AJAI SINHA – His TV Serials Make You Think & React
Posted by Vivek on September 13, 2011 | No Comments
Astitva, Ghar Ek Sapna, Hasratein and the list goes on. Not only were these very popular serials the world over, they also attracted a very interactive and involved audience, cause they touched on topics which in turn form a part of our real lives. It is not a surprise that the “grey cells” behind these serials, is an Engineer turned filmmaker. Here we get to know more about that filmmaker, Ajai Sinha:
What got you into movies and television?
I am actually a Civil Engineer by profession. Have always had a creative frame of mind. After finishing my Engineering I dabbled in theater as an actor, in Delhi and Mumbai. Then the desire to create, as opposed to act, took over. So I moved to Mumbai, got an opportunity to direct in television….
And you have made some very fine and popular serials like, Hasratein, Astitva (Zee also has awards named after this show), Ghar Ek Sapna…..all different, all very earthy, original….?
When it comes to TV I wear the viewers cap and think, why should I watch this serial, what is the differentiating factor? A response to that, is what goes into my serial development. A uniqueness by which the audience can say, “yes that is an Ajai Sinha serial.” That goes right from the story to the character development.
Your take on the current state of TV programming?
Studio executives have reached out, asking the question – how do we improve our programming? I think this is cyclical. I anticipate that as a result of the thought process and questioning going on, the quality will improve.
On your films?
My first completed film, with Sharman Joshi and Riya Sen, was lying ready for release for a while. It is called MR BACHELOR. Ironically it will be my third released film. My first released film was STOP and then recently there was the critically acclaimed, KHAP.
What is KHAP about?
It is about the arbitrary decision making and government of a panchayat for a group of regions. This collective panchayat, of KHAP, at times prevents marriages in the same region or gotra and other times it is for it. There is a fair amount of arbitrary randomness for their decision making and implementation. Recently there was the Manoj and Babli case, which you can google, which was a case of honor killing instituted by the Khap. This film was produced by me since it was a topic I am passionate about.
KHAP got you an award at the Norway-Oslo festival, but did not do that well in India?
One of the main reasons are the costs of going to the movies nowadays. For a family to visit the theater, at Rs 400 per head, is a lot of money, compared to when it was a lot cheaper, a few years back. This prevents people from seeing movies such as KHAP. The film is releasing later this month in Toronto and Vancouver, in Canada and then later perhaps in the US.
What are the other upcoming projects in film and television?
Have some scripts in development in films, but because of the financial hit taken in KHAP, will have to put that on hold for some time. In television have submitted some pilots and a couple of them should be good for development shortly.