Film-maker Sooraj Barjatya’s movies have always talked about family values and Indian traditions. And the Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! director now wants to follow the same pattern on the small screen as well. Barjatya, who recently surprised many by launching two TV shows back-to-back, says, “Post Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015), my son Devansh (Barjatya) began managing the TV production part of our company. He wanted to launch four shows a year, and he gave us all inspiration to do so. There are so many stories to be told, so we decided to be more proactive than we were in the past. We are picking up our pace on television and plan to have more TV shows in one year.”
The Barjatyas believe in planning and taking their time on projects, but what prompted this sudden change of pace? The 52-year-old director explains, “In the last 10 to 12 years, television has grown a lot and become very powerful. The turnovers in television are much bigger than they are in films. Sure, we take our time to work on subjects. But today, producers and channels don’t want stories to drag on just for the sake of it, unlike earlier, when TV shows would be on air for two to three years or more. They are shutting down shows when the stories end. In today’s scenario, as a business opportunity, it is better to have more shows per year.”
Barjatya also feels his audience on television mostly comprises of middle-class families who want to be entertained. “It is difficult for many of them to go to theatres often, which is why a TV serial is the ideal choice to tell our stories. Films are a luxury for audiences. In fact, we are also working on a few film projects and should begin shooting them this year.”
Barjatya and his cousin Kavita Barjatya reportedly parted ways last year owing to creative differences, and the latter has now formed her own production company. But the film-maker says that is not the case. “We owe our television wing to Kavita, who set it up for us. But the decision to form her own company was her way of evolving. She has the full support and blessings of the family. It’s a gradual process as one grows in life,” he explains.