'We will portray both sides of the coin' - Saurabh Tewari

Saurabh Tewari, Programming Head, Imagine talks about the channel's next fiction launch, Armano Ka Balidan Arakshan in an exclusive conversation with TellyBuzz..

Imagine's recent fiction launches, Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo  and Gunahon Ka Devta have given them a boost in ratings. And now the channel is all set for the launch of yet another unique show, Armano Ka Balidan.. Arakshan, which deals with a love story that blossoms amidst the problems of the reservation quota system is produced by RG Media and Entertainment, and Writer Kamal Pandey.

Here is Saurabh Tewari, Programming Head, Imagine in an exclusive conversation with TellyBuzz wherein he takes us thro' the concept of the new show, on the urge to develop a show on contemporary India, the cast chosen, the goals set by Imagine and much more..

The promos of Armano Ka Balidan..Arakshan look promising and different. What is the USP of the show?
We are coming up with something that has never been shown before on Indian television. There are lot many people who have been affected by the reservation policy. This is seen in small towns like Kanpur, Lucknow, Bhopal etc where families give proper education to their children hoping that they would get good jobs in future. However, when they do not get jobs that they deserve, there are repercussions seen. We are not criticizing the policy set up by the Mandal Commission here, but we will portray both sides of the coin.

Armano Ka Balidan Arakshan is basically a love story that has been given the premise and backdrop of the reservation policy. It is the story of a girl Sumedha who has lost her brother in the 1990 Anti-reservation agitation. She is from the upper class, and her entire family due to the tragic death of the boy have a particular take on the reservation policy that prevails. And there is the male lead who is a Dalit and has grown on to become a District Magistrate. On one hand you have the female lead who has lost a family member, while you have the male lead who has benefited from this, and has reached a position of respect in society. The concept in itself gives an opportunity to narrate a different kind of story; the premise, plot and the issue which is relevantly new yet relatable is the USP of our show.

Would you deal with the problems of today related to the reservation quota, or take the story back to the year of 1990?
No, the show represents the contemporary scenario, that is 2010. Yes, we have a back story which happened in the year 1990, but we are not getting into flashbacks. This tragic back story will be a foundation, wherein we will show how an entire generation and family has got affected due to this.
The show got into a legal battle recently with Prakash Jha over the title claim. Will Arakshan go thro a change in title?
See, our show was never called Arakshan. It is titled Armano Ka Balidan.. Arakshan. The case is still with the association, so I cannot comment on the outcome.

Don't you think this kind of concept can get you into more trouble?
We are not trying to make a controversial show. We are attempting to make a contemporary show, and as you know, television and society cannot be separated. We will try our best to be neutral and narrate a good story. If we get into problems, we will tackle it then.

Gunahon Ka Devta and Baba Aiso Varr Dhundo which took off as different concepts have today got into the saas bahu mode. Was this part of strategy?
I would not accept that Baba and Gunahon have gone into saas bahu mode. Baba was always meant to be the story of a girl with stunted growth who gets wedded into a family who consider her as just an ATM machine. But as we know, happiness and security cannot be bought with money. Gunahon is the story of a criminal and the manner in which he falls in love. However, being in love with a criminal is different when compared to life after marrying a criminal. There will always be ups and downs within a show; we have to show plots that are out of the regular flavour so that we provide something which is massy.

So what do you have in plan for Arakshan? Will the show retain its original flavour for long?
Yes, we will be retaining the original flavour for long. As I said before, we have to retain the flavour of entertainment, and provide something massy.

What went about when you were casting for Arakshan?
We had decided not to go for the big names. Our characters are very real, so we needed good actors to portray them. We have taken many actors who have a theatre background. Command over the language was important, hence the emphasis was on good actors. You will not see plastic faces in this show.

You have seasoned actors in Pariva Pranati and Rahoul Lohani, while your male lead is relatively new.
I have earlier worked with Rahoul Lohani in Jabb Love Hua four years back. He is a fantastic actor, and we were looking for such names. As I said, we were not looking for big names, we wanted the actors to fit the bill perfectly. Pariva too is a very good actor and is apt for the role of Sumedha. And for the male lead, we wanted a new face who will come without the baggage of having a particular image. If an actor comes with a positive or negative baggage, it is always tough to break that. We have Aarya Kumar who again fits the role perfectly. The male protagonist has a very important role to play, as he will be the one who will fight against this corruption.

So would you call this show as a female oriented show or a male oriented one?
Both the girl and the boy have an equally important place. We can term it as a family show.

Tell us about the prime cast of the show.
As you know, we have Pariva, Aarya Kumar and Rahoul Lohani. Muni Jha plays an important role. There is Deepraj Rana, Manmohan Tiwari, and they play vital roles.

Imagine has of late brought in writers as Producers. After Raakesh Paswan, it is Kamal Pandey and Jayesh Patil. So what is the strategy behind this?
I am an ex-writer and believe that writers today need to get a bigger platform. Writers who are willing to take up challenges and go that extra mile, those who have that extra punch in them to do more, should be given an opportunity like this. In television, a show is usually conceived by someone, developed by another and executed by another person. For example, this concept is an in-house concept conceived by me and my team. We now have Kamal Pandey coming in to develop it, and in a normal case there will be a producer coming in to execute it. My aim is to close in on the number of people associated with it; there is always an additional vision got when the person who creates the concept executes it.

Arakshan is in the hands of a new production house. How is it working with RG Media and Entertainment and Kamal Pandey?
I have worked earlier with Ravindra Gautam in various shows. We have a great working equation and are excited about the show.

Where are you shooting for your outdoors?
The outdoor shoot is done. We shot at a place Hoshangabad near Bhopal.

What is the immediate goal that you have set for the new fiction line-up on Imagine?
Our idea is to see our fiction shows cross that 2 and 2.5 TVR mark, and once we achieve that, we will aim for higher milestones.

When is Arakshan launching?
Armano Ka Balidan Arakshan launches on 29th November and will take the place of Jyoti at the 8.30 PM slot.
It is Jyoti which is going off air now. Is Bandini the next to go off?
It is too early to comment on this.
Can you tell us something on your next launch, Begaani Zameen?
Same again, it is early to comment.

Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh

Your reaction

Pariva Pranati Thumbnail

Pariva Pranati

Rahoul Lohani Thumbnail

Rahoul Lohani

Munir Jha Thumbnail

Munir Jha

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Deepraj Rana

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Manmohan Tiwari

Jyoti poster


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Comments (15)

Atlast viewer get fresh subject on tv as i mlate commenting on n watching one of the shows it really not saas bahu saga atall. well good beging imagine cogo for this step

13 years ago

at last we got a show abt real problem of today......i just hope this show will focus on the actual prb of quata system.

13 years ago

I hope Bandini goes off air, i use to love the drama but that stupid Ekta Kapoor likes taking a good story and messing it up like she has done with other dramas. We should all boycott watching her dramas maybe that will teach her a lesson and get the message through 2 her that she is one of the shittest drama producers india has ever seen!!!!.

13 years ago

I'm not going to commit myself to any show until I see a consistantcy in the story

13 years ago

reservation is important in smaal cities. bcoz dalits der still get ill treated!!!!khairlanje case is one such example!! i hope they do show both d sides!!!!

13 years ago

Pankaj in Jyoti = Dr. Megha in Bandini Both of these characters ruin the shows.

13 years ago

I am with you , Bandini needs to end

13 years ago

right leena imagine knows best and doesnt need any advice on which show to end when. they know which shows still have potential and which NEVER HAD ANY

13 years ago

Still they ( jyoti fans) are behind bandini? I do not understand.

13 years ago

@ agarwalniharika

its not u who deiced which show should to end.... & which not there is lot of cleaver persons r sited to take a right decision.... so no need of ur advice..... thank u.....

13 years ago

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