One of India's longest-running television Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (TMKOC), which went on air on July 28, 2008, is watched by all age groups. Needless to say, the fan following has increased tremendously over the years. The ensemble cast comprises Disha Vakani, Dilip Joshi, Bhavesh Gandhi, Shailesh Lodha, and many more. Each and every actor associated with the show makes the viewing all the more engaging.
Do you know who is the caption of the ship who bring all of these wonderful actors in one frame? The show is directed by Malav Rajda, from the last 12 years. He has been doing an immense justice to the plot with his impeccable hard work.
Not only is Malav associated with the show professionally, but he has also married one of the co-actor from the show Priya Ahuja famously knows as Rita reporter. The couple met on the sets, got married are embracing parenthood.
In an exclusive conversation with International Business Times India, Malav Rajda spoke at length about his friend Jagesh Mukati's untimely demise, what will the upcoming episodes of 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah' focus on, will Nattu Kaka continue to shoot post the new guidelines, how Malav's life has changed in these 12 years and why he will never stop directing the show and more.
Excerpts from the edited interview:
On his dear friend Jagesh Mukati's untimely demise,
I am shocked and appalled on Jagesh's death, he would often come to our house to meet dad I don't know his family much but have met them a couple of times. It's so sad to know he is no more.
On Jagesh's ill health,
He was having asthma, he was hospitalised from the last three to four days. He didn't have coronavirus, he died due to difficulty in breathing.
On Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah's shoot,
Producers are meeting almost every alternate day and talks are going on, we don't have any idea when can we start shooting, all I know is that the guidelines are being laid as of now. Few things that are mentioned in the guidelines is that each set should have an ambulance, what I know is there are so many different shoots going on simultaneously at a place and it is not possible to have an ambulance at each set. And what I believe is that you don't need an ambulance on the set, because the symptoms of coronavirus are as normal as your cold and flu and can be treated by taking necessary precautions. I may be wrong but everything is so hyped in media. Panic has killed people more than anything. The spike in the rate of the death toll is saddening, there are recovery cases too, in a country as huge populated like India, we need to be careful.
Coming back to shoots looking at the current scenario I really hope and pray things to get back to normal as I am dying to get back to work.
The new rules put in place by the state government says that the actors, aged above 65 will not be allowed to shoot, which has now stirred into a debate as most of the actors in the industry are above 65, be it Pankaj Kapur, Amitabh Bachchan, Nassurdin Shah and many more.
Ghanshyam Nayak who essays the role of Nattu kaka in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is 76-years-old and is one of the senior members of the team. With the new rules in place now by the CM of Maharashtra, the question is will Nattu Kaka be part of TMKOCM post the shoot resumes?
This is what director Malav has to say!
Will Nattu Kaka be barred from shooting post the shoot resumes?
I don't know it all depends on the storyline and Nattu Kaka is in a better position financially he has been working for years now. There are so many senior actors whose livelihood depends on daily soap and from last three and a half month there is no income, I believe this would be unfair to many of them. However nothing about Nattu Kaka is confirmed yet.
Here's what the brand new episodes of Taarak Mehta will focus on
Taarak Mehta is one show that has always lived up to its expectations, every important and relevant topic has been highlighted on the show. Once the shoot begins, we will have a new and refreshing storyline for its viewers. We will focus on the issues pertaining to the lockdown.
The key to the success of Taarak Mehta
It's been over 10 years now that I've been a part of Taarak Mehta... I am not denying the fact that there are no competitions. Whenever a new show comes, we as a team never take it as a threat, in fact, we all collectively work hard towards making our loyal audiences laugh.
Yes, there is a sense of pressure as well as a responsibility to maintain the position that we have achieved through hard work. We all work towards the script understand the pulse of the viewers. and this time post the lockdown we will be working harder, as people are now consuming a lot of shows on the web and the content you know on the web is very different from television.
Therefore we will have to make the content all the more appealing and string so that our comeback makes the audience laugh and smile.
How has his life changed personally and professionally after Taarak Mehta
I am so lucky to be part of Taarak Mehta that I cant express, its been 12 years now, whatever I am is because of this show. It has given me a name, fame, money, recognition, loving fans, I met my wife Priya on the set, I have a son (Ardas) now. I will always be thankful to the team and production house for giving me everything that I didn't even dream off. It's my time to give it back to the show.
On foraying into other genres/ mediums,
Yes, I would love to direct a film but not now, as I said earlier, at the moment I want to do just Taarak Mehta.. will see later how my life shape ups.
On embracing fatherhood,
Well, it's such a beautiful journey to be a father. The lockdown has turned out to be a boon for me. I am getting to be with my son Ardas, seeing him grow is such a surreal experience I can't express. In fact, not just my son, I am spending time with my wife, I never got so much ever in my life to spend with her, as I was so busy with shoots. With this lockdown, I got to know Priya better. From being new parents to do the house chores, we are managing it all and touchwood we didn't fight all in these three and half months. I have come closer to my wife and family. I am blessed to be my son, wife and two dogs. Having said that I am dying to get back o shoot and miss it.