Known for serving clean comedy Asit Kumarr Modi’s journey is noteworthy. Hailing from the small town of Vadnagar in Gujarat, passion made him chase his dreams and convert them to reality. Currently, his show on SAB TV, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, is one of the longest-running comedies in the history of Indian television.
“I’ve dedicated my life to quality entertainment, that’s what I do and will always do. It was out of this vision that Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasmah was born,” says Modi.
Having tried his hand at theatre and television, Modi launched his production house, Neela Tele Films, in 1998. This maverick producer has always offered something out of the box, churning out a battery of impressive shows. Modi rose to unprecedented heights in the late 1990s and 2000s with shows such as Hum Sab Ek Hain (Sony TV), hits such as Yeh DuniyaHai Rangeen (Sony TV), Meri BiwiWonderful (Sony TV) and Pyaar Mein Twist (Star Plus).
Apart from comedy, Modi is also known for doing shows with a distinctive fiction-drama in series such as Saarthi (Star Plus), Krishnaben Khakhrawala (Sony TV) and Hamaari Saas Leela (Colors), along with unique concept non-fiction shows like Wah! Wah! Kya Baat Hai!
When quizzed about his shows, Modi says, “I only do things that I believe in. It has to reflect my personality.”
Comedy is a challenge. How does he serve a fresh piece every day? “When you do what you love, nothing is a struggle. I don’t understand the concept of writer’s block. If you love something, you don’t have blockages,” he smiles.
‘Taarak has arrived’
Modi realised that the Indian audience is getting saturated with the kitchen politics of mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law as well as the over-the-top family dramas. “I was wondering, with a new trend of dailies, what I should offer to the audience. Something that would be devoid of melodrama and moral binaries. That’s when Taarak Mehta’s short stories crossed my mind,” he smiled.
The journey has not been easy. “I just took the characters from Taarak Mehta’s column. The rest we adapted according to today’s times. In the original story the backdrop is a chawl, here it is a housing society. That changed the game plan.”
Modi believes the real hero of the show is the script and all the 26 characters that have made it a success. Each character is etched out so beautifully that it stands apart.
As Modi concludes, “For now and forever, I want to serve happiness. That’s what I will always do.”