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Friday, September 24, 2021

Deven Bhojani: Office Office is as relatable today as it was 20 years ago

Along with Office Office and Dekh Bhai Dekh, Deven Bhojani also wishes his other shows like Tara, Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka and Baa Bahu Aur Baby return on television.

Written by Arushi Jain | New Delhi |
Updated: April 17, 2020 10:46:44 am
deven bhojani office office Deven Bhojani’s Office Office and Bhakarwadi are airing on Sony SAB. (Photo: Express Archive)

Popular sitcom Office Office is the latest TV show to join the bandwagon of classic shows that have made a comeback on the small screen. The fans of the show, airing on Sony SAB, are quite excited to meet Mussadi Lal (Pankaj Kapur) and a bunch of corrupt employees of a government office: Shukla, (Sanjay Mishra), Patel (Deven Bhojani), Ushaji (Asawari Joshi) and Bhatia (Manoj Pahwa) among others. Just like the viewers, actor-director Deven Bhojani is excited to have Office Office, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai and other older TV shows back.

“I am really excited that my shows Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Office Office and Bhakharwadi are being re-telecasted,” Bhojani said during a live interaction from the Facebook page of The Indian Express.

Deven Bhojani shared that he was happy to provide the audience with pure entertainment through the sitcom Office Office. “I have a lot of memories of Office Office. We had a strong team of actors, including Pankaj Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa, Sanjay Mishra and others. Working on the show was a learning experience since it was one of its kind,” he said.

office office Asawari Joshi, Deven Bhojani, Manoj Pahwa and Shekhar Kapoor in TV show Office Office. (Express archive photo)

“We hardly have any political satire in India, maybe this is why people enjoy watching it a lot. The show is as relatable today as it was 18-20 years ago because it is a story of a common man, how he deals with corruption in office, be it a police station, railway station, bank or any other office. It focuses on a few corrupt people and we don’t want to generalise it. It was just a satire, which we presented in an entertaining way,” Bhojani added.

Along with Office Office and Dekh Bhai Dekh, Deven Bhojani also wishes his other shows like Tara, Ek Mahal Ho Sapno Ka and Baa Bahu Aur Baby too return on television. “It’s an excellent idea to rerun the older shows. In this difficult time, when people have to stay at home, it is good to have such varied shows which can keep us entertained,” the actor said.

dekh bhai dekh A still from the show Dekh Bhai Dekh. (Express Archive Photo)

Bhojani, who has a slew of memorable roles to his credit, urged people to stay at home. Taking the listeners on a nostalgia ride, he imitated his Office Office character Patel, “If you will not stay indoors, toh do baatein hongi…”

He motivated people to spend time with their family and “make the best of it.” He has been utilising the lockdown period to learn how to cook and has decided to continue doing it once the lockdown is over.

Deven Bhojani was flooded with requests to enact his other popular characters too including Gattu (Baa Bahu aur Baby). Overwhelmed with the response, he shared, “We actors get into several characters and the one that we are playing currently stays with us more. But I always try to differentiate my characters not just in their appearance but in performance as well. I have always taken care that I make family entertainers. Maybe this is why children, youngsters, middle-aged people and elderly like me. In future too, I will try to be a part of family entertainers only.”

Getting classics back has helped TV channels attract newer audience. Doordarshan has become the highest-watched channel in India and going by Bhojani’s words, it is because of the “quality of the older TV shows”.

“At that time, there were no daily shows. There were only weekly shows which were not running in the TRP race. The focus was on the quality and we also had time to focus on every creative aspect, be it direction, writing or performance. But now, makers have a lot of pressure because they have to submit daily episodes. They have little time and competition is high,” the Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar actor suggested.

He added, “But at the same time, I also believe today’s shows have gotten better technically and visually. A lot of money is spent on costumes and VFX. Ultimately, the focus should be on entertainment. If it is delivered perfectly, everything is accepted.”

baa bahu aur baby Deven Bhojani and Sarita Joshi in Baa Bahoo Aur Baby. (Express archive photo)

He also plans to venture into the OTT space but only after he is done with his Sony SAB show Bhakarwadi. He shared, “I am currently working on Bhakarwadi. We actors can’t put our hands into multiple things while working on one TV show because daily soaps are demanding. They require a lot of time and energy. I get a lot of web series offers, but I analyse it thinking if I have done something similar, if I will enjoy working on it or if my audience will enjoy seeing me in that role. As a director also, I try to explore various genres in different ways. On web, I want to try various genres so that I don’t get typecast.”

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