Producer Mukta Dhond and her banner Malhar Content Creators, recently accomplished the milestone of their show on Zee TV, Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye completing 200 episodes. We at got an opportunity to connect to the Producer Mukta Dhond about the recent drama in the show, the novelty of her concept, the leads Arjit Taneja and Sriti Jhan and the great chemistry that they bring into the show.

Here is Mukta Dhond in conversation.

Read on.

Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye has given the audience great realistic drama. How is it to complete 200 episodes? Share your thoughts.

It has been an exciting journey. This is my first show as a fully independent Producer. And with Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye, the acceptance by the audience was such a pleasure. This is a story of a girl who is 29, not married and not heartbroken or sad about it. And that is such a big change. Most such characters on TV in the past have been sad about it. But Amruta is a girl who has a career, a life plan and goals and one day surely plans to be married, she believes in love, but she also believes in herself. And to get Sriti to be Amruta was just #perfect.

My work with Zee TV goes a long way back and has some beautiful moments. When Brahmarakshas launched, it was against a Bigg Boss with SRK and Salman in Ep 1 and we beat that rating and opened at No 1 in the country if I am not wrong. Then there was Kundali Bhagya, it launched on the same day as my adoption got accepted and I was able to welcome my baby boy home. My producer and friend had told me “Teri Kundali badal di is show ne”… Of course both these shows were Balaji shows. And Kaise on the same channel, with Zee Rishtey Awards and such good audience reception, it is a wonderful feeling.

The script and storyline for Priyanka’s re-entry have been received very well by audiences. Tell us about it.

I think it is Amruta and Virat who have been accepted as a couple, as the perfect pair. #AMVIRA I think the fans call them. And see, Priyanka as a character has been built in the show from Week 2. Pratiksha Honmukhe has joined now after around 200 episodes. But we have been building this character and speaking about her and the pain and heartbreak she got in Virat’s life from week 2. So I think when she walked in, the audience almost knew who was coming, and I am pleased to see that Pratiksha can hold her own when pitched against Sriti and Arjit who are now well-established in the show. It is so much fun to see Babita (Kishoriji) and Priyanka scenes together. I think Priyanka is the first real threat to the love of Virat and Amruta and that is why it is bringing in sparks to the show.

Amidst a lot of repeated tracks across shows on GECs, Kaise Mujhe stands out with a difference. How do you push hard towards deriving an originality and realistic feel to the story plots that you render?

I guess we are new-age makers. We believe in equality. We believe that women should have a voice, women should live for themselves more than they do for others. Forever sacrificing isn’t a quality for a woman, it’s what we have been trained and asked to do for centuries. It’s time for women to choose what they want, and I guess this is what brings the change in this show. Amruta does what she wants. She stands up for what she believes is wrong. She rejected her father’s ill-treatment of her mother and she became Amruta Bhavani Chitnis because that’s who she relates to. Now Virat has forced Amruta to marry her. In an older show the heroine would have accepted this and said mera pati hai ab.. but Amruta won’t. She will fight and say this isn’t a marriage. This is illegal. And she won’t accept Virat as a husband, yet she is still able to accept the feelings she has for Virat because they are older than the time he made this grave error. But acceptance will come when Virat realises his mistake, acceptance will come when Virat seeks redemption. And that redemption will be big. This I guess is how the show differs. We are dealing with Pocso in the upcoming week. We raise issues in the show like housewives being taken for granted, shouldn’t housewives be compensated for the work they do, is it fair for partners and family members to ever say to a housewife – ke tumne kiya hi kya hai??. She is actually what is keeping the home together, on budget.. making sure savings increase and the upbringing of children and their education is a full-time job. I see it now, every day since I am a single parent.

How do you juggle with your own show and other shows where you creatively helm?

I juggle my own shows and my own children and home.. bas. I am not working for others at the moment, and I tell you all this is not BAS, its actually a lot. My baby 1 – Bobby is now a 10-year-old Labrador and takes up a lot of time and demands attention. The hooman – my son Agastya is now 7 and in Grade 2 and believes that we should do a lot more things together. So for me, the way forward is working just for myself for my new baby – Malhar Content Creators.

How is it to shoot with natural emoters like Sriti Jha and Arjit Taneja, especially when it comes to the emotional scenes and the romantic ones.

Sriti, what to say? She is truly fab.. and I call her my raging actor, who reminds me and my writers Srinita Bhoumick and Nikita Dhond, every single time we stray away from equal rights for women (laughs). She is so good. Just recently we did a scene where she is upset because we had asked her to be sad because she has been called a second woman in the show, and she was principally against our take. Sriti felt that since Amruta didn’t marry willingly, why should she feel bad? She had a valid point, and we did some changes in the scene. She was so good in it, got tears to my eyes when I was giving edit feedback and it was the highest-rated episode of last week. Arjit I am new to. When we started, I didn’t know what to expect. But he is our Delhi of the show. He in truly Delhi ka Launda in a team that is full of women from very liberal Mumbai and Kolkatta… and he has made Virat, by bringing humour and passion to it. Both Arjit and Sriti get such great chemistry and emotion to the scenes that I have nothing to complain about. My floor team are all my usual suspects – the same people I work with, Jaspreet our CD.. Hrishi our DOP, Rajiv our art director.. these people are the rocks and they never change.

Your script has surely challenged the actors in them. What is your take?

Aditya and Jassi have really gotten our cast so right. Kishori, Hemangi, Ashish, Iqbal all hold the family so well. Bebe, Mami, Nimmi, Harsh, JK and the bomb Ishika, just tie the whole world of a society in Bombay and a Punjabi family from Delhi to a Marathi family from Mumbai so well.

What can the viewers look forward to now? Can you drop any major hints?

Lots of bombs coming along. Babita’s reveal, Priyanka not being the wife, Virat and Amu realise what they mean to each other, Virat’s redemption, so so much to say and do. And these bombs are not necessarily in this order, so just want the audience to come and enjoy.. #kaisemujhetummilgaye