“I Will Not Do Anything I Am Not Convinced About,” Says Yash Patnaik
A television show which revolves around the story of a mother, her son and his wife, and is still not the stereotypical saas-bahu drama, Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi has been raking up popularity ratings higher than most other popular shows put together. It’s a relatable story with realistic character portrayals which sets it apart from the rest of prime time shows while also speaking volumes about the efforts and creativity of its makers Yash and Mamta Patnaik and their production house, Beyond Dreams.
Recently, in a Twitter poll by a leading national daily, the show has also emerged as the most popular feature show on Indian Television. Producer Yash Patnaik talks to My City Links about Kuch Rang Pyaar Ke Aise Bhi and its increasing popularity.
Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi has been voted the most popular feature show in a poll by TOI. That apart, the show has been also going strong having received high ratings by IMDB. What do you think is the USP of the show – the handpicked actors, the relatable story, or the fresh look and feel of the entire show?
A lot of effort went into consciously deciding on each of these elements. I keep hearing people and audiences whine about how unreal television is with women going to bed laden with heavy makeup and jewellery on the show. The general perception that television is quite pretentious and not real is what inspired us to think about creating something with which people can connect.
With more than half of the 130 crore population of India that watches mainstream private channels, glued to shows that present content far removed from our day to day reality, it was a risk when we wanted to experiment with such a show. We thought of coming up with a story about real people with real emotions. I wanted to deliberately stay away from the traditional way of storytelling, the typical plots, characters and the cast too. We had our apprehensions about the experiment but nonetheless decided to go with our conviction and portray the kind of characters we believe in.
It is generally noticed that when a show’s story line undergoes a time leap, the makers more often than not tend to fail in sustaining the initial excitement and interest in the story. With your show recently making the leap of seven years in the storyline, do you think you will be able to keep that magic intact?
The time leap in our show was a very organic progression of the story moving forward. The general format of time leaps in the shows is imposed and does not happen organically to the story. Anything that is not organic does not hold good.
In our show, the leap was not made to introduce new characters. It was meant to show another phase of the characters’ lives. It shows how different relationships also go through different phases in life. This leap was planned well in advance and we knew where we were heading and what equation will develop between the characters. In fact, the leap has worked in our favour. The show is doing even better than earlier.
When a serial is doing well, the makers usually drag it through endless number of episodes. What is your take on the trend of making 1000 or more episodes?
This should not be a trend at all. The moment I think that my show does not have any story left to be told further, I will end it. As producers too, we are not as greedy to trade off our credibility as creative people with making money. For the past two decades of my career as a producer, I have stayed away from following a particular pattern or trend. I will not do anything that I am not convinced with. Dragging a story for too long makes it monotonous after a time. Why stretch a single story when there are many more stories to be told?!
Which has been your favourite episode or promo from the show?
I love all the episodes of Kuch Rang. I would tell my wife that ‘Our show ‘Kuch Rang Pyar Ke Aise Bhi’ is the only other thing that I romance after you!’
The episode with the scene where the conflict between Dev and Sonakshi’s families happens due to Dev accidently slapping Sonakshi’s father and the one where Dev proposes to Sonakshi, stand out among my favourite set of episodes. It is the simplicity in the scene that connects with people. At the same time, it is difficult to create this simplicity.
Do you think the response towards Kuch Rang… is indicative of the changing tastes of audiences which the television industry must adapt itself to?
Yes. It has to adapt itself or else people will change the medium of entertainment. But business matters too. So, it is entirely up to the makers.
Is portraying strong women characters in your shows, a very conscious move?
Well, content depends mostly on the medium. While films are mostly male- dominated, television tends to be more female-driven medium.
As a producer, do you watch the show regularly yourself?
I go through every single episode before the final one is ready to be aired. I am involved in the making completely and enjoy it too. I find this necessary, or else one cannot think of making a show like this. Content is not factory built, and it has no system or pattern to create it. It has to be from the heart.
Is your family also hooked to the show?
Yes, of course. I know for sure that my father watches it and the rest of the family also says they watch it. I hope they are telling me the truth!
Hailing from Odisha to becoming one of the leading producers of India’s television industry, what plans do you have for Odisha? Do you plan to take talents from the state to work at the national level or do you plan to do something in the state itself?
I am ready to provide opportunity to the talent coming from our state, but they also have to stand up to it. Eventually, it all boils down to serious competition and they have to prove their mettle. I will not be dishonest to my work by promoting undeserving talent, only because they are from my state. However, priority will be given to them and they will be the privileged ones. But at the end of the day, their talent has to speak for them. A major setback for Odias of my generation and before has been their accent. But for the younger lot today, this barrier is gradually disappearing. So, I believe we will now have a great pool of talented Odias coming into mainstream industry. And, I would love to be a catalyst in their career.
As far as my plans for working on any projects in Odisha is concerned, I can only do that when I take some time off and station myself there for a while. There, I would prefer producing a film than producing a TV show as it would not require my constant physical presence. I can also shoot an Odia film in Mumbai. So, whenever I make an Odia film, it will never be a Hindi movie made in Odia. It has to be an inherently Odia story. In times when language is no longer a barrier, dubbed and remade films are losing their charm. I would love to make an original Odia film that is more relatable and contemporary and will be watched across all languages.
FT Img courtesy: Yash A Patnaik