Malav Rajda has quit popular television show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah after helming it for 14 years. The director says he had the best time on the show and everyone became like ‘family’. He also found the love of his life as he married Priya Ahuja Rajda, who plays the role of Rita Reporter in the sitcom. The Free Press Journal caught up with the director for an exclusive interaction.
Sharing his experience of working on the show, Malav gushes, “It was a lovely and wonderful journey. I was 24 when I joined Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah and now I’m 38. So I always say iss show ko maine jawaani de di hai. We all become like a family. I will miss the warmth and the love I used to get from everyone. On the last day, when I said goodbye to everyone they got emotional and I was also unable to hold back my tears. I will miss the way people loved me on the sets and the way they all were around me.”
Opening up about what the show taught him, Malav shares, “I’ve learned to handle so many actors because our normal scene would be where there are 18 to 20 actors involved. Managing everybody, being patient and completing our schedules on time is what I’ve learned in these 14 years.”
Malav is all praise for the actors. “I used to enjoy being with them and how they were not selfish. There have been instances when Jethalal used to say, ‘Ye Bhide bolega toh zyada accha lagega’. So the actors used to give their lines to each other. I have worked on sets where actors are insecure about their lines. But here, everybody helped each other to improve the show. All the actors worked towards making the scene better,” he says.
Malav reveals why he quit the show. He explains, “As a creative person I feel I’m getting saturated. I got into a comfort zone where I knew what I had to do everyday. I need to go out in the world and challenge myself. When you’re doing a show for 14 years, you’re going to have creative differences but that’s not the reason I quit the show. The differences were only to better the show. There were no personal issues or grudges against each other. I have got a lot of gratitude for the show and for Asit bhai (Producer Asit Kumarr Modi). I’m really thankful and grateful to him for giving me this chance.”
Malav shares how his wife Priya reacted to his decision to leave the show. “I would say Rita Reporter is my favourite character in the show, varna ghar pe khana nahi milega (laughs). She has been my biggest support. Without her, I wouldn’t have been able to take this decision of quitting the show. She knew what this show meant to me. But at the same time, she also understood my urge to grow as a creative person,” he says.
Opening up about his future plans, Malav concludes, “I would not mind doing anything. I’m open to television, web and movies. I want to do a lot of things but I’ve not really planned anything. I’ve been on a break for over 15 days but hopefully, I’ll pick up a show very soon. I’m excited for this new journey.”