It may seem like the daily troubles of Roli and Siddhant in Sasural Simar keep Avika and Siddhant really busy, but the actor duo, who are best of friends off-screen, have managed to shoot a short film ‘Tu Hi Mera’ in their free time on the sets. This director duo also calls themselves (jokingly) Abbas Mustan of television. Why? Find out the reason in this freewheeling chat
Q: Who came up with the idea of making a film?
Avika: Both of us can’t sit in one place, we have to do something or the other and on the sets we get plenty of free time. We choose to watch different movies, read about current affairs, technology etc. Manish continue…Manish: We happened to watch some videos made of RoSid by fans and we were swept off by their creativity and that inspired us to explore the world of videos along with photography that we pursued whenever we got time. So we decided to do something totally different and make a short film for our fans in the limited time and resources we had.
Q: Take us through the idea and story of the short film.
Manish: The idea came from this series we watch called ‘Lie to me’ which is a thriller/detective series where the hero is a professional lie detector who helps the cops solve crime by reading the expressions of the suspects. We thought that this science of reading expressions applies only to a sane mind because we can’t decode the expressions of a person whose mind is not in his/her control. So our hero is a lie detector (psychotherapist) who falls madly for his own patient- a compulsive liar.
Q: How did you manage the other aspects of film-making- locations, costumes, cinematography on your own?
Manish: Oh that was a task! When we started we didn’t realize that with our kind of schedules it was very difficult to get time for the short film. So we had to sneak out time post shoot and pre-shoot to complete the film. Avika's parents were sweethearts as they took all the pain and trouble to get her to shoot this before the Sasural Simar Ka schedule. And we can proudly say that from story to costume to camera to direction to editing to music every bit is done by us. We knew some aspects of film making but we had to learn some to make this film ourselves.
Q: What was the most difficult part, since you're used to acting and photography?
Avika: We learned everything with so much fun and interest that we didn’t find anything difficult. Our interest made everything easy and we enjoyed every bit of it!Manish: There was this one interesting shot which everyone thought was impossible without a jimmy jib but we tied our camera with a nylon string and dropped it from the ceiling to get the desired shot and guess what, we got the perfect shot in one take and I could see my little friend (Avika) jumping and dancing in the whole room!
Q: What is the secret behind you calling yourselves Abbas-Mustan?
Manish: I want to share this little story with you- Once my little friend (Avika) and I were sitting and working on the music for the teaser and Avika was thinking with an intense expression which I thought was for the music we were working on. But suddenly she asks me with an intense expression, “Abbas Mustan have their initials A and M and so do we, they make films together and so do we...toh apun log Abbas Mustan hue na?” That was the cutest incident during the making and the reason we jokingly call ourselves Abbas-Mustan!
Q: So what stage is your short film at? And when are you finally planning to showcase the film?
Avika: (Laughs) Haldi mehendi sab hogaya sirf 7 pheron ki der hai. I know fans are eagerly waiting for the film after seeing the teaser, but saat phere karwane ke liye dono pandit log ki date available nahin hai... and the two pandits (Manish and me) have pledged that they will do every bit of this film together.
Q: Has anyone seen the film? What were the reactions like?
Manish: Some of them have seen the rushes, and one of our dear friends Mr. Imam Siddiqui has pledged to work with us for our next films after seeing the rushes, he’s a creative genius so this coming from him is a big deal.I hope unhone humara dil rakhne ke liye nahin kaha ho yeh sab because we would love to work with him.
Q: Any parting words from the dynamic duo of the film ‘Tu Hi Mera’?
Manish: This was like making our own recipe, every second till date we have come up with some new idea and add that little tadka to the recipe. This was for our own cheap thrill and for all the Rosidians who make such great creations for us.Avika: Haha! Rosidians we really love you Thank you so much for all the messages, videos and love you give us. A big thank u to my crazy buddy Shinchan, Mustan (Manish Raisinghani) for helping in creating every single stupid thought into a fun reality which is ‘Tu Hi Mera’!