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‘There is nothing new on TV today

Published : Jun 29, 2015, 11:41 pm IST
Updated : Jun 29, 2015, 11:41 pm IST

Bollywood producer-director Anurag Basu, who has also directed suspense thrillers for television like Saturday Suspense and Koshish ...Ek Aashaa, is making a comeback with the TV series Stories By Rab

 Anurag Basu and Amrita Puri
  Anurag Basu and Amrita Puri

Bollywood producer-director Anurag Basu, who has also directed suspense thrillers for television like Saturday Suspense and Koshish ...Ek Aashaa, is making a comeback with the TV series Stories By Rabindranath Tagore on Epic channel.

Thrilled about getting back to the small screen, the Barfi! director tells us he hopes working for television will get him out of his “lazy” mode. Speaking about his association with the medium, he says, “My previous shows for TV have been hits, although I didn’t expect them to be successful. There is nothing new on television today; before this phase television would evolve every three years. I haven’t produced a TV show in a long time although I make it a point to be in touch with the medium. Films take a lot of time to be made and one becomes lazy, TV helps you get rid of that laziness.”

Anurag had previously experimented with Tagore’s Noukadubi — he had directed the TV series. While adapting the celebrated playwright’s work isn’t new for the director, Anurag accepts that given the landscape of Tagore’s stories, it still poses a challenge. He says, “A lot of Tagore’s stories haven’t been attempted on TV; but it still continues to be a task. Padhne mein achcha hai but screen pe kaisa hoga (It makes for an excellent read but will one be able to translate it on the screen ) Another challenge for me was connecting the stories: A character from one story goes into another and we interlink each story.”

Since the stories are set in the former part of the 1900s, recreating the sets ended up being disadvantageous for the team. He says, “It’s tough to make such a show because you can’t find the required props. It’s still easier to recreate the ’60s and ’70s. For instance, to find a car belonging to the era can be daunting. Plus actors cannot improvise with the script since it is they have to speak Sankritised Hindi.” Speaking about the star cast that includes Radhika Apte and Amrita Puri, Anurag says, “I had seen Radhika’s work and she was on my wish list, so I cast her. Similarly, everybody in the show was on my wishlist.”

Divyanka Tripathi recently crossed 2,50,000 followers on Instagram and on the occasion, her fans surprised her on the sets of Yeh Hai Mohabbatein. Since she crossed the number 250 (in the thousands), they gifted her everything in the form of the number, like 250 chocolates, a bouquet of 250 roses, and even wrote a book in exactly 2,50,000 words. Our source says, “There was also a huge collage with 250 of her pictures. Since she is hooked to green tea, she was also gifted 250 sachets of her favorite green tea..”