For a while now, the Goa sequence in Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai (2001), and the full three hours of Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) have epitomised the thrill of going on a road trip. The two, finally, have some stiff competition in the form of The Viral Fever’s (TVF) latest web series, Tripling, which began three Sundays ago.
Like most others, this too is about self-discovery, healing relationships, petty fights and nostalgia trips. Except, it’s three siblings, not friends — Chandan (the divorced, jobless big brother from the US), Chanchal (the rani sahiba of Jodhpur with marital woes) and Chitvan (the chilled out, pot smoking DJ). Shot across Mumbai and Khimsar fort in Nagaur, the show has been directed by Rajesh Krishnan, and written by Akarsh Khurana and Sumeet Vyas. Vyas, who many remember as the goofball Mikesh in TVF’s web series Permanent Roommates, plays bade bhaiya Chandan in Tripling.
“The intention is always to tell relatable, contemporary stories. It was a deliberate move to normalise the brother-sister relationship in the show, which is different from what you see on TV. It’s very preachy on TV shows, almost un-relatable,” says Vyas, about the many conversations the siblings have on Tripling. From talking about sexcapades to failed marriages and struggling careers, from their deepest fears to complaining about not being in touch enough — Tripling explores the beauty of having a sibling.
The script, which comes from the relationship that Khurana shares with his younger brother and Vyas with his sister, has struck a chord with many. “Sumeet and I go way back, and we also know each other’s siblings really well. We’ve watched the equations we share with them over years and that has obviously influenced us. I went for a backpacking trip across Europe with my brother many years ago, and he gave me some sound relationship advice. He’s younger but quite wise, and that’s exactly how Chitvan is,” says Khurana, who has written scripts of films such as Krrish (2006), You, Me aur Hum (2008) and Kites (2010). This is his first web series, and the next episode will release this Sunday.
A solid script and a cast that delivers the comedy, drama and emotions, is what makes the 22-minute Tripling episodes such a hit. Maanvi Gagroo plays the middle child, to the hilt; Kunaal Roy Kapur portrays her husband Pranav, who’s busy being the erstwhile royalty. The revelation, however, is Amol Parashar aka Chitvan — the funniest, wisest character, with the best punchlines and perfect pauses. “I directed Maanvi and Amol in a play called Oye Teri a few years ago, and they just fit the bill. People say Amol and I look alike and off set, we also talk alike. The feedback has been phenomenal, with people asking for a season two,” says Vyas.
And what’s a road trip without good music? It’s here that composer Amar Mangrulkar steps in with a plethora of artistes to watch out for — from Hamsika Iyer humming Kesariya Balam with Vijay Prakash, to the sassy voice of Surya Raghunathan as she sings Gone, gone, gone in the third episode. “Tripling is like a feature film which is being shown in five parts. On Facebook, people come looking for the tracks in the series, and that’s great,” says Mangrulkar, known most for creating the Kiss me jingle for Cadbury.