Mahabharat revisited

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  • Published 11.08.08

Ekta Kapoor does get her rivals thinking. Months ago, both Ekta Kapoor and Bobby Bedi announced that they wanted to make the magnum opus Mahabharat as a TV serial and the race began. For a while it looked as though Ekta had opted out but then she redoubled her efforts. Today, Ekta’s Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki is on air while Bobby Bedi is busy revising and polishing his product.

“Bobby Bedi had already shot for about a month and around 17 episodes had been canned but he stalled the shooting of his Mahabharat because Ekta preponed her serial and got it on air a month before scheduled. Bedi wanted to have a look at Ekta’s content and make his serial different,” says a source.

Last heard, Bobby Bedi is changing his direction team. The show initially had Dr Chandra Prakash Dwivedi’s name associated to it, after which three other directors came and went. Now the show will have a new director in Vijay Pande, who has earlier directed shows like Sword of Tipu Sultan, Great Maratha, Thief of Baghdad, Arth, Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand and Saat Phere. On why he agreed to take this up Pande explains: “I have handled such subjects earlier and I have the experience and the knowledge. I always wanted to do projects which deal with Indian culture and I have got this opportunity to enlighten people on things they do not know about. So the main reason is the content, which if handled properly can convey a beautiful message to today’s generation.”

So was any specific brief given to Pande since Ekta’s Mahabharat is already on air? “We have to look at our own work; I cannot be competing with people. I have to compete with myself and the work that I have done. Mahabharat has been done earlier too but it all depends on how you handle it. The same story can be told in 10 different ways. Comparisons will be made. If you make something on Anarkali and Salim, people will compare it to Mughal-e-Azam. When you make a show for the first time, it does become a benchmark; but since it was made 20 years back, you can show it in a different way with different content.”