Producers Ashutosh Shah and Taher Shabbir are currently basking in the glory of their latest released show Karmma Calling that is being received well. In a freewheeling exclusive chat with The Free Press Journal, the two spill the beans on how Raveena Tandon was the right choice to play the main protagonist, their journey of their joint venture and more.
When asked about how did the idea of creating a revenge drama like this come to you, Ashutosh shares, “We have lived with the show for about good ten years now. We formed our production house and thought of making this show but it was for television when it was going progressive and limited episodic content. Ruchi, the director of the show was very keen to tell this story. Raveena ma'am was our first option to headline the show. When we pitched the show to her, she just became the mother for the second time. She was interested back then but then she wanted to give more time to her family.”
On the sets of the show |
“Every time we had an opportunity, we wanted to do with the official rights. The universe conspired to bring everything together and it was during the second lockdown in 2021 when we got the rights. Raveena ma’am is spectacular in the show. During costume trials, she was oozing every single bit of Indrani Kothari,” he continues.
“The journey was interesting because we call ourselves real creators rather than producers. We didn’t have money back then so we took monies from our folks and set up an office at Khar. We had an elaborative writers room. Twelve years ago, no body cared about the writers. We always used to manifest that we had to make Karmma Calling,” Taher adds.
Raveena as Indrani Kothari |
Taher tells that both he and Ashutosh love to work with actors belonged to the 90s. “Salman (Khan) sir launched us. For me, acting happened very late in the career. I and Ashutosh were picked up from our college by Sudhir Mishra and Madhur Bhandarkar but we chose Sudhir since Ashutosh has watched Hazaaro Khawaishein Aisi. We have been associates on Fitoor, Agneepath, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag etc. Sudhir trained us to be director and producer. Ruchi also mentored us a lot. The first film that we produced was Hanuman The Dumdaar,” he shares.
“Ruchi wanted to make a revenge drama so we wanted to create it for her. Also, our training made us to be multifaceted like Farhan Akhtar, we were so excited when we met him for the first time,” Taher states.
On a concluding note, Ashutosh and Taher explain that it is a tougher time for storytellers today. “We feel the audiences are exposed to a lot more content from round the globe, be it west or Korean region. It is more challenging today since people tend to compare the content but fail to understand the domestic budget constraints,” they sign off.