Ritu Bhatia is a respected name in the television industry and there is no doubt that she was born to hold the pen, simply to narrate wonderful stories.
Ritu has penned down many popular TV shows and we got chatty with her to know more about her life and struggle…take a look:
How did your journey in the industry begin?
I studied Film and TV at XIC and started working with one of my teachers on documentaries. I went on to be an assistant director on various ad-films and movies, like Taare Zameen Par. I also worked for many years in Srishti Arya’s production house- Rose Movies as the creative director of Remix.
How did writing come your way?
I wrote Kissa Yoni Ka- the vagina monologue play by internationally renowned theatre personality Eve Ensler. I was the official Hindi translator of the play. It was a great honor and experience. And then I wrote Aisha for Sonam Kapoor as a dialogue writer and have been writing ever since.
Can you brief us on some of the serials you have written for?
I have written for Dekha Ek Khwaab (story screenplay), Yeh Hai Mohabbatein (dialogue) Gumrah season 1 and 2, Parindey for Red Chillies, Kahi Suni for Epic channel (writer- producer), Bhaage Re Mann for Zindagi. Left Right Left and Parvarish season 2 for Sony TV. I have also written few episodes of Sumit Sambhal Lega, Sister Didi and Hum Hain Na, among others.
Tell us something about your work pattern?
I am an undisciplined writer the industry has lent some disciple to. One has to write daily to get over writer’s blocks and other indulgences. I usually wake up at 5 am, write nonstop till 1 pm and then go for meetings etc. When I am writing the opening and climax of a feature, I disappear for a few days to Goa or Rajasthan or a nice hotel where I can write in peace without worrying about maids and other things.
How long have you been in the industry?
What challenges did you face in this industry?
Challenges are only within you – what you want, what are your expectations from yourself and your career path. I have had the tendency to meander but that has been an interesting journey in itself so I have no complaints.
What are the things that you keep in mind before writing for a particular show?
I like to write light, realistic dialogues the way real people talk. No one says full page dialogues in real life. People’s thoughts waver, sometimes they only say half sentences, pause…then continue speaking…that kind of writing. I like to give each character a quirk but not those old style takiyakalams as I feel that kind of writing is overdone.
Which of your written script is the closest to your heart?
Bhaage Re Mann for the story of a woman who has more to her life than just her husband and family. She is a free spirit in every sense of the word…she’s neither a corporate stooge nor an abla naari.
Do you change the writing according to the TRPs?
What according to you is more important-the script or the cast?
Well, both complement each other. I am not being diplomatic as television comes to your house every single day and you need to be in love with the faces that come to you. Those faces have to be immensely likeable and have to be people you feel you know matlab naye hain par jaane pehchane se.
Do you watch serials and keep a tab of what is happening on other shows?
Not really. Where is the time?
What are your future plans?
I want to write better stuff, great shows and films. I am planning to come up with digital content soon. I am greedy… I want to do loads of things at the same time, loads of good work and hopefully everything that I can be proud of.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
We are so often stuck in the idea of being a writer that we forget everything else. People tend not to care or read enough, which is a mistake. Read, read and read – that’s the best degree you will ever get. Write every day and don’t be afraid of critiquing your own work. Also, write what you know not what you think will work.
Good luck, Ritu!