Meri Durga producer Ravindra Gautam: Indian TV thrives on love and romance

Producer Ravindra Gautam is not really a fan of Valentine’s Day, however, he understands the power the festival holds over his audience. The Meri Durga producer says that he will be using the festival to spike the viewers interest on his show. “I don’t celebrate it personally but yes, I will surely celebrate it in ‘Meri Durga’. I believe it’s a marketing gimmick so will use to market my show,” he says.

He adds that he has never really believed in celebrating Valentine’s Day. “I feel it’s too hyped and overrated. As I said it a marketing gimmick by international business giants which the youth has fallen into, especially metro teens. Small town youth are still not that crazy about the festival. Back in 80’s and 90’s I never saw such hype in my hometown Lucknow. It was only when I came to Mumbai that I saw such extravagance on Valentine’s Day. And over the years, it has increased leaps and bounds,” he says.

The producer adds that the way love and romance are portrayed on screen needs to change. “Indian TV thrives on love and romance, but we need to explore more ways of portraying it, rather than the traditional romance of boy meets girl. Love and romance is a very vast arena to play in, with so many pockets and we need to explore that. We need to get into the more realistic images of romance, married romance, romance in old age, like that beautiful film The Notebook,” he says.

However, Ravindra says that we must refrain from making the content very bold. “Sometimes we go a little bold and TRP’s have always dipped whenever such scenes are depicted. TV in India is still watched by families, so they switch channels during such scenes. I think we should shy away from going bold, especially on GECs,” he says.

Ask him which has been his best on-screen Jodi, and he says, “The best romantic jodis, I feel, was Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, Vivian Dsena and Drashti Dhami in Madhubala and Ankita Lokhande and Sushant Singh Rajput in Pavitra Rishta. Somehow all these actors portrayed the characters so brilliantly and their chemistry sizzled on screen.”