Ms. Yamini tells us about yourself. How long have you been a part of the industry?
Its been sixteen long years since I joined this industry and the whole
journey has been quite adventurous since the beginning, right from
joining the industry- my mother was completely against it as in 1999 it
was still a very uncommon career choice for a girl from a small town
like Patna. The story is as filmy as it gets, I had to actually book my
own tickets to reach Mumbai but since then there has been no looking
back. Through my career I have generally tried to pick some
unconventional shows whether it is Kutumb, Jasoos Vijay, Mile Jab Hhum
Tum, Geet or now Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan.
From Creative Director of Endemol India Private Limited to Head of Fiction BBC Worldwide how has the journey been?
I wouldn't call it a journey as I jumped from one job to the next! It was a natural progression of career.
Humor our readers please...You have been the Creative Director of some of
the most popular shows on TV; and today you are the head of fiction of
BBC Worldwide also producing the most watched youth show on Indian TV.
Tell us what exactly is the role of a Creative Director and that of a
head of fiction.
A creative director is responsible for the show or shows they are doing
but as the head of fiction you have to get those shows to the company
too rather than just make them. Obviously head of fiction job is much
tougher as the market is very competitive.
While taking up a new show what do you see yourself doing within the first days as Creative Director?
The first key steps are to get your characters and the one line of the story right.
How challenging is it to be the Creative Director of a show? What are the creative challenges you face?
The whole responsibility of the product lies on your shoulders whether
it is the scripting, casting,shooting, editing, music and the list is
endless. One wrong step and the whole show can suffer, so you need to be
continuously thinking, evaluating and improvising the show basically
you have to live and breathe the show.
What about KaisiYehYaariyaan appeals to you as a Creative Director the
most and what according to you about the show appeals to the viewers?
With Kaisi Yeh Yaariyaan we try to bring forward issues that today's
youth face in their day to day life whether it is about dealing with
being gay, teenage pregnancy, friendship or a relationship, we try to
keep it real and I guess that works for the audience too.
Manik and Nandini has become a craze amongst viewers. Did you anticipate
such a strong reaction when you penned down these characters?
I cannot be humble here, I think every creator wants their characters to
be loved and appreciated when they are penning them down and I am no
different. But the fact that the viewers did make my wish come true
definitely humbles me.
Who/What were the biggest inspirations for your career? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I loved cooking up stories in head since I was seven years old ask my
sister about it, I used to scare her with all kinds of ghost stories
amongst many others, so its more like a hobby changing into a career
rather than getting inspired by someone or something. And that's
exactly what I enjoy most about my job making the characters and going
through the ups and downs of their lives with them.
Does the interference of channels irritate your sensibilities as a Creative Director?
There is always room for negotiation, if you have a valid point who
would not listen to you. But yes as with every good relationship you
need to compromise at some points.
How important is it for you to get along with writers?
You are brainstorming with the writers 24X7 so it imperative to get along with them.
What happens if your final creative product (designed by you, your team
and the channel) is eventually challenged by the director or actor on
That doesn't happen to me often but whenever it does, I always discuss
the issue before it is shot and if the director or the actor has a valid
suggestion then I do take them as everyone on the team is thinking for
the betterment of the show.
Even today typical saas-bahu dramas are continuing to rule Indian
television? And there seems to be no complete change in that trend,
except a few here or there occasionally. Your 2 cents.
The world of television is expanding as more and more of rural India
gets TV sets and to include them into the viewership, the kind of
programming remains the same but everyone in the industry does realize
that they are losing the more evolved audience and hopefully we will be
able to achieve the balance where we can include everyone in the
Do you think creativity is really encouraged on Indian television?
Of course it is maybe in hurry but if you think about it we are making a
two and half hour long movie in a week's time and that too week after
week month after month and sometimes year after year to keep
entertaining the viewers for such long stretches of time, there is
definitely some creativity going into it.
Creativity, innovation, new wave thinking, contemporary approach is out
of the equation as far as the Indian mindset goes- Agree OR Disagree.
Actually I agree and disagree both. There are definitely some shows that
are trying to tow the line but once in a while we do see something new
and different. The day one these "different" is able to catch the eyes
of the mainstream viewers is the day you would see everyone rushing to
make innovative stuff. its not that makers don't have the thoughts, its
just that they are scared of failure. Somebody needs to take that first
step and get recognized by the audience.
Now the most important question out of all the shows where you donned
the cap of a Creative Director which one was creatively gratifying?
It's like asking to choose between your children, I really cant! Each
one is special, maybe for different reasons like Kutumb was a love story
when saas bahu was ruling the gec, Jasoos Vijay had a strong underlying
message about HIV AIDS awareness for rural India, Mile Jab Hum Tum was
about college life when there was nobody making shows on youngsters,
Geet got the typical mills and boon angry brooding hero to viewers when
everyone was making the soft Raj prototype heroes and K2Y brings all
shades of dark and light in today's youth's life, they are all special.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Making more shows, sketching some characters writing some more stories.
Any message for Viewers?
As Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan is my current favorite I would want to say a big
thank you for making the show what it is today. Its viewers have loved
the show with passion which only young hearts can do- thank you very
Credit : TT