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Arjun – The beginning

This post is meant for people who watch Arjun – so if you don’t watch this show, you might as well stop reading now. But before you go let me tell you – you are missing out on a great show! For those of you who have been wondering about my silence on various social media fronts – I have been slightly unwell. I hope the problems will get sorted out in the coming week.

So, the main characters of Arjun had got finalised and I wanted to see how they looked together and so did the channel. I also wanted to see how the new camera that we were planning to use would perform in the dark. So we set up a look test on the set of Humse Hai Liife,which has now been modified to be the ETF office. The corridor was lit up in a dark, contrasty fashion to try and emulate the lighting in a warehouse or something. Contrary to what the plate says, the camera was manned by Tribhuvan Babu. What you see below is a result of that sequence.

Now it was time to handle one of the two most tricky scenes of the first episode – Riya’s earring (which later became a hair clip) to get caught in Arjun’s shirt in the middle of a serious discussion about the kidnapper. I had spent sleepless nights over this scene. It required extremely fine balance in the execution because just being an inch overboard would have made the discussion frivolous and the characters seem petty to be distracted by the earring! The scene also sets the chemistry between the two characters  – the first time Riya would try to stand up to Arjun and he would shoot her down rudely. I do not remember how many times I had played the scene in my head as this was one of the two scenes that I was really, really worried about. The other scene which gave sleepless nights was where Riya and Arjun meet first, get into fist-fight and she ends up tightly locked in his arms – but that is another story! I had deliberately chosen this scene to be apart of the look test because I wanted the chance to rehearse and shoot it properly before we hit the floor and I am glad I did! What I remember  most from shooting this scene is how many questions Shaleen and Sana asked me that day and at this point I can admit that I did not have a lot of answers ready but providing an answer to them also answered a lot of questions that I had myself. Rathore had not been cast – so I decided to use one of the crew to stand-in with his back to camera. At this point, I was more worried about the content rather than blocking.

When I finished shooting the scene, it was huge load off my shoulders. Both the actors had got the essence of the scene right and it had turned out better than I had expected. I knew that shooting this scene during actual production would be a cakewalk for all of us.

It was now time to head outdoors and as the sun was setting, I quickly decided to write an improvised scene which would show the difference between Riya and Arjun’s characters. I had an inkling that we would be doing some form of honour killing in the coming episodes and as time was short and the sun was setting fast, I chose to write a few lines that would get over in just one shot. In the actual series, the killing is done by the mother and Riya goes and confronts the killer herself – but this is how I had imagined the end to be.

– Gorky M

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