Arvind Babbal’s works, irrespective of their genres, are regarded by many as bringing cinema into the small screen! His Mahakumbh- which he himself produced, Saraswati Chandra, ShobhaSomnath Ki, Yahan Main GharGharKheli, Virasat, Kumkum, JiyaJale, MeraNaamKaregaRoshan, Hum Ladkiyaan, ChhotiMaa, etc. have earnedhim accolades from the audiences, critics and the industry alike. Even after directing 25 major series he approaches his every new assignment with the same nervousness as of his first one. According to him that nervous energy has always brought outhis best.
Today, while Indian television shows are scoffed by many as clichéd and over-dramatic dramas ArvindBabbal is among those few makers who consciously try to get over the regular formulas and push themselves to deliver something new. Arvind credits that to his penchant for literature – in fact all kinds of literature. ‘I grew up with the best of Hindi literature in my shelves along with the pulp fiction of the streets’, he quips, ‘which actually gave me a grip over the crowd psychology.’
The critics say his works are combination of meaningful relationshipdramas and larger than life canvas, which is like bringing more cinema into TV – to find the sweet spot between film and TV!Aravind adds that whether he is making a film or a serial, relationship will always be his forte as it is a trait that he has learnt from his guru LekhTandon as well as his elder brother Ashok Chakradhar. “I had assisted Lekhji in serials like DilDariya, DoosraKewal and PhirWohiTalash, besides making telefilms like Aakhirkhaar (his first attempt at independently making a telefilm) and serials like Kartavya, AjabGazab, ApnaApnaAasmaan and Dard Ki Dehri.’
Yet silver screen has always eluded ArvindBabbal. He confesses he had other priorities back then when he left his Act One theatre group in Delhi and landed in Mumbai to try his luck in the film industry. He preferred the safety of television. However, Arvind’s uncompromising passion for his craft and great cinematic skills always made his produces his admirers. Not only did ZarinaScrewala ask him to make a film for UTV when he was directing ChhotiMaa for them but also Sanjay LeelaBhansali had asked him to try his hand at making a film when he was making Saraswati Chandra for his production house. ArvindBabbal adds, “KavitaBarjatya too asked me to make a film for their home production but I just bade my time. I feel that the time is right now for me to make my foray into films.”
Although many A-listers of Bollywood are trying their luck in small screen these days Arvind is intending to do the opposite. Isn’t he scared? He says, ‘I have always been driven by content, and don’t think a lot about the medium. Today my position in this industry tells me that my instinct has paid off!’ Right now he has a couple of subjects that he thinks appropriate for silver screen. ‘And I am going ahead right away,’ Says Arvind, who is busy these days completing two scripts which will go on floor next year. Going by his track record one thing is for sure – that he will make films which are heavy on content without compromising on quality, and will not let any star dictate terms to him.
Arvind however clarifies – his venture into cinema never means he is averse to television. Television has groomed him and has given him this important platform. He signs off saying, ‘my ties with television are as strong as ever and I will always keep making meaningful content for TV along with cinema.’