You have co-written and co-directed the recent Amazon Prime series Mind The Malhotras, an adaptation of the Israeli drama, La Familia. What drew you to a comic family drama?
When I watched the original, I was amazed by the concept. A smile was on my face throughout. It is massively relatable. From then, the process was adapting it for an Indian audience. The good part was that, since it was a relationship-based show, the emotions were universal. Then, the writing process with Karan (Shrikant Sharma) began. We would write each episode and do the narration.
The main protagonists—Cyrus Sahukar and Mini Mathur—are not essentially actors. In fact, Mathur is acting for the first time.
I happened to meet them together and witness their chemistry, which was very light and fun. And I was immediately convinced. The show needed real chemistry. The idea was to make it simple, real and relatable, and that is why [we chose] these two people. I have known Mini personally, and knew that she would be comfortable with the part. The role required a person who would be comfortable and confident about who she was, despite all the flaws and silliness.
Since the show is based on the experiences of a couple, were you inspired by your relationship with your wife, Dia Mirza?
Yes, of course. When you watch the show, you will realise that it is not just about my personal life or yours, but that of all of us. It is very relatable. But yeah, you borrow a line or a reaction of the other person. And there is plenty of that.
Besides the relationship of the couple, therapy is an important component of the show. We have not seen that explored too widely in Indian entertainment.
Because it is a sitcom and the genre is very light, the therapy is also a very light component. Therapy does not go into a deeper, philosophical state. For a society that is still getting used to the idea of therapy, which I think is very important within a nuclear family structure, this is a nice way of delivering the idea.