Dheeraj Sarna’s new show Belan Wali Bahu has the writer-actor playing Amarnath Awasthi. With a clumsy wife Roopa (played by Krystle D’Souza) by his side, things aren’t as simple as they could’ve been, more so when Amarnath gets killed in the very first episode! Tragic? Not really, because that’s where the fun begins! “Being a ghost is very exciting. You know in the show only Roopa can see me. While shooting by any chance, if other actors end up looking at me, I gesture them. But when people come from outside, like junior artistes or actors for cameos, we need to announce not to look at me. It’s like, he is there, but he is not there! So it is difficult for everyone, but fun too,” Dheeraj shared during an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
Dheeraj reveals how he had a story in mind but the channel wanted him to also act in the show. “I didn’t write it for myself. But the way I narrated, the head of channel said you should do the role. So, that’s how I ended up acting in the show as well,” said Dheeraj, who has also co-produced the show.
The sitcom also stars Sudhir Pandey, Mushtaq Khan, Bhavana Balsavar, Sikandar Kharbanda and Sunayana Fozdar. It began airing on the time slot emptied by Bigg Boss 11. Is keeping the audience, a pressure for the makers? “I already had a lot of pressure to create this show. The channel has more experience. Whatever slot they put us is good. It is definitely a hot slot. Now it is on our product, how many viewers is it able to gain and hold,” he said.
Belan Wali Bahu had been in the making for several months. Dheeraj gives reasons for that. “We were supposed to come in April-May last year. But we did some experiments in production. The channel wanted it to arrive with full force and after good promotions. So it got delayed,” he shared.
Dheeraj has been a part of the industry for several years. From writing for films like Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon to TV shows Jodha Akbar, Kutumb and Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, producing Thapki Pyar Ki and even acting in many, Dheeraj has done it all. His comeback with Belan Wali Bahu, hence, is noteworthy. We asked him what has changed in TV in terms of trends and content, and he went into retrospection. “Earlier there was an identity and actors were known because of few channels like Doordarshan. Even today, we remember the characters of Buniyaad, Hum Log or Dekh Bhai Dekh. Today, that identity is gone. There are so many shows that your face value is there only till you are on air. Shelf-life has fallen,” he said.
“But good thing is with so many channels, employment has increased. In terms of content, it was definitely more experimental before. Because watching TV was a new trend. Subjects were very important. Share of women in TV has gone up. But because of that, men and youth are getting detached. Youth is going towards digital. Earlier there used to be one TV and the entire family watched it together. It was a medium which brought the families together. Now, there are very less shows which bind the families,” he added.
Dheeraj sums it all up by coming back to his new show Belan Wali Bahu. “I’m doing comedy after a long time so I want to do a lot more comedy. I believe there is nothing better than making people laugh. And there couldn’t be anything better than this,” he signs off.