Rajan Shahi, the magic man behind Director's Kut Proctions which has given some of the spectacular shows and magical talents to the television industry has added a new feather to his hat by its success as Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai achieved 1000 successful episodes in its journey. Tellybuzz in talks with Rajan Shahi to know more about his feelings on the same, his views on the television industry and more…
Making its place in the top 5 shows, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai has completed 1000 episodes. So, how are you feeling?
After the success of Bidaai, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai is the second show to be launched by Directors Kut Production. The unique concept has won the popularity. It has moved forward without negative drama and loud gimmicks. The show has sustained with its simplicity with the kind of freshness even after completing its 1000 episodes. In fact it has now become a landmark and an iconic show. My identity standing as a Producer in the industry has now enhanced greatly. It has added a new dimension to my career, profile and Director's Kut Production.
What is the strong point according to you that has taken Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai to this level?
The support, faith and the kind of collaboration Star Plus has given for the show according to me has been the first and foremost support point. Mr. Uday Shankar and his entire team, the creative team headed by Suzana Ghai have understood more about the show and backed it throughout. Suzana has been the Creative Head of Star for many years now. She has been very supportive and had believed in the show as well as guided us over the years. I feel that because of this, we have been able to make a show like this. Also, most importantly it is because of the fans and audience that it has been possible for us to complete 1000 episodes of the show. The cast and crew is a pillar since they are the people who have worked with good intention, skill and positivity.
What inspired you to make Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai?
The first part of Yeh Rishta came from a Channel Head telling me about a line that there's a song from Jodha Akbar, In Lamhon Ke Daaman Mein. The Creative of Star told me that why don't you make a show which focuses on the purity of love and romance between a young couple. This statement made by him gave rise to this particular thought. Keeping that in mind, I had decided that the show will not focus neither on negative drama nor negative characters. It would be about sweet and joyous moments in the life of a married couple. I feel proud that Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai has given a lot to the people. The show not only revamped my identity but also gave many actors launches, re-launches and stability in people's lives. I believe, everybody has loved the show. People associated with it have become very emotionally attached to the show. The big achievement of Yeh Rishta is that the entire unit does not treat this as a show that they have to come work and go. In fact they treat it as an integral part of their life. The constant support, overwhelming response from fans is the biggest confidence booster for the cast and crew. . It is because of the fans and God's grace that we have reached this level. The love the unit has for the show and amongst themselves, motivates me as a Producer to do something even better.
Kuch Toh Log Kahenge recently completed 1 Year. What's your take on this?
I am equally proud of this show. It is a difficult show in terms of its texture and concept. The show has become a brand name in itself. It makes me happy when people appreciate the show since the team has worked very hard on it. The positivity that the team works with along with the support by the unit and audiences has made this 1 year journey possible for the show.
It seemed as if a big festival was being celebrated. A huge ceremony took place beginning with awarding the entire unit including the technicians and the actors for their contribution throughout the journey of the show. There was an audio visual screening of Yeh Rishta, cake cutting followed by a party. All the actors or technicians who have worked with Director's Kut from Chand Chupa Baadal Mein, Maat Pitaah Ke Charnon Mein Swarg, Hawan, Jamuna Paar, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Bidaai, Amrit Manthan attended the celebration. Some well wishers and the close friends from the industry were also present.
What's in store for the viewers of Amrit Manthan?
I am proud of all the three shows, Yeh Rishta, Amrit Manthan and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge. These shows are very different from each other and each one of them have a unique individuality. Amrit Manthan is a show which keeps you curious with unexpected happenings. There is a lot of drama emphasizing on unexpected twist and turns. You are on the edge of your seat to see what will happen next. All I can say is that these twists will continue to do so the fans.
You have made different shows on different themes. Which concept according to you, has worked well on-screen?
As a Producer, I always try to produce shows based on different genres. Be it a love story or an emotional story, I always try to look for something different and an effort to make it stand out from the previous one. I feel proud of every show. However, some shows work while some don't but I am equally close to all the shows. The show closest to my heart will always be Bidaai. I love all the shows but Bidaai has been the foundation of Director's Kut Production. It got its identity in the market because of Bidaai and it will remain the mother of all the shows. The success of the show gave a better production team, a better structure to all the other shows coming. I owe my love to Bidaai. I am equally proud that our company has given an identity to the people. It has launched so many people in the industry whether it's Neha Sargam, Abhishek Tewari, Hina Khan, Karan Mehra, Dheeraj Dhoopar, Sara Khan, Angad Hasija, Parul Chauhan, the company has given lots of launches and new talents to the industry which is really a good part. Since the last few years, I have directed so many shows and I think it is because of the blessings of the people working in our company.
It is too large an epithet for a person like me. I have gradually grown with the help a lot of people. I learnt direction and then became a producer. It is because of the support given by the people around me, their guidance and encouragement that has made me. I feel very good when new comers are launched, they became celebrities and then icons. Every actor who has worked with Director's Kut, the love, the gratitude, the faith and the support that all my actors have shown is my biggest reward. I show my love and affection to them also. You can call me a 'showman' in that context. I feel my success is only because of my team. People ask me about my bank balance and assets and all I say is that the people who work for me are my real assets. They are like my family and the ones who will carry forward the torch, the legacy of the company, my beliefs, values and ethics. When you have a good team, who has created assets for you, it lasts forever.
What changes have you observed in the industry over the years?
I believe that whatever changes happen, you have to adapt yourself accordingly. Survival of the fittest is the norm. The industry has become very big, more money involved, much bigger in its magnitude and glamour too. It is changing every day, every week. The competition has also increased. You have to keep yourself going for the next marathon. I feel the Indian television industry is the best to see the hardworking talent, who can work under any circumstances. We work under extreme pressure but still give the best quality shows. Hat's off to everybody who work here.
It's the time when some of evergreen shows are coming back with their Season 2. Bidaai has created the same magic. Will the fans of Bidaai get this treat too?
The entire team and cast of Bidaai will always stand by the show if it happens. Whenever the opportunity will come, we will definitely work towards it. Bidaai, I reckon is a brand name. We will definitely work on it if a desire crops up.
So many actors want to work with you. How do you feel?
I feel good that actors want to work with us. People make a company and so has been the case with our company too. It feels good that people want to work with you. However it is a big responsibility too. We have worked with established actors, new faces and talents. I love to work with hard working and positive people who know how to work as a team.
How do you handle so much in nurturing new talent?
I think it's an investment for the future both for the industry and myself. When you are able to create a talent, guide people, they can lead you through. I feel very good and nice and I really hope that new talent comes through. Hope we are able to do the same not only with actors but also writers, directors, creatives, production.
I get a lot of inspiration from Balaji. Wherever I have gone in the industry, I have found that 50-60% of the people whether the actors or the people from the production house, have learnt and grown from Balaji. So, I always feel that Ekta Kapoor is an institution. She has created an institution in this industry and given a lot of talent to the industry. She works hard to create them. 60% of the actors are Balaji products. They not only create brilliant shows but they create brilliant people as well.
What are your hobbies?
Making television shows.
Any new show in pipeline?
Yes, I am working towards 2 concepts. I am very much keen to make comedy shows which need a team of good writers, thoughts and ideas. I am keen to make soaps also. Let's hope that something good comes up.
Reporter and Author: Anwesha Kamal