Joined: 13 July 2005
The road to Swati Studio in Mumbai's suburban Goregaon did not give me good vibes on a hot and sultry March afternoon. A 10-minute walk from the railway station leads you to the studio, all set to shoot the 100th episode of Baa, Bahu Aur Baby -- the popular weekend television serial on Star Plus.
Produced by Hats Off production, the story is set against the backdrop of Saurashtra. Like all other serials from their stable, this too has its own colour -- very much evident from the sets -- which immediately transports you to old Gujarat.
The moment you enter the sets, you are greeted by a wall full of creepers and algae. But just when you want to complain about the cleanliness and hygiene, you realise that it is a plastic model. Full marks to set designer Jayant Deshmukh for creating such a realistic set.
As I walk around the sets, I come to a house with a small balcony and a swing in it. "Did you notice the small designer tiles in the balcony? They are real and we had to spend a lot of money on them. We wanted to create a realistic look," explained Jamna Das (also known as JD), the serial's producer a partner of Hats Off Productions.
The swing, throughout the duration of my visit, was occupied by the second partner of Hats Off and the brain behind the scripts of many popular serials -- including this one – Atish Kapadia.
"This (the swing) has become an addiction of sorts for me," he smiled. "Whenever I am here, I spend most of my time on the swing."
But before he could lounge on the swing longer, Sucheta Trivedi (who plays Meenakshi in the serial) came up: "Your time's up. Now it's my turn!"
There's no doubt the team is used to fun on the sets.
The other side of the balcony had a unique kitchen. One side has embroidered wooden cabinets from the colonial days, and the other side housed a refrigerator. The contrast was evident in the utensils kept in the kitchen as well. While one side had old brass vessels, the other had a modern dinner set.
In fact, one could not miss the brass finish switches all across the set. "These are all antique switches I got from old markets in Mumbai. And I bought them for only Rs 200! The shopkeeper told me that when I return it to him or resell it, the prices will go up. Apparently, that is the case with these antique things," said JD.
The dining room was just across the kitchen. "You will find three Bheet Kapats (built-in cabinets) in the dining room. We had to make them especially for this set," JD continued. The eight-seater dining table is where the Thakker family has their meals in the serial. The windows were made to perfection with colourful glass pieces on top adding to the show.
The bedrooms on either side of the living room keep on interchanging – sometimes the bedroom belongs to Praveena and Praveen, and other times it belongs to Subodh and Meenakshi.
Surrounding these rooms was a courtyard, and a very narrow lane. The set was perfect for someone to park his scooter in the lane and enter the house through the aangan. The aangan had a well. But it is a fake well without any depth.
"You must be wondering how we do the scenes with water? We made a special well of fibre glass and have kept it elsewhere. Whenever we need it, we get it here," JD explained.
The shooting finally began at 5 pm. The first scene of the day involved Leela (played by Lubna Siddiqui), Subodh (played by Rajesh Kumar Singh) and Meenakshi (Sucheta Trivedi). The first take was not okayed, but they got it right after a couple of takes.
Finally, after a long day, it was time for 'pack up.'
Baa, Bahu Aur Baby is aired on Star Plus at 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Joined: 18 November 2005
Joined: 17 September 2005
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