Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain is the calm and smooth-flowing river that brings joy, solace and happiness around, and we as a team bask in the glory of its charming flow….
As the scriptwriter of Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain, along with my friend and colleague Manoj Santoshi, I regard the 1000 episodes journey of this popular Edit II and &TV show, as remarkably fascinating.
When we, along with Edit II (Sanjay Kohli and Benaifer Kohli), started work on Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain as a team, we did not know that the show would become so popular and would turn out to be the channel driver. The first year of the show’s run was huge, with it touching even 1.8 to 2.0 TVR, which was truly an achievement for a new channel like &TV at that point of time.
The secret of the success of Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain lies in all of us working together as a team.
The one thing that separates other shows from Bhabhiji is that we have our director Shashank Bali sitting with us for our script discussions. This tradition of the director sitting for meetings has gone now. I would say that Bhabhiji is completely Shashank’s baby as his contribution is huge.
Now that I have started the topic of script discussions of Bhabhiji, I will want to add a few things. It’s always team work at such discussions, with the writers – Manoj and me, our creative team, director and Sanjay Kohli always being present. I would want to make an honest confession here that we have been lucky that there have been no creative blocks that have happened with respect to the story line of Bhabhiji. Yes, there have been days when we have hit a rocky patch and have not brainstormed quickly about the story ahead. But after four or five hours of talking, we have finally managed to get to the right path of things. As said before, the advantage that we have is that all of us sit together for the brainstorming sessions. Had the onus been on only one person, we could not have achieved what we have done today. So the secret of the success of Bhabhiji lies in all of us working together.
Trust me when I say that it is very difficult to complete 1000 episodes in the genre of comedy. In a normal soap, a track can be stretched for a maximum of 3-4 months. But in a comedy show, a story ends in just five episodes. So, one has to constantly come up with newer ideas all the time. But the biggest advantage for us is that we enjoy the process of giving good episodes. The key word here is enjoyment. And 1000 is just a small number as we have a long way to go and will continue to entertain audiences.
The constant effort to give a good quality product has been the key for the show’s long run.
The sustenance of Bhabhiji has been in constantly working very hard to deliver what we have promised. We have never ever let our guards down. Yes, we enjoy and have fun-filled sessions during script meetings. But we have always been serious about comedy. We have not thought twice before scrapping written episodes when doubtful. The constant effort to give a good quality product has been the key for the show’s long run.
Agreed Bhabhiji is a naughty show but we have never crossed the line. The fantasy in the show has been limited only to love and has never got into the other space. We have worked immensely to keep the concept relatable. Every household will have an Angoori Bhabhi and every house will have a Vibhuti who is trying to grab the attention of Angoori Bhabhi. This is but simple fun with no bad intentions whatsoever. You have a lot of people in today’s society who admire their neighbours. This relatability has played a big role in the show’s success.
My best memories as the scriptwriter of Bhabhiji are many and I cannot name one or two. However, if you ask me, I will say that I vastly enjoy the scripting part with my team. We have a good time, we sing, we eat good food and also irritate people with our banters. Every moment spent within closed doors with them is a special memory. Also, I like the fact that we have never had to try too hard to make people laugh. We have been rooted in Indian culture and families with quite a lot of rituals shown.
We have now come to a stage where it has become a ritual in every house to watch Bhabhiji daily.
Having said this, the show has had its ups and downs. The biggest challenge before us was when Angoori Bhabhi had to be changed. We continued with the show, with Angoori being absent for about 4 months. We are thankful to the audience for staying with us then. Shubhangi later got into the role very well and won love and support from one and all in quick time. And now, even when Saumya Tandon aka Anita Bhabhi has not been shooting with us, we have the tracks shot with her in advance. We will not replace Anita and she will be back with us in the near future. And to tell our fans, even today we have Anita present in our tracks, and will have her for the next two months or so. We shot with Saumya in advance and thought about the tracks that will appear six months later. We created certain tracks for Saumya and shot them before she left. And now we are weaving stories around those tracks.
The show overall, has given a lot to people who have been associated with it. We have now come to a stage where it has become a ritual in every house to watch Bhabhiji daily. There is no big surprise as far as viewers’ response is concerned. Just like people have their breakfast every morning, they watch Bhabhiji before going to bed. And till the time there are many naughty people in everybody’s houses, Bhabhiji will not go anywhere as we have lots of ideas to brainstorm on. If the channel allows us, we don’t see Bhabhiji going off air in the near future.
Personally for me, writing 1000 episodes for comedy in Bhabhiji is like climbing Mount Everest barefoot. Besides the comedy show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, there has been no other show in the comedy genre to have got into the elite zone of 1000.
(As told to Srividya Rajesh)