Producer Rajan Shahi under his banner Director's Kut is known for popular shows like Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata hai amongst many others. He is ready with his latest offering Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya which he feels will touch a raw nerve with each and every one of us since the show talks about first love and the journey of falling deeper in love.
Even as he is busy directing some important scenes for the show, he takes time out to chat about his show, the story and the newcomers who will mark their debut on Indian Television.
What is the concept of Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya?
Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya is about a 19 year old girl and a 20 year old boy and the entire journey about what is love? While the girl wishes to fall in love, the boy when he falls in love for the first time asks himself as to why am I feeling this way? Is this love? Progression of falling in love is what the show is all about.
The story is based in Jaipur, Rajasthan giving it a very nice flavor to the set up. It is shot in Jaipur and Jodhpur since any city in Rajasthan represents the entire culture, feel and positivity of Rajasthan.
And how did the concept originate?
This idea had been playing on my mind for quite some time now. I always wanted to do a young innocent love story which was all about fresh first love, growing up of a boy and girl in a traditional family set up. However, when you talk about a teenaged love story it is immediately associated with a college love story so the thought never progressed further.
Then one day when I was having a chat with the creative team and Ajay Bhalwankar, Programming Head from Zee TV spoke about doing a young love story with the family set up too given equal importance which is when we had the first connection since I too had been wanting to do such a show for a long time so we decided to go ahead with it.
How different will it be as compared to other love stories?
My idea was always doing a positive take on love. In fact even Ajay suggested why not do a love story which is positive?' Then when we were discussing it further everyone in the team got talking about their own first love and everyone connected with the idea of the entire process of falling in love with a positive feeling. The show represents how today's youth is bound with their own family traditions, culture and the positive element of the youth.
Love is supposed to be positive and that is the reflection which should come after watching the show. So we thought why not have a love story which can be discussed by different generations instead of compartmentalizing the feeling of love and thinking of with whom to discuss which is what youngsters do. So even while keeping the respect and values in mind certain things can be very nicely spoken about. Love is between every relative in the family and not only about youngsters so we wanted all generations to connect with the feeling.
We believe that the title too has a story to tell.
Yes, there is a personal story attached to the title. Around 16 years back when I was an assistant director I would stay with 3-4 boys sharing a room together. I and one of my roommate both fell in love at the same time but with different girls. At that time we used to listen to songs on the tape recorder and we had a cassette of the movie Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. We all liked the title song and it became a morning ritual that before leaving for work we would listen to the song which went on for months altogether. So it became associated with the meaning of first love and being in love so when this idea came up I suggested the title to the channel and they liked it too.
What is the USP of the show?
The incidents in the show which we plan to depict will be funny, tragic but positive and nice too. I hope the innocence of first love makes it stand apart. The USP of the show is the freshness and innocence. The two main leads - Mishkat Varma and Kanchi Singh are newcomers to Television and seeing the first love between these two fresh faces who have not been seen in different permutation and combinations earlier falling in love will be different. The journey of falling in love and the beautiful imperfections of these two people is so beautiful which we hope to capture. There are many actors who are stars first and then the character but here the rawness of the boy and the girl will be endearing to the audience. They both are educated, college going, English speaking youngsters but they have retained there earthiness and endearing ability.
The USP of the show is also the music which is being done by two young music directors. One of my actress Nidhi Uttam from Yeh Rishta was getting married and she had come with her fiance, Mohit Pathak to invite us when she told us that he was an upcoming music director. We decided to try him out and throughout their wedding ceremony in Lucknow he was sending us recording for us. We liked the freshness of the compositions so we decided to take him on board and he has not only written the lyrics but also composed and sung the title track. So this is also his debut.
How did you finalize the two main leads who are fresh, new faces on TV?
The boy, Mishkat Verma has done some ads and I had spotted him in them. I met him 6-7 months back when this project was not on so I told him to wait and when things fell in place I called him.
The girl, Kanchi Singh has done shows as a character artiste and this is her first show as a lead. I was going past the reception area in my office and saw this girl sitting there mugging her lines getting ready for her audition for a cameo since she had come for a small role. I gave her a look and decided to take her audition myself. When she realized I was going to shoot her she got scared and refused to come for the shoot which was very cute and funny. People had to convince her and ultimately I shot with her and we did 2-3 scenes and songs with her just to see her reaction which came out to be very genuine and liked by all after which we signed her. Both she and Mishkat were very raw and that is what I liked about both.
We will also see Reena Kapoor as a mother on Indian TV for the first time. How did you think of her and was she convinced easily?
Reena Kapoor has a positive and graceful presence which I needed in this show. She maintains herself with dignity and has a positive image which I liked. I saw only her in the role so we approached her. She didn't need any convincing since she had heard about out production house and after the narration she had no qualms of playing a mother. She has a positive connect to the character which is close to her own nature which will come across in the show too.
Seema Khot Mattoo