Category Archives: anand sivakumaran
I remember when Star One was launched sometime in 2004. I was very new to the TV industry then and was completely in love with the channel- its tagline was Apni Tuning Jamegi and it had this complete fun feel to it, the promos, the packaging- it was like a wafer, crisp, fresh, you couldnt just have ONE! Sarabhai, Instant Khichdi, Remix, Guns n Roses, Pyar Ki kashti, Hotel Kingston (you may think I’m googling the names but the truth is I remember because I was awestruck that TV can be THIS too!!) And I secretly wished to be a part of Star One someday.
|With the Mukul Srivastav, Hitesh, and Shilpa D Mello (MJHT)|
And somehow I think God hears the whispers that you send to your own heart as well. A few years later, Vivek Bahl offered me to write for Deeya Singh’s Annu Ki Ho Gayi Wah Bhai Wah. And I was thrilled!! I did a few initial episodes of that but I couldnt continue due to some reasons. Then I got a call for another show called Seema Sudhir Sharma’s Chhotey Chhotey Sheher Bade Bade Sapney about two diamterically opposite sisters from a small town who come to a posh college in the metro. This show, no Santa Claus goodies for guessing, was Miley Jab Hum Tum!
We went on air on September 22, 2008 (I hope I am right else the fans will kill me; and if I am right please dont think I am like Subodh from Dil Chahta Hai!) and again I was super happy to write a youth show, something I always wished to write when I saw Hip Hip Hurray as a kid. I still remember Mayank, Nupur, Samrat, Gunjan, Uday, Diya, Benjy, CJ, Vatsala, Annie, Chacko, Chinu, their Valentine Days, their pentathalons, the trip to Morena, Samrat realizing he is in love with Gunjan (which by the way happened almost a year after the show aired), how fans would keep comparing ‘Mayur‘ with ‘Sajan‘ and the whole complaints about these people got so many minutes of scenes more and they got so many seconds less in the song! LOL! That sheer madness!
|With Actor Arjun Bijlani|
I miss MJHT- when I hear Khuda Jaane, I remember Sam-Gunjan, when I hear Ishq hua, I remember the one shot song in the foyer, when I hear Pehli baar mohabbat, I remember Mayank and Nupur’s passion. And when I hear Salaam E Ishq, I remember the crazy episode we wrote with Dill Mill Gaye and MJHT combined writers sitting in a room with Nikita Dhond, Rohini Singh, Anand Jain, Richa Yamini, Jyoti Tandon, Neeraj Sachdeva having Maggi noodles for hours together! I remember crying when the season one finale happened and the foursome met with an accident. Now there is sure a million fans who would wonder why we did that ever but lets not go there. 😉
|when the writer became the actor!|
And of course, I made my acting debut with the show. Nissar Parvej directed me as Chironji who came in Mayank and Nupur’s track, so yeah, Star One marked my debut as an actor as well! And then Chironji came back. I remember story writer Anand Sivkumaran’s sms to me- “Time to don the greasepaint again dude, Chironji return!” I bonded very well with Arjun and Rati.
Then there was Love Ne Milaa Di Jodi. Three brothers, three sisters, a romantic thriller. Now that was another fun show primarily because everyone on that show was so much fun to work with. Our first schedule to Panchgani, the boys and girls pulling each other’s legs in the make up room, there was laughter always on the set. The creative team was also very sorted on the show.
|with the cast and crew of LNMDJ|
But then the sur of the show was made a bit soapy/drama because the channel was venturing with their next shows (Odhni and Geet) into a soapy/drama zone. When the show came to a closure also, it was sadder because we all bonded so much as a team-Pushkar Karmalkar, Sancheeta Bose, Jyoti Tandon, Jay Verma, Aparajita Saha, Shilpa D’mello, Radhika Borkar, Gaurav Khanna, Karan Tacker, Dishank Arora, Chandana Sharma, Simran Aur, Perneet Chauhan. Gladly, we all still catch up, we are on Facebook/ Blackberry/ and if nothing, just a phone call or a party invite away from each other.
I was briefly also a part of Dill Mill Gaye where I played Doogie who falls for Dr Ridheema whom I called Sweety beauty baby. I thought, whoa! Working with Karan Singh Grover THE STAR! But he was just so sweet! He and the Director Anirudh Rajderkar were very supportive of me. Being essentially a writer, I would change my lines as per what came to my head and not stick to the dialogue per se but they never complained and this applied to MJHT also. I remember I would just improvise something, like this one time when the script had me ask Nupur Mayank chala gaya? and I asked her Mayank chal basaa? and Rati was in splits and the Director had to call for a cut but we retained that and it just seemed funnier.
|with the leads of Love Ne Mila Di Jodi|
So thats what I gather, the channel was what I thought it was- FUN. It gave me a chance to work on projects I wanted to have on my CV (romantic comedies), it gave me friends (most of the cast members of LNMDJ, MJHT, writers, creatives) it gave me a chance to work with reputed Production Houses and I earned a lot of experience and made money for my first big house. Yes, us ghar ki eenth eenth mein MJHT aur LNMDJ basey hai, LOL!
