The Wagle of 2021 is a progressive Indian
Says Neeraj Vyas, Business Head, Sony SAB, talking about Wagle Ki Duniya- Nayi Peedhi Naye Kissey
1. What led you to bring Wagle Ki Duniya back on TV?
The zone of all the shows on Sony SAB is different but the family filter is a reality that we do not forget. So, whether you look at Kaatelal & Sons, Tera Yaar Hoon Main, Maddam Sir to Aladdin, Baalveer Returns or Hero that we are launching, to Tenali Rama that we had, everything is very different. Hence, I feel Wagle Ki Duniya is a critical element of that mix. Around 1988-1990 was the time when Wagle Ki Duniya first came on Doordarshan. Now, this was the India before the liberalization set in. India since liberalization has changed rapidly and that is a story that needs to be told. So, in the lensing of Wagle Ki Duniya, today’s India will be dramatically different from when this show first aired. It’s an entire new exciting journey.
2. What is special about Wagle ki Duniya?
I think we have had a few iconic shows on Indian television that people still remember even after so many years. Wagle ki Duniya is one of those. The character of Wagle is the representation of a common Indian man. What’s really special is that this show depicts how that common man views the world and that’s what is going to be very interesting for the audience to watch.
Sony SAB is a family focused channel and that has always been our priority. I feel its very important to make a show whose characters are relevant to the viewers and that is when they feel connected to the show and its story. The warmth and values that Wagle Ki Duniya brings, is going to appeal to everyone from kids to adults and the elderly.
3. How is it going to be different this time?
A lot has changed since Wagle Ki Duniya originally aired and hence, the Wagle Ki Duniya that Sony SAB is bringing, will also be very different. In the show, Wagle in 1988 would have discussions with his family whether or not to hire a maid. The Wagle of 2021 will not talk about such things because these things have become a non-discussable reality today. He is a progressive Indian, who is more focused on improving his existence rather that finding his identity. The issues for Indians today are very different and that is what we will be highlighting and discussing in this show.
What remains the same is the fact that we have the original actors Anjan Srivastav and Bharti Achrekar back in the show as well. However, this will be the story of Rajesh Wagle, who is their son played by the likable Sumeet Raghavan.
4. When is the show slated to launch?
In today’s time, things are not very certain. However, if everything goes well, we plan to launch the show towards the end of January, 2021.
5. Sumeet Raghavan will be playing Mr. Wagle in the show. Could you please comment on that?
Honestly, we couldn’t think of anyone beyond Sumeet for this character. Sometimes, there are some characters, which fit best for a particular actor, and this was the one where we could only imagine Sumeet doing justice to Mr. Wagle. Sumeet has his own specialty that he gets into the skin of any character so well, which can be said only for a few actors in this industry. Another factor was that Sumeet’s language and dialect is very clear, be it Marathi or Hindi.
6. Sony SAB has a great mix of shows currently available. Has there been an impact on the content strategy due to COVID-19?
Not really, because I believe that you can’t keep changing your strategy. Honestly, we have always been very focused on the three things - Innovation, Variety and Quality. So, I don’t think there has been any departure from that strategy.
I believe that if you don’t differentiate and are just another ‘Me too’ in the game, I don’t think it’s a game worth playing. If you want to be differentiated, you have to walk the talk and that’s exactly what we do with Sony SAB.