Rajan Shahi: TV is a medium which always keeps you on your toes

Director-producer Rajan Shahi’s shows have always been loved and won hearts. Be it his longest running show Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai or his well-loved show Anupamaa, Shahi has always been appreciated for the content that he makes. He says that for a medium such as TV, you need to be constantly alert.

“I feel television is a medium that keeps you always on your toes. You always reinvent yourself to give new content to the audience. The idea is to give them good shows. I find it more challenging and interesting rather than taking it as a burden,” the producer says.

In fact, the producer says that airing episodes, seven days a week, can be challenging, but it’s something he is well-versed with. “We have always tried to re-invent ourselves and to do new shows. This is not new for us. I wouldn’t remember the year but we have done one hour of Sapna Babul Ka Bidaai for one month, seven times a week. This was just before Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai was launched. We did Bidaai one-hour episodes for all seven days a week,” he says.

He adds, “Later, we also did both YRKKH and Bidaai all seven days of a week for around three months. Both shows were on the top of the (TRP) charts. They were number one and number two shows.”

Meanwhile, he also disperses the myth that TV is an overly hectic medium. “We work in a discipline. These decisions are not taken on whims and fancies. A lot of homework including strategising, how do we not compromise on our quality and smooth functioning, is done before we finalise a decision. It is not an industry where everyone works 24×7. There are batches that work. There is a huge myth which has been created that ‘Oh on TV, everyone is not sleeping but working’. It is a myth. But this depends upon the company, the production house and the channel. Our ethics, discipline, and the way in which we work including the working hours is extremely transparent and smooth. We design scripts in such a way that no big load comes on one person. Anyway, we do not work beyond stipulated hours which are defined in television,” he says.

And does success make him feel pressured? “Yes, I do feel a sense of pressure. With all my learnings as a director, I wanted to use my expertise as a director and in the production creative control, trying to do shows opposite to the trend but would appeal to the people pan-India and which are very family-oriented. With Anupamaa as well, I feel we have set a trend and we have enjoyed making it,” he says.