Saba Mumtaz is a respected name in the television industry and there is no doubt about the fact that she was born to hold the pen, simply to narrate some wonderful stories.
The lady has penned down for many popular and hit TV shows like Saraswatichandra (Star Plus), Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai (Star Plus), Uttaran (Colors) and Parvarrish (Sony Entertainment Television). She later turned Producer with Ek Boond Ishq (Life OK), and now carries forward the legacy with her newly formed production house, Mumtaz Saba Productions with Zee TV’s Meri Saasu Maa.
got chatty with Saba where she spoke about her new show Meri Saasu Maa, about her mother-in-law and more.
How did you conceive the idea of Meri Saasu Maa?
I was been working on this project for almost six months now. Once we all cousins had a get-together and they were gossiping about their mothers-in-law and I was quietly sitting. And swiftly they asked me if I have any story to share. But surprisingly I had no bad story to share which shocked all of them. But that moment got me thinking and I thought of getting a show which will show the world the positive side of the relationship between the saas and bahu.
How much contribution has your mother-in-law put in to get you here at this stage?
I am from UP and my in-laws are Bengali, so the culture is very different. From food to way of living, everything is very unlike. Initially males of the house used to eat first and then females had to dine. But she always made me comfortable and then we all started eating together. I follow both the religions, so there is no hard feeling and our bond is very pure and loving.
Give us some tips to impress your mother-in-law?
Well, there are very basic rules that one should follow to have a happy family like flexibility, kindness, respect and giving power to elders so that they feel important and not left out.
What are the challenges that you face in the TV industry?
To deliver is the biggest challenge in the TV industry. Churning out stories which can keep audiences hooked everyday and wanting them to watch your show the next day is a challenge in itself. Some time actors fall sick, writers quit, so these are some regular problems and challenges that we keep facing in daily life.
So how have you overcome these problems?
Well, I have always worked under deadlines which make your work easier. If I am not able to complete my work then I make sure to assign it to someone else so that it gets completed and not neglected.
How did writing come your way?
Hmm…. Firstly I never wished to become a writer. I flunked in my writing exam back in time not because I didn’t know how to write. But I used to give such long answers for the questions that I used to have time only to answer three questions out of five. I did my course at the Jamia University and the art of writing came very naturally to me.
What things do you keep in mind before writing a script?
I have written all kind of genres from the mythological, historical, kids show, kitchen politics to all type of genres. The biggest challenge is to write for Yeh Rishta as there is no evil, vamp or villain in the show. We just have to play with human emotion. It is the toughest show to write.
Any regrets in life?
(Thinks) Not really regret, but when the movie Lagaan was in the making, I had met Ashutosh Gowariker and he asked me to pass on my portfolio. So I quickly replied that I am not an actor but a writer and director. So he said that we have vacancy for the second assistant director’s place and all you had to say was whether you want to accept it or not. After thinking a lot I refused the offer. I regret that decision even now. But destiny plays a very important role.