One of the finest writers today, Sharad Tripathi, born and brought up in Kanpur, before he moved to Allahabad, UP, has written screenplays, dialogues and scripts for various TV shows, including Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kasautii Zindagii Kay.
He made his debut as a writer of digital content recently, and has penned the beautiful story of ZEE5’s latest release Love Sleep Repeat, produced by Rashmi Sharma Production.
In conversation with IWMBuzz.com, Sharad spoke about the challenges of working for a digital platform and weaving stories for the OTT platform.
How was your journey, working for the web show Love Sleep Repeat?
Exciting and entertaining. Since it’s based on a bestseller book, the task was to make it quirkier and crazier than the book. People who have already read the book must be having some perceptions already, so I and my co-writer Sameer Joshi had to put in extra efforts and that was very exciting. Vishwas, the lead character of the show, played by Anshuman Malhotra, is that small-town lovesick puppy type of a guy, which many of us who had “girlfriend issues” in their past will relate to.
What difficulties did you you face while writing for a web show?
Well, frankly speaking, it’s not some research-based show or a war period drama or anything which requires a lot of reading the research or anything like that. It’s a very simple sweet cute story of mixed emotions, so there was no difficulty as such. But there was this challenge to portray all those emotions correctly and that the story of Vishwas should sound and look convincing and he should look convincing and relatable to people around.
How is Love Sleep Repeat different from other web shows?
It’s actually very different. First of all, there are no Pakistan or Baluchistan related issues or any bomb ticking around, so we hope society will accept us. Well, just kidding; see, this is one sweet small-town boy lost in a metro city, with the baggage of his past kind of story. It’s more of a chill and relax your mind type of a web show. There is no edge of the seat drama and no “I have to save the nation” message or terrorist trails. Hence, just sit back, chill and watch the show and spread the word.
How do you see the digital content space evolving in the next couple of years? Will it eventually find precedence over television?
Well, the future I can’t tell you, I am no expert as such. But let me tell you, TV and digital both have completely different audiences. People or students or the corporate employees who are regular digital audiences, they any which way were not regular TV audiences, and with the smart phone and internet boom, they found it handy to watch digital content more, which of course will gain more popularity in the coming years. The digital space definitely looks flourishing and is finding a strong foothold. In fact, it already did, but at the same time, TV will stay as it is. The fight for the remote has become a thing of the past. People have 2-3 TVs now so digital content might be more advertised and popularised in coming years, but TV will also be chilling around with its own set of audience.
There is a lot of ‘uncalled for’ sex and cuss in digital content…your take on it…
Sex and cuss is pretty much there in our life and society as well. It’s just that we choose to not show it in our TV and films. With digital content booming, makers found a way to go all realistic and elaborate, hence it became a part of every series. Well, frankly I have no issues with either of it, but too much of anything is a bit annoying; so till the time it’s sounding convincing or looking aesthetic and not forced, I absolutely support it.
Censorship in web entertainment: should it be there or not?
No, we should stop controlling content in the name of morality. I completely oppose it. Else ban Kamasutra or ban Khajuraho temple visits. Jail every single man possible who abuses and then censor web entertainment.
How do you keep yourself updated in the competitive space?
I do watch a lot of web shows and spend a good amount of time on social media and surfing the internet, stalking meme pages or following Twitter trends. I keep meeting new writers and the gen-next youth. I also try and understand their slangs, the lingo they use and the kind of thought process they have. I travel a lot and explore new places.
What do you think are the pros and cons of the digital space?
Personally, I am fascinated with the advancement in the digital space. It has empowered people. Within this space, you can develop platforms/media that other people can use, and interact with other things that other people have developed. The internet is making the phrase Vasudev Kutumbaikam a reality. As far as cons are considered, there are many, I mean anti-social elements use it to spread hatred, games like blue whale targeting kids should be banned of course. Then this is the same with any technological advancement. Take nuclear energy for instance. It provides electricity and at the same time is used in nuclear bombs. So it’s up to us. We always have the option to be good or to be bad. It depends on our choices.
Any final message?
Since it’s my first one in the digital space and firsts are always special, so good, bad, worse, mind-blowing, whatever it is, we made the web show with a lot of love. So please give all your love to the show. Please watch, and most importantly, appreciate it.