"Jee Le Zara is a slice of life kind of show..."

Says producer Shrishti Arya as she speaks about her new show and how Indian Television is ready for a change in terms of good story and content.

Saturday, August 17, 2013 | 1:04:41 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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A well-known television and film producer, Shrishti Arya started her career way back in 1998, as a co-producer of the film Angaaray starring Akshay Kumar and Pooja Bhatt. Daughter of film producer Ramesh Behl and sister of filmmaker Goldie Behl (Sonali Bendre's husband), Shrishti Arya has been one strong woman throughout her life. 

She shifted her focus to the growing Television industry in 2003 with the show Lipstick. The concept of the show was as unique as the name and was a fresh and welcome change from the serials on air that time. This was followed by shows like Na Na Karte, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, India Calling, Twinkle Beauty Parlour, Baccha Party, Remix, Aathvaan Vachan-saath vachano se badhkar on Sony TV, Guns & Roses and Thoda Hai Bas Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai which aired on various television channels and belonged to different genres and themes.

Her latest outing on Television was last year with Dekha Ek Khwab on Sony TV and this year she is ready with Kehta Hai Dil… Jee Le Zara which launches on Sony on 15th August. 

On the occasion of the launch of her show the fiercely frank and honest, Shrishti was dressed in colors of the tricolor since the show was to be launched on Independence Day and was in a mood to chat about her show and more…

I had to suddenly grow up at a very young age – 

Rose Audio Visuals Pvt. Ltd., is our father's company but he suddenly passed away in 1990. I had to take up a job in marketing at the age of 15 so as to earn some pocket money. After my father's demise, the responsibility of the entire company too shifted over to me and my siblings. However since we all were small, our mother took over just to sign the cheques while we siblings dealt with the rest of the work in the company. We made two films - Angarey and Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai - after our father's death. 

However, we also had to generate revenue for the staff and keep the company running. That is how Television was the next step for us and Zee's Lipstick happened. After that it has been a decade now and we hope that the audience likes this latest offering from us.

I have now become mature – 

Many people wondered how come a serious mature love story coming from me since I have a jovial image, but I think I too am grown up now, so why not? I have become mature! The concept and idea of Kehta Hai Dil… Jee Le Zara was from Sony, and then we developed everything from scratch. I have a DP on my phone saying 'super woman, super girl, super wife…' and I believe that we all are super women at the end of the day and it is a common story about all women. There might be someone who is not married or someone like me who has a child but we all are going through the same things so we decided to work on these lines.

It is a slice of life story and people will relate to it – 

I don't do saas-bahu sagas and yet we have a lot of story to narrate which is amazing. In Kehta Hai Dil… Jee Le Zara, our protagonist Saanchi is not unhappy with her life. Her life is wonderful as it is and even in the promo she says that. She is not sad at all! It is all about the journey of this single woman and the pressures of the family which come across as being very humorous too. Every unmarried woman will share this story. The first episode opens with a wedding card of a girl from the neighborhood who is to get married which is received by Saanchi's family and then it is shown as to how she is pressurized. This happens all the time. There has been an inspiration from a real life story and in fact I have picked up the first episode from an incident from the life of one of my friends. I can't tell you her name but she knows about this. I have seen this happening to my sister too when she was not married and she would shy away from weddings saying everyone will catch hold of me. So it is a slice of life show which will touch your heart. We are Indians and all emotional but again overall the flavor of the show is very modern and contemporary.

Even today girls are pestered about getting married – 

It is very much visible everywhere around us… in our office, with my sister's friends, with women we know and we keep hearing it from them. There are so many girls in my office who are earning well but are not married as yet. Now in fact this is very common as women are getting opportunities to step out of their homes to study, to work and at one point in time they realize that they are so busy building up their career that they are not married as yet. When a man crosses 30 it is not a problem for him to get married but when a girl crosses 30 suddenly there is so much of external pressure for her to get married. People still think why is this girl not married, what is wrong with her? This thought is still so prevalent everywhere even today. Nobody stops anybody from working but at the bottom of their heart all parents want their children to settle down. They want it for boys also, but for girls it becomes more and more difficult to find somebody of their age group once they become older so it is a very unique situation. 

