“Indian audiences are ready for almost anything – it’s the broadcasters that have to take the onus.” Says Ritu Bhatia in her exclusive interview with usby The Daily Eye Team October 8 2014, 4:08 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 31 secs
1. What is your writing background?
I studied film and TV at XIC and then learned on the job in films. I assisted on several films and then wrote AISHA and then LONDON PARIS NEW YORK.
I have been writing various youth shows like GUMRAH, REMIX, BFF, DEKHA EK KHWAB, AND NOW YEH HAI MOHABBATEIN –
2. How difficult is it to be writing a medically accurate show?
This is the first time I am writing a medical show, but having done a lot of research based documentary dramas and other documentaries in the beginning of my career, I am rather inclined to it- although it is always a challenge to try and be as accurate as one wants to be. I have also realized, that in a popular TV show format, it is always better to write the emotion of the illness and not the technicality of the illness. This is what most medical dramas do in the west too.
However, there is always a need in our country to explain things more simply so as to not alienate the audiences into thinking that this show is beyond their comprehension.
3. What do you draw your inspiration from?
Books, other films – mostly films. I also feel teaching is a great source of inspiration – every working professional should teach the younger generations, it keeps you young in thought and opens up your mind to so much.
4. What is your favorite Television series?
Mad Men, for its beautiful writing. Game of thrones – for the kind of show we can only dream of making and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein – for the new thought being brought on TV with such subtlety (of course I am part of it, so there is a bit of bias.
5. Are you trying to change the perception of Indian audiences about caregivers and the medical profession and if yes, how?
Yes, I think Indians have a tendency to either worship or completely disregard doctors – depending on their social strata, their educational background, they make doctors into gods and then equally lay them flat when things don’t go their way. I also feel having had to deal with a lot of medical care givers for my parents, that there is a dangerous trend amongst caregivers to become service -providers- a hotel instead of a hospital. Somewhere between gods for the illiterate masses to a booboo fixer for the uber rich – doctors themselves tend to forget what their prime duty is. I don’t know how much we can address it, but as much as I can, I would like to have a dialogue about it through this show.
6. An idea that you really want to develop but feel the Indian audiences are not ready for yet?
A: Indian audiences are ready for almost anything – it’s the broadcasters that have to take the onus.