It’s been a little more than a year since my love affair with Devon Ke Dev Mahadev,, a TV series on LifeOk began. I remember being totally awed by the awesome perfection it brought to Indian TV, a mode of entertainment I thought was too mediocre, up until now. But on that fateful day of 18th December 2011, when DKDM’s first episode was unveiled, I lost all my prejudices regarding the lack of talent in our TV industry.
As the series progressed, I kept marveling at the staggering perfection of it all. Every project has it’s strengths and weaknesses, but I could not find any flaws with DKDM. The casting was impeccable. The dialogues were just right, classy yet comprehensible. The scenes were written beautifully. The music made the soul dance. The make-up, attire and conceptualization of the characters were so powerful that it brought the world of Mahadev right into our living rooms. An addiction was inevitable. And what an addiction! Just watching wasn’t enough anymore. I had to talk about it , write about it , shout on the roof tops about how life-changing a TV series can be! I was soon writing every week about Devon ke Dev. on TV entertainment sites and on my blog. I opened fan pages. In other words DKDM took over my life.
When an output is so flawless, it is natural to wonder about the process. And thus began my research into the machinery of DKDM. How is this magic produced? How many people work behind the scenes and just how much of work is involved? For one year I entertained this obsession, fed on every bit of info I found and kept falling deeper in love with the series and Mohit Raina, an actor who had personified my Mahadev of dreams with absolute perfection.
Finally on 2nd February this year I, with two of my DKDM fan friends, Anjali and Ayesha, got a much awaited chance to spend some time at the original magic minting workshop of DKDM. We were blown away when we got to know the immense amount of hard work that goes in creating one single episode. It’s like a fabric being made out of delicate threads. So many unsung heroes work with unimaginable patience behind every single scene.
Regarding our visit, There were 2 heroes there who made every minute on the set worthwhile: One being the actor that we all identify as God Himself, Mohit Raina and the other one from behind the scenes: The Creative of the show, Angira Vats.
Often we get so obsessed with the characters that we fail to acknowledge the background work that goes into making them so obsession -worthy. We were very lucky to have met Ms. Angira Vats who gave us some priceless insight into how DKDM continues to break its own benchmark every day. In the middle of effortlessly screening cast out of her cellphone for different characters, and instructing her assistants on their tasks, she also managed to give us heart warming attention. Her affable personality and sharp wit made the visit one of the most enjoyable experiences for us till date.
We discovered stories that increased our respect for the entire crew even more. It is not uncommon for the workers, graphic experts, editing staff to work entire nights. There are people who work till 5 AM and then doze off on the set props to get a 2 hour sleep before work starts again. The making of a TV series is a continuous process and people involved are fighting a battle against time. But at the end it’s all worth it for the DKDM crew, as this series is a project that pays back ample in terms of quality satisfaction.
Ms. Vats also introduced us to the production manager, Sanjay who kindly treated us with “meetha paans” and told us stories about families travelling to sets in hopes of getting a glimpse of Mahadev and how many people shed tears of devotion on seeing Him. There was an unmistakable pride in the eyes of these “behind the scenes” geniuses when they were telling us these stories. It is obvious how dear this project is to them and how proud they are of being associated with this dream venture.
DKDM has shown an unquestionable mastery especially over the execution of different avatars that Mahadev and Parvati keep taking from time to time. Who can forget the raw power in Veerbhadra or the authenticity of the old stooping man (Mahadev)asking for Kartikeya’s Shivling? If you are wondering who to thank , it’s Ms Vats and her creative team. They first conceptualize the entire avatar and then work closely to turn it into reality. We were lucky to see some of the preparation for Mahadev’s Batuk avatar. . A tiny Trishul with little rudraksha beads and a small damru had just been finalized and approved in front of our eyes.
We were curious watching Angira’s effortless expertise and asked her how she ended up doing what she did. Turns out she studied journalism, but her innate creative instincts couldn’t be hidden for long and she ended up working for projects like Gadar- Ek Prem Katha and quite a few other movies.
