Mahesh Bhatt: Dil Jaise Dhadke…Dhadakne Do is not anti-God

Sana Farzeen
Mahesh Bhatt

Mahesh Bhatt is the creator of Star Plus show Dil Jaise Dhadke...Dhadakne Do.

Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is all set to make his small screen comeback with Dil Jaise Dhadke...Dhadakne Do. While Bhatt will take charge as the creator, the daily will be helmed by Guroudev Bhalla. The show will revolve around two children whose souls have been damned by destiny, and in spite of their bond being unadulterated, their love does not find salvation. The love story has been set in the world of Godmen and blind faith, something that has never been explored on the Indian small screen.

Young actors Jared Albert Savaille and Hirva Trivedi will play the lead roles in Dil Jaise Dhadke...Dhadakne Do. The show also stars Rahil Azam, Shruti Seth and Sandeep Baswana.

Mahesh Bhatt has earlier directed shows like Swabhimaan, A Mouthful of Sky, Kabhie Kabhie and more recently Naamkarann.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, Bhatt opened up about his latest project Dil Jaise Dhadke...Dhadakne Do.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Today, supernatural dramas and saas-bahu sagas are dominating the small screen. Do you feel a show like this will manage to survive the competition?

I think we underestimate the audience. They ready for content, especially in an age where content is pouring from all sides. They are like a sponge, absorbing everything. It is the industry that's failing to see the change in the consumer. They have changed, and you can't be using yesterday's maps to navigate the route to their hearts. It is a new route and a new destination altogether. Also, with the digital space opening up, the competition has never been so fierce. And I like this ferocity where everyone is clamoring for the audience's attention. Anyone who manages to add some value to the consumer will make it, or else they will be junked.

Talking about attention, a show around Godmen is bound to garner unwanted attention and controversies also.

There was this man, J Krishnamurti, who was pronounced as the messiah, the Buddha of the 20th century. He was picked from a street in South India, and the simple boy was groomed to be a world teacher. Finally when he went to the process, and was about to step into the position, his brother passed away. He wept like anyone else, and remarked, "If I was God, why am I suffering? I am not what I am being made out to be". So he turned his back on everything people are hungry to achieve. It takes a great deal of courage to walk into anonymity.

Our show is basically questioning the narrative that is prevalent among men - to be treated separately. There is a man who believes that this child is a vehicle for the goddess to step into the world. On the other hand, the young compassionate boy says she is just my friend, and no Devi. This is the pitch where the battle takes place. As the story evolves, we will see whether this girl succumbs to the belief that I am special or remains an equal. Our show is not anti-God or anti-bhakti. It's about raising some pertinent questions. God has made everyone equal. When the sun rises, it shines on the king and even a dog, so how can one treat somebody special?

Tell us something about the cast.

The kids are so lovely. The boy is a rockstar, and you can smell his talent from a mile. On the other hand, the girl is an embodiment of innocence. And then there's Rahil Azam who is a great actor. We also have a very talented and motivated team. It took us a year and a half to work on this project, and we are really happy with what we have.

Your earlier show Naamkarann also had a kid as a protagonist. Does having the story told from a child's perspective help in connecting with the audience?

A lot of television consumption is reflected by the kids in the house. If they don't find themselves reflected, they don't watch, and in turn, the parents too get disinterested. So, it's important to find who your consumer is. Also, it's easier to create empathy in viewers' mind with a child.