In an exclusive conversation with TellyBuzz, Saurabh Tewari, Head of Programming, Fiction, Imagine TV, talks about the show and the expectations that the channel carries when it comes to this new fiction offering..
Tell us about Dharampatni. How much is this show inspired from the story of Gandhiji and Kasturba?
Frankly speaking, this show bears no connection with the story of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Kasturba. If we talk of the similarities, there are three. One is that both have the Gujarati backdrop, and in both cases, the hero comes back to his homeland after studying abroad. And the striking similarity lies in the names, as our protagonists have the names of Mohan and Kastur. As far as the content goes, there is nothing common and the similarities end here. Our show will not show the freedom struggle and life of Indians during the British era.
So how would you describe the concept of Dharampatni?
Dharampatni is primarily a love story set up in a Mumbai based Gujarati backdrop. The story is extremely relatable and simple, and you will find a housewife like Kastur in every second household. Almost 99percent of housewives in India don't have a professional identity and are contented in investing their happiness for their family. While the wife makes all sacrifices for her husband and his family, she does not get to be part of the husband's success and achievements. She is happy and satisfied with the unconditional love she has for her husband, and does not expect anything in return.
The protagonist in the show Mohan Galla for a change is not the typical good boy and has certain shades of grey. Can you explain..
Yes, Mohan as a character has grey shades. He is fascinated with the western culture and is embarrassed over his own identity. He does not like being referred to as a Gujju. He dislikes the traditional set up that his family has. He has built up a fake identity for him, and has ego problems. All that matters to him are his stylish clothes and the different world that he lives in. He comes back home to get a shock of his life as his parents want him to marry the girl he had got engaged to two years back.
Tell us about the casting of Harshad Chopra.
We had tried many actors and realized that we needed a seasoned actor to carry forward this different character. Harshad Chopra has the right mix of aura, screen presence and innocence that is needed to play Mohan Galla.
Harshad has this goody boy image as he has done only such roles in the past. Do you think his fans will accept him in this different image?
See, people do not have any fixed image for an actor, and lot depends on how the actor delivers in the said role. Let's not forget that Shahrukh Khan in his prime days got popular for his grey shaded roles. We are confident that Harshad with his brilliant acting skills will put in a lot of conviction to the role.
'Behind every successful man, there is a woman' - how much does this saying hold good for the female protagonist, Kastur?
Kastur hails from a middle class family and is a typical Indian girl. She aspires to marry the man she got engaged to few years back. Kastur represents any normal Indian housewife. She is not the street smart and over charming girl you get to see in shows. There is nothing extraordinary in her; she is not educated and is not presentable too. Her simplicity is what makes Kastur special. But when it comes to reforming Mohan, she knows all about it and does her best.
Aasiya has been the face of Imagine from Bandini days.
Yes, we decided to recast her as she fits the character of Kastur very well. And the character of Santo was very different from what Kastur is going to be.
We have heard the channel and production house got into lot of detailing to get the story line right.
Yes, we did study the mindset of people who have got back from abroad. We had to research a lot on this to get the characters right.
How is the association with DJ's Creative Unit been?
DJ's have always been in the thick of things when it comes to Imagine. They produced Radhaa Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayenge when Imagine launched.
What are the expectations of the channel when it comes to Dharampatni?
Expectations are very high, and we are confident of this concept doing well. Looteri Dulhan did not work, but this should. The slot of 9.30 pm is highly competitive and we are looking forward to the challenge.
Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh