'Sach Ka Saamna' for Manoj Muntashir

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Posted: 14 years ago

'Sach Ka Saamna' for Manoj Muntashir

The writing is one the wall: 'Sach Ka Saamna' is a smash hit. Despite criticism from a few quarters, the show has been accepted by the Indian viewer.

Sach Ka Saamna for Manoj Muntashir

The key factor for its success is its format and of course, its charming host Rajeev Khandelwal. However, as always success also hinges on people who work tirelessly behind the camera. Manoj Muntashir is the writer of the show. But he is among the unsung heroes.

The writer has worked with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan in 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' series. He's also done Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.

In this exclusive conversation, we put forth some tricky questions to Muntashir. Let's see how he fares. By the way, we don't have any polygraph test! Well, we leave it to the viewers to read between the lines.

What is the role of a writer in a show like Sach ka saamna?
Among all the shows that I've done, Sach ka saamna requires maximum contribution from a writer. My principal task here is to be a link between Rajeev (Khandelwal) and the audience. I'm connected to him through a head set. I have to ensure that Rajeev never gets judgmental in his approach. I write the opening and ending lines for him.

Rajeev always begins the show with the same line. Aren't efforts made for him to be given different scripts?
We don't do that when we have rollover contestants. Otherwise Rajeev is given opening scripts. However, we have closing lines when each contestant finishes with the game. Also, one must not forget we have to make a show in just 22 minutes. There are 21 questions and it's always our endeavour to ask as many questions in those 22 minutes.

You've worked with Amitabh and Shah Rukh. How does Rajeev fare as a host vis--vis them?
It will be unfair to make such comparisons because Sach ka saamna is a completely different show. Here, it's just not about hosting. Rajeev dedicates nearly 8-10 hours in the profiling of these contestants. It's very important for Rajeev to act like a friend to the contestant. For that he must know every minute detail of the contestant and his family. It's only then that a contestant will open up to him.

Can you elaborate on the process before a contestant takes to the hot seat? Are other family members told to expect tricky questions?
Firstly, there's a complete profiling of these contestants. Then that's followed by the polygraph test. Well, we don't inform anything to the family members. It's the contestant who can inform his/her family members as to what questions he/she was asked during the polygraph test. It's the creative team who formulates the final 21 questions.

Critics allege that the show is all scripted. Also, contestants are taking to the show not because they're being honest but for the money.
Well, we knew will face these allegations but frankly speaking, I can tell you that not one contestant is coming to us for money. They may not earn a single penny, but they're leaving the sets as content souls. Critics may be under the impression that people are flocking to our show but that's far from the truth. In my entire career, this is one show where it's been really difficult to get people in. Among all the people we invited barely, 10 per cent of them accepted our invitation. Thus we laud the few who've had the courage to take part in our show.

From the look it, can we say that only people who lead dubious lives make for perfect candidates on Sach ka saamna?
No, I don't agree with you. I sincerely believe that each human being has a story to tell. There'll be some who have led a normal life but they could be asked a completely unexpected question. For instance, our first contestant Smitha Mathai was asked whether she ever felt the need to kill her husband. To which she answered yes (which was the correct answer). However, if you notice we barely have four to five tricky questions and most of them only come into play in the latter half of the show.

However, Yusuf Hussain was asked more than four tricky questions.
As for Mr.Yusuf, he's lived a colourful life. He must be lauded for showing courage to accept facts like that of sleeping with a girl younger than his daughter.

Will we get to see more celebrities on the show?
No, because majority of them refused to come. We've only had Vinod Kambli, Raja Chaudhary, Urvashi Dholakia and Bobby Darling. We also invited politicians but they flatly refused.