Getting Sangeeta Ghosh on board was a brainwave – 

Sangeeta is just fabulous and has never looked so good before. I don't think she looks old but she looks exactly like the character we want. The character of Saanchi is of a young girl who's got a full life, looks good and has all that it takes. She has every chance to make it happen but it's not happening. Sangeeta also brings along a certain kind of romance. Inherently her image is that of romance and you will believe in it even if she is with a younger man. Within the show Sangeeta has her space… ek therav sa hai. Saanchi is not someone who is sitting waiting to get married. She has lost her parents and as the eldest child in the family she has taken over the family's business and responsibilities of her brother who is into aviation and she is helping her sister finish her internship and everybody in the office looks up to her as she is a successful entrepreneur. Sangeeta fits into the role and does complete justice to the character.  

We tried getting Ruslaan Mumtaz earlier too – 

We have tried getting Ruslaan many times in the past too but I think it is also about getting things at the right time and right pace, so when it had to happen it had to happen. Ruslaan is lovely as an actor. The thing is he is a young guy and the fact that he is coming from Films to TV doesn't make much of a difference. The distinction between TV and Films is getting more and more blur whether it is an Ayushman Khurana, Manish Paul, Barun Sobti or Sushant Singh Rajput. There is a commitment on TV which might restrict your opportunities in films but currently there is good environment everywhere. 

Indian Television is in a zone of changing – 

Television is ripe right now and ready for a big makeover. Every 4 to 5 years there is something which comes and changes dramatically a lot on TV. It has earlier happened with shows like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, Remix, Bade Ache Lagte Hain, Balika Vadhu, Saath Phere. Hopefully Jee Le Zara is that kind of show and it is not a good looking or a glossy kind of a show but the material that we are dealing with this time is a little different. Films have also changed now, look at films like Vicky Donor and English Vinglish and even Indian Television is in that zone of changing. TV also has to make that changeover and for us no better channel than Sony to do it now.

Just because there is no kitchen politics doesn't mean that there is no story – 

Jassi was not saas bahu at all and just because nobody is plotting and scheming in the kitchen doesn't mean there lives are not going on. If there is a highly compelling story to tell of a woman in today's times and how she is trying to be everything to everyone who in the process has forgotten doing something for herself leading to an awareness that comes in then of course there is a plot in the story. Of course there is a back story too and it is not as if Saanchi has never fallen in love… ek ladki hai jisne kabhi kisi ko dekha nahi types. The reason that Ruslaan comes in her life and gives so much joy to her is not a happy reason. They face challenges together and they have a real fruitful life. It is not going to be a vanilla flavor, it is Rose productions so it is going to be more colorful than that. 

I am working actively on Television now – 

It is a very interesting time because fortunately there is something on different channels that we are pitching in and I am waiting for the turn to come for all those things to happen. We have been doing only one show at a time but finally people are willing to watch the type of shows that I want to make and I am working actively on Television after five years. Earlier there was certain kind of programming that did not gel with our thinking. It is in our sensibilities and I am very, very optimistic about the show - the timing, the channel, the team that we have managed to put together for the show I think it is a show blessed by God. Sometimes everything comes together in a jiffy and sometimes you struggle and struggle and nothing happens.

People still ask me about Remix – 

Yes, how can we end without talking about Remix. The channel Star One doesn't exist now but I would like to do Remix again. It is a syndicated show for Star so they have to take a decision about getting it back. The fan following even now is just amazing. So many people still ask for it to come on air. The show introduced Karan Wahi who is doing great on Television now. We share a lovely bond and we are still very much in touch. He is a wonderful boy and I treat him like my son. At present Karan has other ambitions but if he ever does a fiction show on TV again it will be with me. 

Seema Khot Mattoo

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Posted on: 18 March 2015 at 4:49am
Barun sobti you rock and rules and we all love you so much like crazy as always

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Posted on: 06 October 2014 at 11:18am
Barun Sobti rulez
Love you barun

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Posted on: 04 September 2014 at 5:25am
Barun Sobti where r u????
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Posted on: 04 September 2014 at 5:12am
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Posted on: 04 September 2014 at 4:22am
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Posted on: 04 September 2014 at 1:19am
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Posted on: 29 October 2013 at 12:46am
Hello Shristiji ! Your idea of shows are wonderful, even I dont like sans bahu serials which consist of only 'Kutantras'. I have become big fan of 'Jee Le Zara'. You have achieved a lot in your life. All the best for ur future projects.

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Posted on: 22 October 2013 at 10:54pm
love u karan
miss u alot

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Posted on: 05 October 2013 at 1:12pm
Barun rocks!!!! He is the best xx.

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