID
". Follow us on Twitter for more stories