Shashi Sumeet Productions' Diya Aur Baati Hum has completed its journey of 500 episodes successfully. TellyBuzz spoke to the director of the show about his personal life, professional life and the success mantra of the show being on top in this exclusive chat with TellyBuzz...
How did you get into the field of direction?
I started my career with theatre as an actor and I started directing after one to two years. I used to direct plays in various colleges of Delhi and I was associated with an amateur theatre group as well as with the Sahitya Kala Parishad. I covered a long journey of theatre for around 4-5 years. At that time, I also directed a show on DD Urdu in 2006. After that I came to Mumbai and worked as an assistant director in Banoo Main Teri Dulhann. My first break as a director was for Santaan (Shankutalam Telefilms) on Star Plus the credit for which goes to the director Devashishji and producers Neelimaji and Shyaamji. After Santaan went off-air, I joined Shashi Sumeet Productions to assist Sumeetji in Sajan Ghar Jaana Hain and I got to learn a lot from him. When that show ended, I started directing Diya Aur Baati Hum.
Did you take any specific training to get into this field?
I consider the experiences which I have got throughout my life – right from my childhood till now, as my training. I have seen a lot of phases in my entire life and my interactions with the society from which I got to learn a lot. Other than this I haven't got any professional training as such. I have also learnt a lot from my seniors and colleagues.
How is the journey of directing the TRP leader show Diya Aur Baati Hum so far?
The journey has been very good. I guess it's my luck that the show which I am directing, is on top and I give the credit to the writers who have given a nayi soch (new direction) to the society by keeping the Star Plus' slogan in mind through this show. After research, we have found that there is a change coming in the society too and husband wife relations have improved a lot. We have faced many challenges throughout the show through various tracks like the Singapore track, Babaji's track, terrorist attack track and we have enjoyed doing it. I would say that Diya Baati is my life.
How's the working atmosphere on the sets?
The atmosphere is very good on the sets and I haven't come across such a good atmosphere on any other set. The production team is very nice and they are quick at getting things done as per the requirements. I never feel as if I am away from theatre because of the artists we have on our show. We shoot the scenes just the way we do in theatres. The artists do their work with honesty and take every work as a challenge. They come to the sets along with their inputs so it's a big achievement for us.
Do you face any starry tantrums?
No, I haven't face any starry tantrums as such. I don't even know what a starry tantrum is! I have only heard about it but never come across such behavior in any of the shows I have done so far. The actors might be talking to me with respect as I am the director of the show but I haven't even heard from the spot boys about the leads Anas Rashid and Deepika Singh throwing any tantrums or showing any attitude to anyone on the sets. Bhabho (Neelu Vaghela) has worked at a very big level as an actress but it never feels like we are working with such big names.
The show has completed the journey of 500 episodes maintaining the top position. What's the success mantra?
The success mantra is our team of writers and the honesty of the entire team. Everybody works with honesty and tries to give their best. Even the spot boys are concerned about the TRP and feel that it should increase. When we come on No. 1 position then even the leads go and hug spot persons and say that, "We are on no. 1 Dada." This positivity, the honesty towards work and the efforts of the writers is the success mantra. The big reason behind the success of this show is that we have Shashiji as our writer and we have Swati Darekar who represents Star Plus. She is the big reason behind the success of this show because she understands the thoughts of our team very well and communicates it to the channel. It's very nice to work with her as she has strong communication power due to which we can execute our ideas.
The lead Sandhya has to become an IPS officer in the show ahead. So, our team of writers will be doing research of some lady IPS officers to know the graph of their lives and also about the tough phases of their lives. The channel and the team of writers are doing this research from the past few months to show the truth to the audiences. This working into details is the reason behind the success of the Diya Baati.
So many shows were launched after Diya Baati, did you feel any one which could be a toughest competitor for your show?
I don't feel that is any competition to prevail. I don't believe in the number systems either. Every show has its own story to narrate to the audience with which they might bring in some kind of change in the society. Audience connect to the shows because they can relate themselves to the show. So, I can't see any competition factor here.
Which track according to you has worked very well on-screen?
The best track of Diya Baati is the track of Suraj which shows his life and how supportive and caring person he is. Each and every track had some 'Nayi soch' in it and it worked well whether it was the Singapore track which showed that even a common person can aspire for high levels of success, the terrorist track which is very much relatable to our society's scenario, the Swamiji's track which showed that these kinds of ill deeds should be stopped. So, there is no comparison among these tracks.
Do you contribute to the story too?
No, I don't contribute to the story but I am very much involved in the discussions after the story is lined up. It's Shashi Mittalji only who can contribute to the story. I contribute at the screenplay level and changing the scenes, which happens with a proper discussion with the writers, the creative team and the channel.
How challenging is it for you to be the captain of the ship?
There is no challenge in it because I work with an expert team and it's fun to work with them. There are no hurdles in doing the work. Sometimes I have to be strict so that the work won't stop and we can meet the deadline. We share a friendly bond with each other on the sets while working but when we have to meet the deadline then I have to be strict and the actors also understand the situation.
How's the future track going to shape up in the show?
Right now, the track is focusing on the life ofahalwaiwho helps his wife to become an IPS officer and now the story will move forward as what will happen after she becomes an IPS officer. The beginning of the story has got good response and we hope that the future track will get the same response as well.
Do you get feedback from the fans?
They are not actually the fans of the show but they like the show on a different level and the show has become a part of their lives. We have got some feedback with someone saying that my husband has started supporting me after Diya Baati and some husbands have said that now I have realized that I should support my wife. So, the show has bought about a social change in the society.
I have read some of the complaints of the online fans too. I would like to say that every concept is not made for everyone. If I am making a show or a movie then it's not like it will be the same for everyone. For some, it will be for entertainment purpose and for some it's all about the involvement of their favorite actor and actresses. Sometimes, we do make mistakes and we try to consider them because of the feedback of the audience.
What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to make stories reach to the audience whether in the form of a serial, a movie, a street play or theatre.