Theatre or film; writing must comes from a place deeply personal for the audience to relate to it: Ritu Bhatia
From writing youth-centric fun stuff like Remix- into a more adult, real world - where we genuinely live - not the hyper dramatic world of daily soaps. Her shows like Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, talk openly about surrogacy and adoption and the meaning of family even for a woman that can't have children. Parvarish deals with the constant war that parents face in their own homes from their teenagers and their own expectation from their children. And the most recent Bhaage Re Mann, the first Indian show on Zindagi channel is a modern, yet rooted in family tale of a woman who has made her mistakes and lived with her head held high through them and how she now takes on a traditional role with her spunky style. Bhaage re mann also has stirred up the debate about morality in television. The protagonist Padmini shows us how one does not have to be rude or anti-family to be a self-thinking woman.
1 How did your journey in this industry begin?
Having studied Film and TV at XIC, I started working with one of my teachers on documentaries, which I enjoyed to the core. Later I graduated to being an assistant director on various ad-films and movies, like TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. Television work started with Srishti Arya's production house- ROSE MOVIES –where I was also the creative director of the iconic REMIX.
2 How did writing come to your way?
It just happened. It started with translating internationally acclaimed playwright Eve Ensler's play Vagina Monologues in Hindi for Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal. The translated version is called 'Kissa Yoni Ka'. I wrote AISHA for Sonam Kapoor as a dialogue writer and have been writing since.
Some of the TV shows that I have written include DEKHA EK KHWAB ON SONY (story screenplay) YEH HAI MOHABBATEIN (DIALOGUE) GUMRAH SEASON 1 AND 2, PARINDEY FOR RED CHILLIES, KAHI SUNI FOR EPIC, (WRITER-PRODUCER), BHAAGE RE MANN FOR ZINDAGI AND PARVARISH SEASON 2 FOR SONY. I HAVE ALSO WRITTEN A FEW EPISODES OF SUMIT SAMBHAL LEGA AND SISTER DIDI AND HUM HAIN NA ON SONY -
What is your writing process for TV like?
I prefer writing realistic stuff. In real life we don't say long monologues because as human beings our attention span is little and our thoughts waiver. My characters have a certain quirk to them which makes them interesting.
BHAAGE RE MANN for example is closest to my heart because of its storyline – that of a woman who has more to her life than just her husband and family – a woman who loves to celebrate her free spirit.
What else are you writing at the moment?
I am writing dialogues for Parvarish second season, Bhaage Re Mann and Yeh Hai Mohabbatein even as I straddle with two film scripts.
Ritu is currently writing two films – one with a lot of modern stand up comedy as its backdrop - and another diametrically opposite film - about family, loneliness and death. She thinks experimenting with these varied forms of writing is fun. She says, "I refuse to be that writer who writes only a particular genre of films. I want to write it all."