Producer Sonali Jaffar talks about the testing times the industry has gone through in recent times and much more.

Producers Sonali Jaffar and Amir Jaffar’s banner Full House Media is presently entertaining the TV viewing audience with three shows Tujhse Hai Raabta, Qurbaan Hua (Zee TV), and Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha (Star Plus).

The shoot of television shows have gone through humongous challenges in the recent few months, and Producer Sonali Jaffar talks about the new learnings that the tough phase has given them and talks about the manner in which the television industry has managed to sail through these tough times.


How was it to make the tough decision of moving out of Mumbai for the shoot?

Majorly, channels have been very supportive and so have been the actors. When we actually floated this idea of all having to leave the city and go elsewhere to shoot, there was nobody who refused the idea. It was heartening to see that all wanted to work. Vijayendra Kumeria has a family. Rajveer Singh was unwell himself, and later his father was ill. But when he recouped, he so very willingly resumed shooting. The channels too sprung into action and got involved constructively. It has been a never-before kind of situation for the industry. However, everyone managed to pull it off.

What has the last year and beyond taught you?

I feel that you have to modify yourself as per the situation. There are so many things that we are used to, and there have been so many necessities that we have been without in the last few months. To not have a set, which is the prerequisite for any TV show shoot, and still managing to achieve it, is something really commendable. In this situation, we have learned to do without a set. All have been shooting at resorts and different places, where a lot of facilities needed for the shoot have not been there. A set has a different vibe to it. We are all happy that the ratings have not taken a dip because of this reason. This really shows that the content is the ‘King’. There are a lot of outdoor scenes used in the content. The biggest learning is that even without the set too, we can provide entertainment.

The biggest challenge for us was the wedding sequence in Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, as soon as we shifted our shoot base. It looked like a dream. It was one of the best-looking weddings. A set is designed to look good. The height of a set is higher than a usual place. So technically the set is more equipped. But I think the bright-looking outdoor schedules made up for the absence of the set.

During these tough pandemic times, have you had to change your thought process against the tide as Writer?

I have always felt that you need to tell your story, no matter what. However, for the first time, in my life, I learned as a writer that there comes a time and demand where you don’t need to tell your story. There comes a time when you need to be sensitive towards the viewers. These times are making them be a little sad. So you should not show something dark, as there is so much gloominess and sadness prevailing. Originally, the story of Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha had the male lead being a little aggressive because of his own demons. But I saw such a strong reaction to that, that I realized that viewers are not able to digest the fact that the man can go so aggressive. That was a huge learning curve that I had. I have normally not got affected by viewers’ reactions. But this is a very unusual situation we are in. I quickly realized that we don’t need to tell our story. We just need to make people comfortable with our story. Everyone was reaching out to me, and something told me that I had to take the feedbacks coming in. Luckily, we were able to shorten the duration of the track wherein Darsh was all aggressive and dark.

How has the journey been of nurturing three shows?

We have had a lucky year with Tujhse Hai Raabta. It has had a life of its own. The show has been there for three years. The show has been our lucky mascot. Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha is a new show relatively. The first two to three months have been the settling months and we have managed it. Qurbaan Hua has been doing well for itself.

There have been rumors for the longest possible time about Qurbaan Hua and Tujhse Hai Raabta ending. Tell us about it.

Frankly speaking, none of our shows are really doing brilliantly. Having said this, as far as Qurbaan Hua is concerned, I don’t think we have any issue at all, because, at the 10.30 PM slot, we have doubled the slot. Our time spent is healthiest at the given time slot. As far as Tujhse Hai Raabta is concerned, every story has its journey. No one has told me that the show is ending, but I really feel that it has given me and the production house a lot. I want to remember it as a show I am super proud of. We came up with this concept from the heart, at a time when everyone was concentrating on the superterrestrial creatures. Someone asked me why I wanted to do such a show. My answer was because I wanted to go against the tide. The audience understood that and lapped up the story and characters. I will own Tujhse Hai Raabta till the time the channel wants to run it.

Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha is the first show which is not my concept. I am adapting it from an original. So that was a little tough for me. It is a very good story overall. I really liked the show and felt that it was a story that needed to be told. For me, this character of the male lead was very challenging. I thought it was a character that could touch the heartstrings of people. It gives me tremendous joy to represent that one part of the society, wherein every passing day comes with a new challenge.

What has given you creative satisfaction in recent times?

Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha has given me creative satisfaction because of this blind character of Darsh. This was what made me realize how tough life is with such a challenge. While we were writing about the character, I got to realize and feel the pain that these people go through. To execute the same feelings and pain of the character onscreen has been challenging and satisfying too.

When are you going to make content for the web?

I don’t know. I am going to give a mundane reply (laughs). This is the year where my boys are in the 10th. So I do not want to start anything new. I want to stabilize whatever I have at this point in time. They are taking a lot of my time already. So content for the web will happen when the bandwidth for that opens up.

About The Author
Srividya Rajesh

Srividya Rajesh, Co Founder & Associate Editor at IWMBuzz, sleeps, eats and drinks news. With cheetah like pace and a Herculean heart, Srividya (called Sri lovingly by friends and fraternity) is undoubedtly the queen of breaking news and latest updates in the Indian television industry. With a career spanning over 12 years, Sri joined as a core member after heading editorial duties at India-forums. Operating from Chennai, Sri has her eyes and ears on movements in Mumbai. Fearless and fierce, Sri is a revered figure in the industry. Team leader, motivator and a go getter, Sri is the pillar in the editorial foundation at IWMBuzz and is responsible for smooth functioning of the news pipeline.

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