Presently the shows that I’m writing are for Star Plus but the last prjoect I did for Star One was Geet, when they wanted a cameo writer for a track when Geet goes to her maasi’s place- it was like a new set up and involved romance and comedy. Once that was done, I had to leave.
|The MJHT cast and Producers|
Today the channel’s phased out and we wont get to see the ONE logo any more, but what matters is that somewhere it is still framed in our hearts, like the cupid in the end page of Love Ne Mila Di Jodi, like the whistle theme of Miley Jab Hum Tum, like the Ishq leta hai song from Dill Mill Gayye, like Maaheee from Geet. Its something we wont remember, because yaad toh tab aayega na jab bhool jayenge! 🙂
Life OK is coming with a new set of shows, so let’s all wait and watch what they get and hope we still have more characters that become memorable, more love themes, more jodis, kyunki bhai, dil toh bahut bada hai, jagah banane ki der hai!
Ok so we didn’t get to do all 17, but the magic of getting to do a Remix, a Guns and Roses and a Studio One was more than enough. And there always was the possibility of more of those ideas becoming shows if the first lot of shows did well…
I remember the incredible array of creative and technical talent on the channel – Charu, Saket, Renuka, Shikha, Radhika, Nupur, Joy, Umesh, Abhinav, Bijesh, Satyam, Barnali, JD- Aatish, Veena, Vinil… the list can just go on and on. Interesting how many of these people went on to make films and fabulous films at that. Few channels can ever boast of having so many fantastic storytellers working for them at the same time…
Dil Mill Gaye and Miley Jab Hum Tum – sure they were both candyfloss and popcorn not edgy or unsettling. But they were contemporary, they were urban – I mean for the bulk of its existence – MJHT had just one parent character and she was the maddest, hippest mom TV has probably seen (and yes I’m patting my own back here – she’s one of my favourite creations) and most importantly they struck a chord with the youth who embraced the shows and took Star One to the dizzying heights of 150 rating points. Maybe the channel was not a Plus or a Colours but in its own way it was a success, and it succeeded in getting the eyeballs and winning the hearts of the youth, which is the hardest thing to do as anyone in this business will concur…
Naturally it was living on borrowed time, the plug would be pulled sooner or later. And now it has. But now that it’s deformed so much from its original vision it’s even hard to shed tears for the death of this avatar. The One I knew, loved, the One who was close to my heart died a long time ago… and it’s that one I grieve for and miss so much today.
I also miss the working relationships, the friendships that sprung up during this channel. One fact about One was that while the programming may have changed, while the programming teams may have changed, the one thing that never changed was the innate goodness, niceness and pleasantness of the teams. Truly the Star One teams were the best teams I have had the good fortune of working with in all my years in TV. So today as the sun sets on Star One I remember Deepak, Anita, Aparna, Sanvari, Vivek, Monica, Rohini, Nikita, Anand with fondness and love. Thank you for some of the happiest and most fun memories of TV.
20 MINS NAHIN TOH…
Manjul was my mentor, father figure, the man who taught me everything in those early days. Unfortunately TV was being taken over by the dailies and Manjul, like so many other gifted directors in the industry decided to take a back seat rather than be part of the factory system. That was the time when the genuine directors left the TV business and sadly still haven’t returned. Sure, there are still a few around but the bulk, are just ‘action and cut hollerers’ and that is the greatest tragedy of Indian Television.
What happened? Brimming with creative ideas and the cheerful optimism of a new beginning I stepped into the office of a newly launched production house. Things started going awry in the first minutes, my meeting was scheduled with the producer herself but owing to some last minute snag (are there any other kind?) I was plonked in front of a production controller variety of person. No disrespect to this function but when your life revolves around pinching pennies and maximising shot footage and ensuring that actors show up and tapes leave on time, creativity and social niceties are never going to be your strong suit.
And now you’re thinking, poor Anand, he’s really been working too hard. Or he’s just been in this cockamamie business way too long and now it’s time for the gents in white coats to come and take him away and put him in a nice quiet room with padded walls, some extraordinarily long length of chain and maybe a steady diet of 240V of electricity won’t be such a bad idea…
On a film/TV set, time is money. Every second that’s not spent in actual shooting involves the producer haemorrhaging lakhs of rupees. Trouble is when an actor and actress fall in love, the last thing they want to do is enact pretend love scenes in front of the camera. They would rather spend hours locked up in the make up room/vanity van/hotel room doing these scenes for real…
This of course being the shooting crew’s number one worst nightmare!!!