“I started as a dress man in a show called Tara. I befriended with dogs to save 75 paisa, and that’s why I say my journey was and is beautiful. A lot of people see hardship in it, I see it beautiful.” – Sachin Mohite
Sachin Mohite is a Producer and Director of the most successful Web series – Gandii Baat. He has been in the content industry for more than 20 years and associated with numerous successful TV serials including Tara, Prayashchit, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Taarka Mehta ka Ulta Chashma, Crime Patrol, Laal Ishq and many more.
Q. It has been more than two decades in the Content industry, starting from TV and recently getting in to webspace on a very successful note. Can you share your journey with us?
After completing my graduation, I came in the industry and was lucky because that time TV was changing from Doordarshan to Satellite and it was interesting to witness and be part of the change.
I started as a dress man in a show called Tara, because there was no space in the direction department. After some time, I got a chance to become an assistant director on the show and from there, I directed the same show. You can say my initial journey was a complete cycle.
As the change was happening, lot of new channels and shows were starting. I was fortunate to do lot of firsts in this industry. Star plus came and then Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki happened. Balaji started this post called creative director and I was one of the first creative directors of the industry. I was the supervising producer than I was the first guy to do show called Prayashchit on Sony TV, where I got real life criminals to speak on camera. Then, I did the first daily sitcom of India- Tarak Mehta ka Ulta Chashma, the first sitcom which was adapted from a magazine. There was a magazine called Chitralekha in that Tarak ji used to write. In India, it was first time that someone made something out of a magazine article. So, I did a lot of firsts.
Likewise, OTT nobody has attempted this kind of a genre in India, but I said we will do it and that is how the journey started and continuing.
Q. Are you happy with the way your career is moving?
Very Happy! I am of the thought that do less work, but do quality work, which people should remember. So, whatever work I have done, lot of milestones are there, and with God’s grace, everyone remembers them.
Q. Web series Gandi Baat has achieved humongous success. Did you think of such success while making it? Also, you jump genres, any reason?
Gandi Baat, is India’s first social adult series, where we have tried to bring awareness about physical and psychological taboo along with entertainment. Nobody has tried this earlier and its success has proved our vision and conviction was right. Laal Ishq was also something I enjoyed working on, as I had not done ‘horror’, earlier. So, I usually jump genre like I say if I’m doing comedy now than I will not do it in immediate future, rather would go for something else.
Q. How is Sachin Mohite as a person? You always wanted to be in this industry?
I am born and brought up in Mumbai and I am still staying in the same place, where I used to live 20 years ago. I am a very happy and satisfied man!
I always wanted to be in this industry. I used to go to lot of workshops and still do, so I had this from the beginning that I want to become a director, and, in the journey, I also became a producer. God has really been kind and his hand has always been there.
Q. There would be ups and downs in your journey. Did you struggle?
That is a part of the journey. I think Mr. Amitabh Bachchan had also gone through a lot of stuff and if he can go through such stuff and deal smilingly, we are nothing compared to him. But, I believe in one thing – you should never give up on anything whatsoever may happen and that has been my strategy in life. you are not going to get a job is not a question, but are you trying to get it is a question! So likewise Your work is to make things and after that it’ll work or not , it’ll be a hit or not is not in your hands but I cannot leave working by just thinking that it will not work out. My work as a creative person is to write, make good stories and I will keep doing that.
Q. Everyone loves you. You have not changed with time and remained simple & humble person. How?
It is difficult when you fake it and it is not difficult when you are generally like that. I come from a very humble and lower middle-class background. I had a house where even the very basic important need – Toilet was not inside the house and we had to go out for toilet. My father was a worker, so I know a lot of things- like the importance of money and timely payments. Now, if God has given me that authority to sign cheques, I know that, the one date that comes is very important for my workers. Today, I will stop my things, but I never stop theirs because they are the ones, who make it happen, I’m just a zariya. Now, people work 48/72 hours for me without even saying a word and I feel, I have earned it and it’s an achievement, right?
