It has been a decade journey between ‘Banegi Apni Baat’ and ‘Baat Hamari Pakki Hai’. How has the experience been?
Exciting and exhausting. There have been many ups and downs, especially when I had to run around from channel to channel to put Banegi Apni Baat on air. I did succeed in doing that but it wasn’t something that came easy.
The media and viewers feel Ekta Kapoor is the czarina of television...
I will still be modest enough to say that I am the original TV queen as I came in the business much earlier than her.
In a scene in ‘Baat Hamari Pakki Hai’, the would-be bride is stripped before the would-be sister–in–law. Do you think such a scenes are acceptable on television?
What’s wrong in that? All am trying to do is reflect reality prevalent in many Indian families. Since ages, many families practice this to find out if the girl’s body is disfigured, has any marks or is suffering from any ailment; even going to the extent of getting a complete medical check-up done to find out if she can conceive or not. Even today when I visit a salon, I meet many ladies who humbly request me to tell them the easiest way to find a groom for their daughters.
Do you think TRPs for a show can be manipulated?
Not at all. In fact, TRPs don’t drive me or my work. What matters is that when I go on the sets, I want to see my artists and technicians working really hard and putting in their best at work.
It is said that all your shows are rip-offs of foreign programmes. How would you refute this particular allegation?
This has been going on since Banegi Apni Baat started off. All my shows (barring one or two), are completely original. I do get inspired by foreign shows, but they are adapted to suit the Indian viewer’s tastes. My shows are inspired by life, for instance, Banegi Apni Baat, which dealt with issues concerning the youth.
Have you ever thought about taking up direction?
I haven’t. I am content being a producer. I would rather be known as a creative producer than a creative director.
You are also known as the ‘messiah’ for all newcomers.
All I do is search for the the right talent and give them a break.
So what is your criterion for selecting them?
They should be intelligent enough to communicate the idea of my shows and of course, they should suit the character.
What are your future plans?
I am planning many more shows for various channels. A comedy show for SAB TV and a big budget Bollywood movie is in the offing.