Jayesh Patil, the prolific writer in Hindi Television has now taken up the huge responsibility of heading the fiction programming of the production house, Reliance Big Productions. Reliance Big Productions' first fiction show will be for Imagine, titled Pardes Main Mila Koi Apna which launches on 1st February at the 10.30 PM slot.
In a candid chat with Tellybuzz, Jayesh Patil speaks about his role as a writer and now a Fiction Head...
What made you don the role of Fiction Head from a writer?
In my last three shows, Ladies Special, Shree and Laagi Tujhse Lagan, I have tried different genres and then I felt it is time for me to shift myself to another bigger role which has more responsibility. And that's when Reliance Big Productions came up with the proposal of the role of the Fiction Head. I realized that being a Fiction Head I can get involved in the growth of a company, and this gives me an opportunity to work on twenty different subjects simultaneously which as a writer I could not do. Also the name and the infrastructure Big Productions offer is vast as they have access to pan India and has their own regional market with a good research team. Being in this role I can develop my own internal team who will develop the story in a better way. Taking all these aspects into account it has been a fantastic shift from a writer to a Fiction Head.
Today there is this trend of writers turning to Producers; Haven't you thought about it?
I never wanted to be titled like that and I didn't have that temperament too. I am a simple person who likes to live life and play with my kids, who wants to have an afternoon nap and want to watch one movie a day and love to travel. If I had got into the Producer zone, I would have sacrificed all these leisure pleasures. Here I have my own space and it is great to work.
Why was the first show of Reliance chosen to be for Imagine TV?
I have a certain comfort zone with Saurabh Tewari and the Imagine team. I feel that working for a big show on a big channel is very easy. Against that I feel that if I start with an emerging channel like Imagine, the channel as well as the Producer can grow together. And in total the working pattern and the comfort zone is too good.
The character Datta Bhau in Laagi Tujhse Lagan is an immensely popular character; how do you churn out the characters in the shows you script?
The shows and the characters that I have dealt till now were all inspired from real life people who have been directly or indirectly associated with me. Ladies Special was based on women who were in my life when I was working in State Bank of India. Datta Patil (Mishal Raheja) is actually my father's real life character and the character portrays the same mannerisms that my father used to do. Similarly, in this show there are two main characters Sarje Rao and Chandu. Sarje is based on my cousin brother and Chandu is practically me in my college days. And also all the other characters in the show are in one way or the other related to the characters whom I have met in my real life.
What was your inspiration to do a show like this?
I wanted to deviate from the cliched shows and a show based on a constable and his family was always there in my mind. Nobody has done a serious show on constables and I was really sad when people sometimes do not even mention this and I really feel agitated and angry when people disrespect them. They have no idea how much the educated and learned people who work day and night irrespective of time are treated, and at times they are not even allowed to take the call of nature which compels them not to drink water. I was fascinated to know how these people work so hard for a low salary.
Can you please tell us something about the concept of Pardes Main Mila Koi Apna?
The show is basically a love story and I did not want to get into social reforms or similar things. What I have learnt from television all these years is that it is pure entertainment and people need that. This is also a love story that is happening between two different cultures.
We heard that the concept had a political element in the beginning that was later on changed. Was there any particular reason?
There are always two calls to be taken in a show; socially recognized show or an entertainment show. The moment we found that the love story is flourishing, we decided to make it a love story.
How were the characters chosen for the show?
When I started conceptualizing the show, I had the characters in mind and these actors fit very well into them. When Kapil Nirmal gave the auditions, he reminded me of my brother and he was apt for Sarje Rao and had the same body language. Likewise Arjun Bijlani was also selected in the same manner because I was also good looking when I was young and I felt that he fits into the bill perfectly (laughs). Bhavna Khatri carries a lot of innocence and naivete on her face. The rest of the cast are all theater artistes whom I have seen in different plays, and they are whom I wanted to cast as a Fiction Head. It was easy to spot them and get them in one show.
What is your take on television today?
Television today has great competition which is in turn great fun and I just love to be amongst fresh ideas. Every Monday when new shows open and every Wednesday when the TRP ratings come, I still get Goosebumps. There is something new to learn everyday and it has to be like this.
Today we see shows deviating from the main content for TRPs; your comments on this?
For this particular show, I am setting about 20 options for a story with these characters and probably we will be coming up with a whole new model of making a show. We have characters and will deal with them according to the genres at that period of time and we have plans ready for the factors that are needed for that particular genre. At the end of the day we are making it for people who are tired and want entertainment to lighten their minds.
What do you feel about the time slot of 10:30pm?
Today there is no prime time in television and if you put up a good show even at 5 o' clock, people will accept it as they are hungry for entertainment. Today television is like a part of everyday life like, and we can now say life is about 'Roti, kapda makaan aur TV'.
How has the experience been working with Imagine TV?
Fantastic and I would love to make more shows for the channel.
There are a lot of shows that are rural based today; what is your take on that?
Its not about being rural or urban based shows, but about the culture the characters are rooted to. Whatever be the show, there should be an Indian-ism in it and in the characters of the show.
What would you like to say to your fans?
I would like to say that you guys can watch any shows you like till 10:30 but, at 10:30 you are supposed to watch Pardes Mein Mila Koi Apna (smiles).
Is there any message that you would like to convey through the show?
Fall in love.
Reporter and Author: Saranya Valsarajan