Today it has been 6 years of my company and I have not even changed my spot boy, my unit is the same. So, if they are sticking with me, all they need are 2 to 3 things: first- you to give them love, second- you pay them on time and third- you respect them.
I have struggled for these things, so now, if I have the opportunity to give those things to someone why should I deny?
Q. Your family would be very happy and proud of you?
My father retired at INR 7000 salary and today, he tells me – ‘You have done well for yourself’. Also, I realised one thing in my life that whatever I do is only for my family because here nobody is truly trustable, and my family members are the only people who are going to be around my forever. So, I will do things which make them proud and it is not about me!
Q. You are big fan of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, did you meet him?
I remember, when I went to watch his movie on a lower balcony, I was in full mood and I shouted like Amitabh Bachchan do not leave him. I got the chance to meet him, it was amazing and I was speechless. He is the person who drove my entire future.
So, there were two people I wanted to meet, one is him and one is Kishore Kumar. I couldn’t meet Kishore Dada, but I’m a huge fan.
Q. What do you think about the new generation of actors?
The younger generation is very practical which is a good thing as well as a bad thing. When you are practical, you see things very clearly and you do not get emotionally attached and that is the major difference between the two generation.
We are very emotionally attached with the show and the people. Nowadays, it is not like that. So, the policy of my company is to bring this attachment and emotionality back. when I shot for Gandi Baat, these actors use to come for the shoot and they use to get so involved with my unit, that they keep coming to the office. So, whoever, I have worked with till now, everybody comes back to meet me, the unit and the office boy also. This is what I am cultivating. what I am cultivating.
If you ask any of my actors, they will say- we love going to the office. For me, that is what I want to do. The bonding is only for 3 to 4 days, but it is long lasting and very good.
Q. When are you directing films or you taking life as it comes?
You know sometimes it happens that the thing was just about to happen, and it gets cancelled. People do not realise that life is uncertain and go in depression. I am not like that, when something happens to me, I’ll be okay and it’s okay. I remember when I was directing and was younger, I wanted to become a producer, but became an executive producer. All my friends said- what are you doing? don’t do it. But now, the same people say -what you did was right. So, what I believe is – whenever there is a need of something, just pull up your sleeves and get to work.
Q. How difficult was it when you started? Can you share something
I started working when I was in 10th standard. I started as a salesman in a clothing shop near Andheri (East)station. I used to go to the shop, sell clothes, shoes and other stuff. From there around 8 pm in evening, I used to go to the theatre, work there and then by 12 midnight I used to go home and sleep than get up at 5 AM and repeat the schedule. I needed a start in the industry and worked for 9 months without any payment as I did what I wanted to do. Money came afterwards.
We used to do pack up at 1 AM and I used to catch a bus at 1:20 AM which led me to another bus station and then I used to take another bus to home. I used to get down a stop early, walk to the next stop to catch the bus, and by doing that I used to save 75 paisa . That passage was all full of street dogs and it was risky at night. But I did not get afraid and thought of a solution.
I used to skip my evening breakfast and asked the production manager to give me a Parle G biscuit packet instead. So, while walking my way from the bus station to home I started feeding the biscuits to the dogs. By doing so, all the dogs became my friend and they used to drop me till my house.
I befriended with dogs to save 75 paisa, and that’s why I say my journey was and is beautiful. A lot of people see hardship in it, I see it beautiful. I am still the dress man, that’s all and that is why I am still like this.
Q. Any incident, which moved or changed you as a person?
Once, on the set, I had a fight with an actor, who was just very filled with his attitude and the fight reached till the police station. I came home and told everything to my family members. They asked, what did you get for fighting with him? I said nothing, as I got nothing. Next day, I went to him, said sorry and he said sorry in return.
So, that time I was very short tempered and had ego from my college days. I was very popular in the College, got best student award for 5/6 years, was the head for the dramatics, my grades were very good. So, that kind of built an ego. But after the above incident, I got to know that ego is bad. I started working on it. Sometimes, it is good to have it as self-respect but not good every time. Then my life became very sorted.
In everyone’s life, there comes a moment, where you understand – what to do and what not to do, you make improvements and that is how you improve.