By Karan Shah
Once you enter the sets of Piya Basanti Re, you feel a sense of comfort and exquisiteness. The serial which is a quintessential rich boy meets poor girl story, centers around two characters, Kabir, a rich Gujarati boy, played by Alan Kapur and his maid’s daughter Piya, played by Adah Khan. Directed by Dev Dutt, the show follows the journey of a poor Piya into Kabir’s family; their love story, their unexpected marriage and how Piya adjusts to her new life. The show is being shot in an opulent set which further illustrate the family’s status. Be it the wide entrance into the bungalow or the spiral stairs or the huge chandeliers; all these elements add to the richness of the set.
The set has been designed bearing the story in mind. As director Dev Dutt mentions, “We design sets based on the story of the show and this show features an affluent Gujarati family so we had to create a well furnished bungalow with lavish interiors. However, the sets of all the shows are not decorated lavishly unless the script demands it. Usually, the set’s design is determined by the show’s genre and the channel which airs it. Some shows based on mythology and history have budgets of around Rs.20 lakhs as they have to create similar settings and costumes, while others, like ours, have a budget of around Rs. 6-10 lakhs.”
One day, one episode is the motto here. The timing may be tedious, with the actors having to work for 15 to 16 hours, but no one is complaining. The director added, “Many directors merely want to finish their work, they come to the sets, do a scene and move on to the next, but I feel that we work for so long, and there is always so much pressure then why not have some fun? So I keep my crew entertained and we have a laugh in between whenever possible.”
Capturing the romance:
Khan and Kapur play husband and wife who are madly in love with each other. Some intense scenes require them to have chemistry, which as we know, is hard to enact, but they still pull it off with ease. As Kapur mentioned, “We have been friends since the past four years, which makes it easy.” Khan also added, “If a co-actor makes you comfortable then it makes your job easier. Because of our comfort level, Alan and I get every scene very well.”
On the day of our visit to the sets, we witnessed a very romantic sequence being shot. Kabir had planned a surprise for his beautiful wife Piya and had adorned their bedroom with candles, flowers and balloons. Their chemistry was evident as Kabir went all out to profess his love, but his plan was brought to an abrupt end when Kabir’s mother walks in and takes Piya to meet her friends. The sequence concludes with Piya returning to find Kabir asleep. She wakes him and tries to cheer him up. This sequence was a part of the episodes that were screened on November 19 and 20.
They had also shot another memorable romantic scene a few days back, where they performed a slow and romantic dance together. “Kabir and Piya weren’t able to go anywhere after their marriage, neither were they able to celebrate, so Kabir decides to take Piya to a different world and spend time with her. A dreamy fairy tale like setting was created and the scene shows them dancing together,” mentioned Dutt.
Trouble in paradise:
While the dominant theme of the show is romance, it also consists of several other difficult and non-romantic sequences which both the actors have got a taste of. As Kapur mentioned, “We have shot a football sequence in Bhopal and during that time, I had last played football six years back. It was very hot there and more so, I had to run around with the ball on the makeshift pitch the whole day. It was exhausting and difficult, but we finally got it right.” Khan also didn’t have it easy when they were shooting for their marriage sequence which was filmed for over 20 days. “In the marriage sequence I had to cry a lot. An huge amount of glycerine was used, due to which my eyes and face swelled up. Plus, I had to wear a 20 kilo lehenga in which I couldn’t even walk and doing that for 20 days took its toll on me,” describes Khan as she speaks about the ordeal most actresses face while shooting a marriage sequence. Speaking of trouble, this week we see Piya being accused of stealing something and the police come looking for her. We wonder how Khan and her crew will nail the whole sequence and add to the drama unfolding on the show.