Sidharth Sengupta has hit the bull’s eye yet again with Undekhi created by Applause Entertainment, his newest offering!! This comes after the huge success story of Apharan for ALTBalaji.

Undekhi the thriller series that beams on SonyLIV is inspired by true events and has the edge-of-the-seat intrigue in it.

In an exclusive conversation with, Producer Sidharth Sengupta talks of the journey he has had in the making of Undekhi.

Journey of Undekhi

This started as a short story that Mohinder Pratap, the Writer of Apharan had written. When he narrated it to me, I really got excited. I have always been bothered by the real-life incidents wherein people who are witness to it have remained silent. The death of a dancer in a wedding in the year 2016 inspired Mohinder Pratap to write the short story. When we listen to a story, we understand the potential it has. When we took this to Deepak Segal, he liked it.Umesh Pedelkar, Varun Badola who were with me in Apharan joined in and we started making it.

Luck by chance in Writing!! 

I have never written in my life!! For the first time, when Apharan was happening, I needed more from the screenplay, so I started writing myself. Now after writing for Undekhi, I have got a lot of confidence in my writing.

The Mountain Man comes to the fore!!

I am a Mountain man and I will like to take every show to the mountains. Even in Apharan if you see, it is right at the foothill of the mountain. This time shooting in Manali was a bit tough because we had never thought that it would snow when we would shoot. Once it snows, it takes nearly three days for the snow to get melted. So our schedules have gone for a toss. But it is too beautiful to shoot out there in Manali. It was tough yes, but we managed the show. Our TV training came into use here (smiles).

I am excited with the success of Undekhi: Producer Sidharth Sengupta 1

Getting the Perfect Cast!!

I was very sure of Debu and Harsh Chhaya from the beginning. Surya Sharma was a surprise. When I was shooting Apharan, Surya came and met me. I was told by a senior person in Applause that I need to look at his work. When I auditioned him, I wanted to take him. The role of Rinku in Undekhi is one of the most important roles. I was very worried about this role, as this character had to be quite intimidating from the word go. This boy surprised me completely. Later we got in Kavish Sinha the Casting Director and the other cast came in. Thanks to him and his team we got a brilliant cast in Anchal Singh, Ayn Zoya and others. We went through numerous stages of workshops and later started shooting.

Case of the Director not directing!!

Since I was giving the director’s mantle to Ashish R Shukla, it was very important for us to be on one page on the writing part of it. Ashish has done a wonderful job with his direction!! Umesh Pedelkar has done a brilliant job with the writing. He is a brilliant mind. He wrote the story and I wrote the screenplay. Screenplay is a hit, and I am very happy!! (smiles).

On the myth of a TV person not connecting to the web mentality 

I hope the mentality changes now. There is a mafia saying that, a film guy has to get lucky once. However in my case, I have to be lucky always. A film guy might be allowed to commit a mistake, but I cannot commit one. I am very aware of this fact, and it does not bother me anymore. This is the way things are. One has to keep working harder and harder. I believe in the saying, ‘Platforms / slots don’t make a program, but a program makes the platform / slots’. Hence, it is your product that will give you name, fame and even more work.

Learnings from the web journey

Someone asked me, what were your struggles when I started in the TV industry? I said, I did not have any struggle when I started. That was because I was young then, and had lot many ideas to fall back to then. Struggle starts after you have given 20 years to the industry and even then, you are not allowed into the web industry. The main struggle is that!! When I started my career, I was raw and had nothing to undo. But now, the phase I am in is different. It was really scary, but with the response that my two series Apharan and Undekhi have got, the journey has been amazing. I will say the going has been good. The good part is that this is what I wanted to do all the time. I have always been wanting to tell shorter stories. Although I have been associated with a show like Balika Vadhu which had 2300 episodes, I still do not know to tell a long story. Hats off to TV writers for having the expertise of writing long stories!! These guys need to be respected more. I have now started writing, so I know the difficulties of writing.

I am excited with the success of Undekhi: Producer Sidharth Sengupta 2

On the formidable pairing!!

It is the same team that worked with me for Apharan. Mohinder Pratap, Umesh Pedelkar and Varun Badola worked wonders in Apharan and in Undekhi too, they have created magic. Even for the next one I am working on, Varun Badola is writing it. Varun has been with me since the time of Aek Chabi Hai Pados Main. Varun has been the closest to me.

Entering a fresh new school!!

All my work of 20 years has vanished. It is all in the past. This is a fresh new school.Web world is a school in itself and I am enjoying it right now. This is a good place to be in and learn.

What’s cooking?

I am working on a new show for a huge platform. Of course, Season 2 of Undekhi will happen.