Sunday, August 14, 2011

Telly Tadka’s ‘Independence Day’ Interview of Mahesh Pandey and Barry Dhillon

Telly Tadka’s ‘Independence Day’ interview of Mahesh Pandey and Barry Dhillon

Most of the older generation thinks independence means nothing to the current generation as the current generation hasn’t struggled to live in a independent Nation. However is that really so? Are we born in an independent nation? Do we have freedom to express anything anywhere without facing the consequences? Entertainment industry is one such place where some thoughts can be expressed in front of the masses. So on the occasion of 64th anniversary of the Indian independence, we spoke to the story writer (Mahesh Pandey) and the dialogue writer (Barry Dhillon) of Geet Hui Sabse Parayi. We chatted about how they celebrate Independence Day, what does independence means to them and how they fight for the independence of thought and freedom of expression in their profession. Here is what they had to say.

Tee Tee – Do you celebrate Independence Day?

Mahesh Pandey – Yes (It was a very emphatic yes)
Barry Dhillon - Honestly speaking ‘No’. Cause right from childhood Independence celebration had been more of a mandatory annual school exercise than anything else where we were made to stand in the sun for hours. At that time Independence Day seemed more of a torture. Though in the later years, listening to tales of Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Chandra Shekhar Azaad , Kartar Sarabha , Bismill and others started giving the patriotic feeling.

Tee Tee – How have you celebrated it for the past 2-3 years? (What do you do on that day?)

Mahesh Pandey – Har saal ‘TIRANGE’ ko dekh kar ek hi sawal karta hun ki kal bahot beizaati hone wali hai tumhari.  Maaf kar dena . Muft ki azaadi ki kadar koi nahi karta. (Translation – Every year seeing the Tricolor national flag I only think, tomorrow you are going to suffer a lot of disrespect. Please forgive us. No one values the freedom today as it has come free to them.
Barry Dhillon –  Ab to sawaal hee kahaan paida hota hai independence day manaane ka? (Translation – Now where is the question of celebrating Independence Day?). I mean look around. We are being governed by criminals. The corruption is at its acme and when we the common Indians stand up to fight corruption, we are lathi-charged in the middle of the night. One Anna Hazaare stands up for the nation and he is ridiculed by those criminal turned politicians; ridiculed and threatened. We have a PM who claims to be the most honest homo sapien of our time, but every time a scam comes up, he is unaware of it. How is that possible? All I can say is that “Choron kee baaraat ka dulha khud ko imaandar keh raha hai!” So seeing all this around us can we really say that we are an independent nation? To kaahe ka Independence Day manaana?

Tee Tee – Have you made any contribution towards making India independent in any way?

Mahesh Pandey No.
Barry DhillonWell yes. I do my job honestly. I pay my taxes honestly. I want my country free of these corrupt politicians. That would be true independence for India. I am with Anna jee in this new freedom struggle.

Tee Tee – Talking about independence, do you feel independent while writing for TV soap? 

Mahesh PandeyNo.
Barry DhillonHaan (He adds - koi haath tode hee bandhe hote hain likhte hue!). I mean yeah ok the final call is taken by channel people but it is the creative team from production house and writers who create the story and characters. Agreed that there are limitations but limitations are part a of every profession.

Tee Tee – What does independence and freedom mean to you with regard to your writing?

Mahesh Pandey – Jo sach hai , jo sahi hai vo likhne ki puri azaadi mile. (Translation – We should get full freedom to write what is true and correct.)
Barry Dhillon – Well freedom means that I am allowed to write anything. Anything means anything - right from red sari of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi to personal life of Pandit Nehru {and I know this can never happen in this country}. Independence means that I am allowed to write within the allowed format according to my conviction - uss me zyada dakhal na ho.

Tee Tee – How much freedom of thought do you get?

Mahesh PandeyIn today’s time every writer is a freedom fighter. Apne thoughts ko janta tak pahuchaane ke liye aaj kal ladaai karni padti hai. (Translation – To convey our thoughts to the audience, today we have to fight.)
Barry DhillonI don’t know how to answer that one. It’s a very open question. I will say yeah. I get enough freedom in personal life to think whatever I want to think, but otherwise in profession and in public can’t say so.

Tee Tee – How do you fight it out if your freedom of writing is being curbed?

Mahesh PandeyMain vo kaam hi nahi karta jisme mujhe kaam karne ki azaadi na ho. (Translation – I dont do any such work which curbs my freedom.)
Barry Dhillon – Simple. Like Anna sahib I stand up for my cause. I don’t fear anyone as I execute my work with complete honesty and everyone around knows this. Hence, most of the times people listen to me. Of course there are occasions when people with corrupt minds and false inflated egos just want a show down, at such times I just ignore them and walk off because to me indulging those ignorant ones is complete wastage of time.

Jai hind!!

Written and Compiled by Gouri Athanikar
Telly Tadka


  1. Thanks a lot TT
    Honest answers and v relatable!!:-)

  2. Good one indeed. Great to know how our writers feel about our country, freedom and their work too. Both MP & BD are great source for the success of GHSP and their interview proves this too. Well done to both. Here is conveying patriotic greetings to them and telly tadka team for a happy harmonious and peaceful Independence day.

  3. Jai Hind Barry.......very well said....i am big fan of you...keep rocking Barry......