To have a vertically challenged female protagonist in a daily soap is difficult alright but Nikhil Sinha who made his debut as producer with Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo did just that. What’s more, he claims to be getting encouraging feedback from people for his ‘different’ show. Sinha started his career as a cinematographer and shifted to directing shows, especially fantasy before he veered to production. Sinha talks to TellyChakkar on his plans for Baba and how ‘Bharati’ has won over viewers.
You started as a cinematographer and then after directing, you are a producer now. How has the journey been?
I have seen all aspects of a TV show and it helps me a lot today. I can see things from the perspective of a cinematographer, director as well as a producer. So, things have been nice so far.
I have been upgrading myself all this while. I took up production for a while as it gives you more freedom. You can deliver to the best of your abilities otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to make a show like Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo.
Did you taken Baba… to other channels or was Imagine your first choice?
The concept was discussed with other channels but the creative team of Imagine responded to it the best. And frankly speaking, this being my first product I did not have many choices and I took a channel that had a good base and understood my show.
You had directed Dharam-Veer for Imagine.
Yes, and I have also directed shows like Prithviraj Chauhan, Aladdin, Hatim and Hotel Kingston.
You have done a lot of mythological shows then why shift to an issue based one?
That was my USP. But we also have mythological, fantasy and historical shows. I have been connected more with fantasy. I have done a mythological show, Jai Shree Krishna, on Colors. I did more of fantasy because that’s where you get to work as a director and update yourself. Otherwise you don’t have much to do but execute.
In the last one-and-a-half years things have changed on Indian television and you have issue based shows making it back. That is why I too got back to it first with Yeh Pyar Na Hoga Kam. Now the market is open for more sensible shows as the audience accepts it!
Has the story of Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo been altered to suit the demands of the audience?
It’s not a real ‘real’ story. It was an idea about a person who is vertically challenged and what she goes through. Height is a big issue in our country and people do not take it seriously. So we have a girl who has money, intelligence everything except good height. There hasn’t been any alteration in the story so far and a lot of characters that we have are inspired from real life.
Why is 's story been shown as that of a dukhiyari, why didn’t you show her as a confident girl who despite her physical deformity won over odds? Especially when TV is a medium which so many people watch and the story could have been used as an inspirational story?
The whole idea of the story was that but you need to know the depth of the character first. If you’ve seen the story she does not have a good height but her parents haven’t kept her away from anything. And the reality is if a person does not have a good height his or her competitive level gets hampered. He does not have the power to fight back but it will happen in the story in future. After all that’s happening to her she will get into the happy zone. She will overcome all obstacles.
The story looks melodramatic, is it because of the belief that viewers like 'weeping' heroines?
We have tried to keep ‘weeping’ to the minimum. We have just tried and kept it realistic for we are trying to be honest with our audience.
Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin was more like an inspirational story… why couldn't you do the same thing with?
When we look at Jassi and its success we are evaluating two years of Jassi. But, even in Jassi her problems were shown first and then the story changed. In the same way, Baba… will see a change. We have just completed one-and-a-half months.
You’ve directed Dharam-Veer in which Vikrant Massey was the lead. Is he your favourite as he is part of Baba too?
Vikrant has suited the character completely. When we wrote the character I knew I wanted Vikrant and no one else. We did the entire casting of the show in seven days. We had the sketch of every character and we had decided which character suited whom all we had do was get the right person.
What about Bharati’s character?
It was a difficult task and as we wanted someone who had a pleasant face with the required height. We wanted someone who would understand the medium of TV, camera etc. We were lucky to get Juhi (Aslam).
What kind of shows are you looking forward to in future?
At present I am concentrating on Baba but am looking forward to pure and sincere entertainment. Something that people got at the time of DD, Zee and Star Plus in their initial days.
What kind of feedback have you received for Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo?
Overwhelming! We have received lovely responses from viewers and industry insiders. I am happy as people have acknowledged it.