Panchayat author Chandan Kumar: Real People, Real Drama with Recreation at the Forefront was the concept »GossipChimp
Writing was a thankless job in the Hindi film industry a few years ago because all the credit for the success of a film went to the actors or the director. The amount of difficulty and sleepless nights an author spends making a story was by no means recognized. However, with the creation of additional content pushed, writers also get their due. One such author who is widely admired today is Chandan Kumar, who wrote the Amazon Panchayat web series.
After the resounding success of season 2 of the series, many wanted to know the man who wrote such a catchy script with such dynamic characters. Indianexpress.com met Chandan to find out what was behind the conceptualization of the Panchayat.
“TVF wanted to create a show with rural India at the center. We live in urban India. But what happens when a man from a cosmopolitan city is forced to live in a village? So an urban guy in a rural setup was the idea. What are the challenges he faces and how he handles them. Its challenges must be real, but they must be presented in a humorous and entertaining way. This is how we thought of the Panchayat. Real people with real drama,” Chandan said.
Chandan thinks his personal experience of living in a village helped him engrave the characters so well. “See, when you are familiar with this world, it becomes easy for you to write about it. Being from Patna, I often visited my village of Paliganj. The memory of the people there is still in my mind. And the most of the anecdotes you see in Panchayat like the funny discussion between Banrakas and Binod or between Prahlad, Pradhan ji and Vikas are taken from my own experience”, mentioned the author, adding that “we made sure that the casting was perfect “.
Talking more about the history of Panchayat, Chandan mentioned that he also deals with the actual topic within the society. “You see the Pradhanpati culture where the husband of a Pradhan woman holding real power is always prevalent. And it’s not just limited to villages. It also happens in cities. We therefore wanted to highlight these realities. My director Deepak Mishra and I had a clear concept. He too comes from Varanasi and he too understands the reality on the ground well. So it became easy for us.
Born in Patna, Chandan completed his engineering in Dehradun. But it was his passion for writing that made him quit his job as an engineer and become an author at Faking News, a satirical portal. Speaking about his trip from Patna to Mumbai, Chandan said, “My ardor for writing brought me here. I wanted to do something completely different. I knew the battle that people face in the leisure sector in Mumbai, so I did not give up my job. In 2015 I joined TVF and wrote sketches for some of their films. I bought an opportunity to write the second episode of Humorously Yours. It was enjoyed after which Panchayat performed. “
Speaking about writers not getting the popularity and compensation that actors get, Chandan said “things are looking up now.” “Seeing the writing is very subjective. If a show or movie you’ve written becomes a hit, you’re inundated with offers. But since writing is different from other jobs, you also need to be selective. Speaking of actors’ financial security, again, like I said, things have changed now. It’s not that you are now well paid. If you write decently, you’ll get a job.