We started work on Mahabharat around July 2009 and thought that with a pre-production plan of around six months we will start shooting it. But as I started reading the Mahabharat,I realised its not something that can be created so fast. We had to first understand the whole story,answer all the questions in our head and then have our own interpretation of what the epic is trying to convey. Every aspect from costume,jewellery,set design,to casting,action,vfx and music needed to be looked into separately
and yet had to come together seamlessly. Hence,six months became
Whenever anything doesnt happen as per plan it has its own effects. We had taken a studio in Gujarat as the base location and made our sets there,but the rains destroyed our sets and we rebuilt them. Casting was a major area of concern. The epic has such legendary characters,we had to cast around 100 actors who could do justice to the role. We set a high standard we went about looking for actors who could not just act well but who also had the right diction. After a point I realised its a tall ask. So we enrolled all our actors in diction classes so that they could
start living and talking like their characters.
For a show like this,the core had to be the writing. We had to write keeping in mind that a generation has grown up in the last 25 years,that hasnt seen the Mahabharat. What we realised is that every story has different sides and the beauty of storytelling is to justify a characters action and graph without painting him black or white or a situation as right
Our Mahabharat is an attempt to show the human side of every single character in the series,and re-interpret the old text without tampering with the sensibilities of the story. The strong point of our show is that we have deconstructed the story in such a way that it forces audiences of today to question their actions.
After reading the epic text of the Mahabharat,I learnt that history repeats itself as we dont learn from it. In a way we are trying to make the series relevant to todays viewers. We want them to see the deeper meaning behind every story,think and understand the reason behind what happened and relate it to their actions as every aspect of the Mahabharat story is relevant in todays times.
For me,Mahabharat is the learning of a lifetime. In these four years,I have become a more enriched human being. Its made me learn and unlearn so many lessons of life. The Mahabharat is an experience that changes you forever. This series wouldnt have been possible without the support of Uday Shankar of Star Plus who believed in me and asked me to make the show larger than life and most importantly understood that a series like this will need so much time.
We finally started our shoot in March this year,after scouting for locations across the country. The visual spectacle was needed to transport viewers into a different world. We have shot in Kashmir,Jaisalmer,Jaipur,Jabalpur and Ahmedabad. The entire team at our production house,Swastik,has lived this dream for years together. We are waiting for the viewers reaction now. But at the same time,we know that the outcome is not in our hands. We all just believed in one lineLets make our lives worth remembering.