There’s a dearth of family-appropriate content on OTT: Harman Wadala

We catch up with writer and creator, Harman Wadala, to talk about his brand new show, Tabbar

Romal Laisram Published :  27th October 2021 07:05 PM   |   Published :   |  27th October 2021 07:05 PM
Harman Wadala on the sets of Tabbar

Harman Wadala on the sets of Tabbar

Writer and creator Harman Wadala, of the much-applauded Sony LIVs family thriller Tabbar, which is currently garnering praises after its release on October 15, is on cloud nine! The show that stars Pavan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak Kapur and Ranvir Shorey is being touted as the next big family show in Hindi on indigenous OTT platforms. We catch up with the writer; previously known for Weekends (2018) and TSP’s Zeroes (2018), both on TVFPlay; to find out more about the show and the process that went onto creating the magic on screen.

Q. How did the idea of writing this show come to you?
I wanted to create a thriller based in Punjab with authentic characters and language because no one has ever done that authentically enough. I was already working on Tabbar from 2018 but the feeling of creating it got much stronger when I was at my hometown (Amristar, Punjab) with my parents during the lockdown. Due to the rise in OTT platforms, my whole family now sits down every night during dinner to watch web series and movies. We finished watching The Family Man and my parents loved it. They wanted to explore more web content and that’s where the problem began.  I realised that there was a shortage of family content on OTT platforms. I loved Sacred Games and Mirzapur but couldn’t recommend that to my parents because of the vulgarity and nude scenes. I wanted to create something relatable and fresh, which could appeal to each and every family member.

Q. Do you write the show keeping in mind a cast or is there another method?
I usually write imagining my friends or family members. Like the character, Tegi is based on my brother Love Wadala who is also a rapper (he is the one who has sung all the raps in the show). Rarely do I cast actors in my mind while writing. Because that can lead to disappointment later. Also, I don’t like to restrict the actors with my vision. I believe that the actors should give life to the characters and not the other way round.

Q. What are you working on next?
I am working on two new projects. First is a comedy/drama film with Luv Ranjan called Wild Wild Punjab. It’s going on floors soon. The second is a secret right now but it’s as exciting as Tabbar.

Q. Who is your favourite writer, irrespective of the industry?
My favourite writer is Sriram Raghavan. He is the most path-breaking and successful thriller filmmaker in India. I have been following him since 2007 when he made Johnny Gaddaar. I have the utmost respect for him and his work.  If by any chance he happens to come across this interview, I would urge him to see Tabbar as it is my homage to him. 

Q. What do you think you would have been if you weren’t a writer?
Honestly, I don’t know. While I was studying engineering at Thapar University, Patiala, Punjab, I felt that I am the wrong piece in that puzzle. I just couldn’t fit there like the other kids. So, I started doing what I could do the best - write and narrate stories to my friends. Even now, I don’t know what else I am good at, or if I am good at anything else.

romal@newindianexpress.com
@elromal

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