99 percent of the people opined that Anupamaa will be a flop: Producer Rajan Shahi

Producer Rajan Shahi talks about his hit show Anupamaa and the pressure he deals to sustain number one position in the rating business.

MUMBAI: Renowned producer Rajan Shahi’s blood flows with copious talent. He has given us hit shows like Sapna Babul Ka - Bidaai, Chaand Chupa Badal Mein, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Yeh Rishtey Hai Pyaar Ke, Anupamaa and the list goes on. Interestingly, all of his shows became a huge hit among the viewers. Not just that, even the show's characters became overnight stars and are ruling the television industry.

Rajan Shahi’s Anupamaa which is a remake of his Marathi show Aai Kuthe Kaay Karte is ruling hearts and charts from the time of its launch. In a short span of time the show has made place in millions of hearts and the credit goes to the talented team of writers who every time come up with a unique plot and off course the stellar star cast who leave us spellbound with their performance.

However, it is not easy to sustain the top position every time. Hence, we asked Mr Shahi himself if he feels pressured to sustain in the top position each time. He shared, “Yes, television has always been about number games. If we say numbers don’t matter then we are fooling ourselves as our survival and livelihood depends upon ratings. If TRPs are good it boosts the morale of the entire team. Having said that, being a part of the industry for so many years not only as a producer but also as a director, you may witness highs and lows but I have always told stories which organically want to be said. The problem arrives when broadcasters expect you to exhaust all your highpoints and give back-to-back high ratings which thankfully, I don’t have the pressure as I knew we will have a gradual start as Anupamaa is all about characters and characters require time to settle in. It is a multidimensional show and is not only focussed around two to three actors. Even I had my share of hurdles as due to the lockdown, the show got delayed. The biggest question was would the audience want to watch a show which talks about a housewife who is middle-aged mother. 99 percent of the people told me that I will go for a flop. I was suggested that nobody would be interested to watch a middle-aged housewife and the turmoils of a mother but that is when the conviction comes. I never thought I would receive such kind of responsenot only in India but also internationally. The show has become a cult. Anupamaa is called the trendsetter of 2020. The beauty of Anupamaa is the ensemble cast from young to middle age to grandparents. The credit behind the success should go to the entire team. I have always believed in teamwork. I have always had fabulous writers, directors, editors and more importantly brilliant performers who add their own special touch to the show. Also, what makes it more unique is that for the first time I am co-producing a show with my mother under the banner of Shahi Production Pvt Ltd. It is our first venture together.”

How different is Anupamaa from your Marathi show Aai Kuthe Kaay Karte? “It is very different. Though the soul remains the same but storytelling is different. I have added a lot more characters and humour in Anupamaa. Even if you see the way the story is progressing, it is different and has changed its taste. Yes, the essence remains the same, that of a woman’s journey. Interestingly, I was told by the search team that the biggest watchers of the show are surprisingly young children and men more than women. Even the other channel heads have called me and told me that we can now make a show which we thought would be a calculated risk but we can confidentially get into those kinds of stories.”


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