Producer, Writer and Director Hemal Ashok Thakkar is known for his effortless shifts to churn content in films, television, the web and for theatre. His banner Playtime Creations is known for its prolific TV concepts, that include Teen Bahuraniyaan, Mrs Pammi Pyarelal, Saath Phere and many more. Films Oh My God and Welcome Home have caught the pulse of the audiences. And now, Hemal Ashok Thakkar’s recent creation, for the OTT space, Garmi on Sony LIV, has won the love of the masses.

In a candid and exclusive chat with, Hemal Ashok Thakkar talks about his recent project Garmi, his staying away from TV and on his recent theatre work.


You have moved between TV and the web effortlessly with respect to churning content. What gives you a big high always?

Content creation and audience reaction are what I have been always bullish about. Creating an idea from page to stage has always been the best part of creation, it is just like witnessing childbirth.

Garmi your latest web project has been received well. How was the experience of executing it?

It has been a long and very exciting journey. From scripting to execution, there are a lot of learnings. As the entire cast was young, talented and hungry, right from Vyom Yadav to Puneet Singh Vats, Anurag Thakur, Anushka Kaushik and Disha Thakur, all of them were groomed by Tishu bhai (Tigmanshu Dhulia). So the entire execution was one big festival with a lot of fun and smiles.

What or who are your finds with Garmi?

Hungry, talented, good young actors from the dynamic Vyom Yadav to the sharp Puneet Singh Vats to the captivating Anurag Thakur and many more. All of them have bundles of talent and they are all willing to learn and improve with each new day. Their effort to achieve perfection and align with Tishu Bhai’s vision was amazing to watch. The biggest find was getting to know actors who read scripts in Hindi and speak pure perfect Hindi.

It has been long since you worked on a TV show. Why have you kept away in recent times?

This might be a long answer cause there are various reasons and even more disappointments.

I understand TV content has stopped evolving in the last few years. We are stuck in an infinity loop of creating a few plots on repeat mode and this has been happening for a while. Only since Covid, audiences have started to move away and have found other sources of entertainment. I might sound rude but TV creatives are not in sync with their audiences. The failure rate in TV content is higher than the soaring temperatures of Rajasthan. We fail cause we are all dancing to the same song. Nobody wants to fail dancing to a new song and I wonder why?

It’s a long story and I don’t want to consume your space here. To cut the long story short, I guess it’s all of us who are responsible for this. We could not reach the full potential of creating exceptional content for TV. We could not groom good talent, on the contrary, we aborted the few which existed. Phew, that’s it for now.

As a maker what is the genre of work you are eager to explore next?

I am open to all genres. The one which I do not understand is science fiction. So maybe I shall try and learn more about it to execute it.

Your theatre work is earning recognition. Tell us about it.

Theatre is my Ayurvedic spa centre, it keeps me grounded. It is the ground zero of art and entertainment. It keeps me connected to the audience. I am doing this big musical “An Evening with Krishna” on the life of Shree Krishna and I am loving it. We have devised this musical to travel across India and abroad and we are getting some amazing responses.

Execution of web series Garmi was one big festival with a lot of fun and smiles: Producer Hemal Ashok Thakkar 807654

What is your take on seasonal returns of popular projects on TV and web?

For the web, it is designed that way to have seasons and mostly stories with multiple seasons are preferred.

For TV it has historically backfired as with daily telecasts, seasons can’t be planned. Maybe after a few years, someone may try to come up with it but it would be a business decision rather than one for the audiences. It is more like going back to your ex-lover once you are married and have teenage kids. It just doesn’t work.

How different has to be the thought process when you are working away from TV?

It is 360 degrees different. TV spoils you for not being perfect. You need to focus more on the characters than the plot and on other mediums you have to take full responsibility. The economics are different, creative stakes are higher and so are the audiences’ expectations. Unlike TV, other mediums don’t have such a forgiving audience.

What are the projects in the pipeline now?

Apart from web shows, I am trying to put up a film which is very close to my heart. I don’t know the time frame but I have to make this one in this lifetime. There is another grand theatrical which I am planning this year-end or early next year. And have just bought rights to a novel which I thought is the story which needs to be told to the world. So it is all going to be an exciting content journey.