Known for her different type of shows, producer Deepti Bhatnagar
is deeply involved with her new show on Sab TV - Jo Biwi Se Kare Pyaar
which is all about a working couple who attempt cooking various dishes and are successful at it too.
What is the show all about?
The show is about a newly married loving, working, busy couple who have no maid or other help. The husband loves his wife so much that he can do everything for her. They don't know anything about cooking but read recipes, ask their bhabhi and learn to do things themselves. They use appliances to make things easy like making atta, or cutting vegetables. Then their food becomes so famous that their bosses too start sending clients home, guests come home, and then the comic situation that happens is what the stories in the episode are all about. They deal with each unexpected situation with comedy and then there is also romance.
Will the situations not look similar after a certain point of time?
My home is inspiration for the show and in my house I have my husband and kids cooking too. So later you will also see kids who will come in to cook, then we will have a shaadi so there will be shaadi ka khana, a Gujrati aunty will show Gujrati food. So we will have different situations in the show and I promise it will be never before attempted show.
How did you think about the show?
The show is inspired a lot from my life since my husband knows cooking and has even cooked for the Queen when he was learning Hotel Management in England. He always makes food for the kids and me and whenever he makes a dish for us it comes with proper garnish and presents it so nicely whether it is a normal meal for the kids or some health food for me. However, now he is busy and I am a better cook. We all enjoy our time in the kitchen and we have a big kitchen where all my friends can fit in and for me they say - Dining is the new dining out coz they feel that the food at our home is better than what you get in restaurants.
You are more known for your shows which have a different flavor altogether - like travel shows. Is it easy to deal with fiction now?
I agree that this is a daily which is lot of stress and I love my travel shows. I have done dailies earlier too but this format is different since there is cooking and fiction, both together. It is a different genre which no one has attempted earlier and even we are trying it for the first time so we cannot follow anyone but we have to create our own ideas so it is difficult. It is also different since we are putting together fiction and non-fiction and it shouldn't look different. However, I think we have balanced it very well as it is not only a cooking format but there will be the fiction part too. We want the viewers to come, learn one dish, see the romance, enjoy the humor. When it comes to cooking, the recipes are tried and tested and what I make at home. Our brief was not to go over the top so even if we don't make regular recipes it is with a little bit of innovation which comes with my travel experience.
Prestige is the brand which is the main sponsor too of the show. Will we see many brand promotions on the show?
As you know I've been a model and worked with Prestige as a brand ambassador so I had a comfort zone with them and also with Sab TV with whom I have worked earlier too.
Whatever dishes you see on the show are all made by me. I didn't want a professional chef to cook since the male lead, Arjun Bijlani
is not a professional chef. So in this show of ours we want to show that overnight you cannot be a super chef but overnight you can learn cooking with Prestige appliances. It is all simple cooking, a fact proved by Arjun Bijlani
who has learned cooking and has become a fantastic cook. Rakesh Paul
who plays Arjun's elder brother is shown to be a dealer for Prestige appliances so yes, there will be brand promotions on the show.
Arjun Bijlani, the main lead is also your son-in-law, did you rope him for the show?
Many people auditioned and the ultimately the clients selected Arjun. They wanted someone young, good looking, flamboyant, romantic and who doesn't know to cook so that it looks like he is learning.
Your shows are something different all the time. Is it on purpose?
Every Producer is doing a show they believe in but I make my shows dil se. Other producers think of a concept and marketing for a money making shows which they want should last forever but this is a short term show. I made a show Malegaon ka Chintu with mill workers and I gave the team a platform otherwise they had never travelled outside Malegaon and they created something so good for me. I always try to do things which are different and those that I believe in.
What is your contribution to the shows you produce?
I am a different type of producer who does not work for money but for my passion. I sweep the sets, wash utensils if the spot dada is not there. For me work is worship and that shows in the show. I am not a Producer but a worker on the sets of my shows. My shows are my babies who will be looked after by me only.
What all have you handled for this show?
I design and creatively handle the entire thing - the sets, color, props everything I have designed and the art director has just put it together. It is all natural and even the clothes that I have selected for the characters are simple like Shweta Gulati
on the show wears a simple Pyjama and T-shirt not a nightie when she gets up. I do logical and simple things and don't get into high-funda things. I am a very realistic person.
Since I am a good cook, I also cook the dishes which are featured on the show. So I do one dish for the close up shot and then Arjun copies me while making it. They are also asking me to feature in the show but I have so much work since I am creatively involved that I cannot come in front of the camera.
We have seen you for so many years now looking the same slim self. What is your fitness secret?
When it comes to food let me tell you that I eat a lot and am a passionate cook and foodie too. However, I have a set daily routine of doing Yoga, go for a walk and then the gym which comes to daily total 2 hours workout. My husband is a health freak and an expert in fitness. He never misses his workout and he pushes me too.
Seema Khot Mattoo