we heard of a nuclear scientist becoming the President of India (Dr P J Abdul Kalam),
mechanical engineer going on to become a chef-cum restauranteur (Rahul Akerkar of
Indigo) and computer engineer making it big in Bollywood as asinger and music composer
(Shankar Mahadevan). It is quite common for ingenious and resourceful people to
realize their calling after pandering to their impulses in a series of diverse vocations.
Ranashinge is no different as
discovers the varied conquests of this multi-faceted
director of many popular serials on the
small screen who is raring to go and prove
his mettle on the big screen as well.
Rajesh who has directed thrillers like
Aahat, CID, Sshh….Koi Hai,
Hai, Raat Hone Ko Hai, Akela, is currently
wearing the director's cap for Sahara One's
popular show Kittu Sab Jaanti Hai.
thriller is as tough as comedy"
Tell us about
your initial years in this industry?
I was qualified to be an Electronics Engineer
but my interest lied in all aspects of film
making, from story writing to editing. As
a cameraman I did ads, shot wildlife for
National Geographic channel, learnt editing
for three years with Rajan Waghdhare before
I started directing serials since past 10
years. In 1995, my first directorial venture
was serial Aankhen for DD1 which
was a hit among the viewers and there were
no private channels like today. Then came
Aandhi for Zee TV and Best Seller
for Star Plus. I directed Thodi Si
Bewafaii, a family social, which was
a trendsetter - the saas-bahu genre
- it was for the first time a serial had
the technical zoom on the characters to
reinforce the effect, the kind you see in
almost all the soaps today. But my forte
is thrillers and I am happy doing that.
So how come you
are directing Kittuu….which is more
of a family drama?
Yes, Kittu… does fall in that genre
but each episode tackles a different crisis
that is thrilling in itself. I find it very
exciting and satisfying to direct this show.
You directed the
thriller, Akela too. What actuated
your exit from the show?
In the beginning, Akela was not directed
by me. I believe I was brought in to raise
the TRPs, which I did. I found the story
quite gripping but the producers suddenly
wanted to revamp the show and also shifted
the telecast to Saturday. Somehow, I was
not happy with the track change and decided
is not meant for thrillers"
What's your take
A thriller is as tough as comedy - timing;
good editing and photography make the viewers
glued to the TV set. I enjoy doing thrillers
as I can visualize special effects that
can make the audience chew their nails.
What's your modus
operandi as a director?
As a director, I have to execute the show
well and handle the actors and technicians
too. If I am convinced with any actor's
novel ideas and provided they are relevant
to the theme, I never hesitate to include
them. According to me, the cameraman is
not just that, but he is the director of
photography and if he or my assistants come
up with some brilliant suggestions, I readily
incorporate them. We work as a team and
I respect their capabilities. Actually in
TV serials, there is no logic but we try
to create logic. In my career so far, no
channel has asked me to change my style
of direction to boost the TRPs.
How was it working
with the ace director of thrillers, B.P.
I have worked with him on Aahat, CID
and many serials. As for working with
B.P.Singh of Fireworks Productions, I admit
it is a little tough, but I got to learn
a lot from him on the script level, editing,
And what about
your association with Balaji?
I have worked with Balaji Telefilms too,
directing Mano Ya Na Mano and Karmic
Connections but as a serial maker, Balaji
is not meant for thrillers. B.P.Singh is
good at them. Ekta Kapoor changes the story
and comes with last-minute scripts, as she
has to handle so many soaps which is a dexterous
will make masala movies"
Your wife's an
actor too; don't you plan to direct her?
I met my wife, Indira Krishnan, while I
directed her in a Sahara show called Mujrim
Kaun Hai, which won the Best RAPAA Award.
No, I haven't had the opportunity to direct
her thereafter but I am sure to do so sometime
in the future.
It seems you are
aiming for films. Yes, I have
written three films for the big screen,
with high voltage emotions and thrills,
the regular Indian masala, one of which
will be launched in March 2007. I will make
masala movies like Manmohan Desai
but not David Dhawan.
the star cast?
Madhuri Dixit is making a comeback and I
hope to cast her in one of my films. From
the current crop, Lara Dutta is my favourite.
Amongst the male actors, I am very fond
of John Abraham, Shahid Kapur, the rugged
looking Salman Khan and Bobby Deol.
What's your dream
Since I am very fond of kids, my dream project
is to direct / make a serial / film for
children - a contemporary jungle theme,
with animals and comic characters. I am
sure it will be fun doing that for a change!
on 18 November 2006 6:30 pm