Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal which went on air this Monday has been making waves with its colorful promos and now the actual show too has been much appreciated. An out and out comedy show coming on a popular GEC like Colors, it has made its mark with the viewers all the more because of actor Gaurav Gera who is seen in the title role.
How did the concept of Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal originate?
The concept of Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal was playing on my mind for almost a year and a half now. It was my idea to do something crazy since I love humor. In fact, I'm a big fan of crazy comedy and having said that I was waiting for the right time which I would say has come now to introduce a show like this to our audience.
None of the GECs have a proper comedy on prime time, so don't you think it is risk?
I might be taking a risk as the idea of having a proper comedy show on a proper fiction GEC is something new but that is what must be the thought on the mind of the viewers too as to 'Why doesn't such a thing exist on a proper GEC? Why are we not doing a proper comedy show? Why do we need to go to some other channel to see comedy?' We have an excellent line up of shows on Colors but why not a comedy is what even we used to think. I always used to say that I have a comedy in mind, and I am working on the idea and I am just waiting for things to fall in place and that's how this came in. Also in these stressful times people need to find out ways to laugh, reason to smile, ways to de-stress then why not offer them a comedy which will take a heavy load off their shoulder.
There have been many films – both Indian and foreign based on similar concept. Is there any particular film which has inspired this show?
None of the films have inspired this particular show. There have been films like Tootsie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Mrs. 420 but none in particular have been used as an inspiration. If you remember then way back in our Indian films men only would play the role of women since it was actually taboo for women to enact the role of a man. So men getting into this get-up is an age old concept in theatre and that particular thing left a thought in everyone's mind. So we see it in a film which is a two hour start to finish kind of thing which is easy to pull off. We wanted to see whether we can do the same with a TV show… so we decided to do this 6 - 8 months show involving a humongous budget and decided to check whether we could pull it off for 6 times a week, every week, month after month. That was a big question and to know whether we can we had to start off first.
So how is Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal different from similar such shows?
A lot of research work went on in this show. A lot of pre-production planning was involved. The production house spent 2 – 2 months getting the right look for Pammi, make her look like a woman who deserves a second glance. We had to make her look hot. Any man draping a saree and doing a drag scene in a stand-up comedy is different but here she had to be believable. In the show, Pammi has to stay in a household as a woman and she has to look like a woman who can be considered beautiful and not scary. She has to look seductive and hot and someone with an X factor.
For me, no one else but Gaurav Gera could be Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal. As I said this idea was on my mind since a year and half but that time Gaurav Gera was not free. I had decided that I will do the show only if he is free otherwise I will not do it. He was crucial to the show. I have seen his other work too and know his caliber as an actor. He has been uploading short films on You Tube too where he has performed as Chutki and Malti Manohar Mishra type of characters. I know his range as an actor so for me Gaurav Gera was always my Pammi. Last year he was not free since he was committed to his musical play Jhmuroo and he had said that whenever I can devote enough time for a daily soap I will do it for you. We have worked together as actors and he is a friend too so we often meet at common friends. That is when he told me that he will be free around May – June so I told him if he was getting free then I had a concept in mind and even he knew which idea I was talking about so we decided to give it a chance. Gaurav told me that he was ready for a daily soap and he had worked his dates around and so we got started with working on the show. I didn't audition anybody else for the role of Pammi and if he was not free then Pammi would not have been launched at all. So even before my first episode was locked my main lead as in Gaurav as Pammi was locked.
Why the change of production house – from Cinevistaas to Playtime Creations?
Yes, earlier Cinevistaas was supposed to do the show but once they started working they realised they were not comfortable with the comedy genre. There came a point when they thought that it was not there cup of tea, whether it was the comedy genre or the kind of inputs and the kind of work required for this show and this is not an easy show. Asking a man to dress up like a woman and then Gaurav is playing a double role as Pammi and Param in every episode. The show starts with Param and shows his journey from Gorakhpur to Bombay and as to why he has to transform into Pammi. At the same time when he becomes a Pammi he becomes Param too in his own limited private space so it was a difficult show. They felt they could not do justice to the show so they wanted to back out and we said well and good! We have worked a lot with Playtime Creations and we both share the same passion for shows, whether it is comedy or others. They understood the kind of mind set that we had for this show and we realized that if there was someone who could do justice to a comedy like this it had to be Playtime so they were in and we are very happy about the work and how it has shaped up.
Isn't the show's timing at 7 pm a bit too early for a family laughter riot?
These days, the way television has been looked up by viewers, 7 pm has become 9 pm today. Prime time starts from 7 pm and as per the statistics in the recent past a 7 pm show has rated much better than a 9 pm or a 10 pm show. Family show and patterns have changed, in smaller towns and cities or even in cities like Pune which is by no means a small town or small city as such people are home early and even a show at 6:30 starts getting TRPs. We have realized that if it is a good show then people will actually make sure that they will accommodate you.
We also wanted to start up with our entertainment slot with something halka fulka. It is a starter kind of a show, which has thoda khatta meetha taste. I didn't want to give them something heavy at 7 pm itself which will leave the head heavy all through the evening. Mrs. Pammi Pyarelal has a dose of laughter to tickle your funny bone after which we can serve the saas bahu shows, serious family dramas which are a bit heavy as the main course.
Seema Khot Mattoo