With an unmistakable twinkle in her eye she tells us that as soon as Nikhil Sinha called her about the commencement of Mahadev was , she left the project she was doing right in the middle. Her instincts told her that this would be a be a dream project. Having worked with Nikhil before on Jai Shri Krishna, there was no doubt in her mind that Mahadev was an opportunity not to be missed.
If you have ever wondered how the casting in Mahadev is so perfect, it’s because the production and the Creatives work hard on it. Ms. Vats instincts with casting is strikingly accurate. The amazing Saurabh Raj Jain who has been charming us as Lord Vishnu was also cast as Vishnu in Jai Shri Krishna on her idea.
After the behind the scenes talk, it’s time to talk about the face of the show. Mohit Raina, while playing the God of Gods, has managed to establish himself as the actor among actors. We have been long term fans , running among others, a fan page for him, because we were blown away by his personification of Mahadev since the first episode.
Watching Mohit Raina in his mettle during the shoot is an ethereal experience. Not only he looks as gorgeous off screen as on screen, his aura is breathtaking. Just watching him do his scenes with that effortless ease yet awesome perfection is inspiring in more than one ways.
Frankly, we never thought he would notice us when we sneaked in during the shoot and grabbed three chairs in a dark corner. But to our surprise, as soon as the scene was over, Mr Raina just strolled over casually and recognized us with names, all on the basis of sundry twitter interactions. Yes that’s how smart he is!
If we were awed before meeting him, we have turned super awed fans for life after meeting him. His skill of multi tasking is noteworthy. He managed to do his scenes, learn his lines and spend ample time with us, without doing injustice on any front. We were floored by his attention. He practically took care of all our wishes till the time we were there. From getting us lunch served before we even realized we were hungry to letting us click pictures in the privileged quarters of his room, he made us feel like princesses. Like the true Mahadev, he had a solution to all of our problems. When the huge technical camera that Ayesha was carrying turned out to be too technical for us , Mr Raina got us the in- house cameraman. When we wanted his autograph on pictures but didn’t bring a marker, he managed to procure it even when it seemed unlikely. There was not one awkward moment all throughout the day. He put us so much at ease that we forgot we were meeting our own personal God for the first time . It is striking how a man who is being idolized literally like a God all over the country, keeps himself so grounded and unassuming, unaffected by the growing grandiosity of his fame. DKDM has not only discovered a perfect Mahadev, they have brought out an extremely talented gem of a person.
We always suspected he had a great sense of humour and we were so right. He made us laugh and those random moments when he broke into an extremely breathtaking smile, are engraved forever in our memories. His thoughtfulness and grounded attitude is what we will cherish forever. Like a true gentleman he even asked us how we were planning to go back and seemed relieved that we had a cab waiting. He sent his assistant to drop us back to the cab who graciously invited us to come again and stayed till our cab left. A special mention to Mohit’s assistant ( though I asked his name twice, I can’t place it) for being so nice to us all day and for taking care of us.
Our walk through the set was also an amazing experience. We saw the making of the much anticipated “bhavan” which will be produced due to Parvati’s demands. The “karigars” were hard at work in a makeshift shed.
The set of Kailash was breathtaking. Parvati’s kitchen utensils were being finely polished and I got an opportunity to sit on Mahadev’s throne ( It didn’t bring me face to face with my Adi -Shakti roop to my disappointment). Everybody on the set was very friendly and very nice to us.
It was a dream date with Kailash extended to us by both Mohit and Ms Angira Vats. We cannot thank them enough ever. This experience will stay with us all our lives and we will remain fans forever. We hope we can visit again after a while and bring you more news from them and get more of your love to them. Till then let’s keep watching DKDM with the same fervor and let’s keep discussing the brilliance on all online forums like we have been doing since the magic spell was cast. Here’s to more passion and love for Devon ke Dev Mahadev!
Note: This post would not be complete without extending heartfelt gratitude to Raghvesh : If not for him, this would have remained an unfulfilled dream.