Old is gold

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 May 2017 15:18:23

By Aasawari Shenolikar,

He was the sanest character in a madcap family that twelve years ago made viewers laugh, guffaw, giggle and chuckle. Consisting of members like Maya, Indravardhan, Monisha, Roshez, Madhu Phuppa and Dushyant Mama, who all, on the insane meter ranged from a healthy 5 to 10, it was Dr Sahil Sarabhai who kept the family together with his stoic calmness. Now today, when the insanity goes up a notch higher in the second season, it will be Sumeet Raghvan alias Sahil Sarabhai who will once again be the sole pillar that holds the family together. He will bear the brunt of his loony family, but still maintain a clear head.

Talking to The Hitavada ahead of the second season of Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Sumeet Raghvan appears super excited about the second innings. “We have just wrapped up the shoot and for all of us it was like a second home coming. On the sets, we simply picked up from where we had left twelve years ago. That goes to show the great rapport and the bonding all of us shared during the making. There was never any competitive spirit to be one up on the other characters. Each of us had our space and we excelled in our roles. Each one of us was distinct in what we did and that is why people remembered us. It was due to immense pressure from the lovers of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai that JD and Aatish thought of doing a second season.”

Everything, in the second season, essentially remains the same, the characters, the format. The only difference is that this time it will be available for the viewers on a digital platform. “The latest mode of entertainment is the mobile phone. TV is passe. With the younger generation hooked to their mobile gadgets, we thought of experimenting with the new medium and went digital.”

The second season will have ten episodes. When I tell him this is too short for the viewers who loved the subtle comedy, and it is akin to ‘sher ke muh mein khoon laga ke chhod do’ he lauhs out loud and completely agrees that this is exactly what the creative mind had in mind - give a taste to the viewers and let them hanker for more. “This way you all will get to see more seasons,” he says.

The writers have added a seven year leap and introduced three new characters. So we will get to see Sahil and Monisha’s seven-year-old son, Roshez’s elusive girl friend and Sonia, the sister of the family will also have an important role to play. “Aatish Kapadia, the writer has done a fantabulous job again and we are all super excited for the web series to go online,” says Sumeet, who is glad that the format hasn’t tampered with and the flavour remains the same.

So does he think that this might set a precedent for other popular serials from yesteryears to think about a second season. “No,” he quips, “I think this is a one-off kind of thing. This has been revived for the love and adulation we’ve received from the people. I think the Sarabhai family is blessed to have so many followers who have constantly been pestering the actors for a second inning. This season has also been left open, so that if need be, we can shoot for the next seasons.”

Sumeet has been a part of many shows on the television and he has been closely associated with the weekly format and the daily format. TV today has become regressive because of the daily format, he feels. “When we shot for Sarabhai in 2004-5, it was a weekly serial. We would shoot four episodes for a month. The writers had a lot of time to think about the twists and turns to be added to make the episodes more interesting. But today, with the daily format, the writers do not get any reprieve and the situation is like - ‘Bundi padne’ - how a cook makes boondi - churning one episode after the after, and more often than not, the stuff that they write is below par.

They have a deadline to adhere to, and the creative juices sometimes dry up. But the production house and channel overlook it. All they want is something that will take the serial one episode further. Quality then suffers. That is why TV doesn’t move. And this is also the reason why the digital platform is getting popular. People are coming up with great stuff, fresh ideas are being incorporated and creativity on this medium is at an all time high.” That is why, he feels, that Sarabhai will stand out because of its superior content.

Coming back to the comic caper, ask Sumeet if in real life he is a mama’s wife or his wife’s poonch, and he guffaws loudly and responds with a “I am my daughter’s dad.” Touche.
So get ready to ROFL from May 16, when the first episode goes on air.