Dahan writers reveal they had to hire a therapist while working on the show | Exclusive
Dahan released on Disney+ Hotstar on September 16. In an exclusive conversation with IndiaToday.in, the show's writers Nisarg Mehta, Shiva Bajpai and Nikhil Nair talked about the conflicts they had while working on the project.
By Grace Cyril: Dahan - Raakan ka Rahasya finally released on September 16 on Disney+ Hotstar. Directed by Vikranth Pawar and produced by Banijay Asia, the supernatural thriller series is a dark tale of myths and superstition. The story takes place in an old mysterious village were paranormal occurrences are common. Dahan has been brilliantly written by Nisarg Mehta, Shiva Bajpai and Nikhil Nair. In an exclusive conversation with IndiaToday.in, the trio revealed the conflicts they had on the sets and how they hired a therapist for trust building exercise.
Excerpts from the conversation:
Dahan is a supernatural thriller series, a dark tale of myths and superstition. This genre is not really explored much in India. What was the process behind the writing? Were there any kind of challenges you faced?
Shiva Bajpai: It feels very nice when actors praise your writing or when they say that they connected to the character as it had soul. I think horror can only be justified if you care about the character. It should be three-dimensional. A supernatural drama was a great way to write in Dahan. Our story revolved around a single mother and it focusses on a place where she is herself in danger. The writing came very naturally to us after that.
Did you all take any kind of inspiration from Hollywood's horror drama?
Nikhil Nair: We made a very conscious choice that if we will take inspiration, we will take it from our own lives not anywhere else. All three of us come from very different parts of the country. We all come from small towns in different cities of India. So Dahan came out to be a very unique Indian story. We made very realistic stories. We took normal characters and put them in the most horrifying situations. As part of our writing process, we did an activity called world building. We made a fictious world and put the characters in by keeping a sense of history in mind. So, our town Silaspura looks like a very real world
Between three writers, were there any conflict of interests?
Nisarg Mehta: Yes, obviously! There were lots of conflicts between us. But I think conflict is always good for drama that gives quality writing. It would also sometimes be like if two of us are in disagreement, the third one would turn a mediator. Sometimes, it would be two against one and other times all three of us were saying different things. But that's the fun of it. If there are no disagreements, it would be so plain. In fact, there would be fights on little things like what will be the layout of our room, where would the chairs be, etc.
Shiva: Bhot rona-dhona hua, we threw pencils at each other. At one point, we even had to hire a therapist for trust building. Thankfully, our director had given us a blank canvas to write whatever we wanted to.
Nikhil: I think we fought a lot because all of us are passionate about horror. That's why these conflicts came. We had a lot of different influences. I think that was fun, actually. Of course, that time we all wanted to kill each other but yeah.
Do you feel there is a kind of USP behind writing for OTT?
Shiva: OTT is a very big world so you can explore a lot of characters. There also loads of storytelling formats which OTT helps you experiment with. You can live the characters. But you also spend a lot of time writing. It is quite enjoyable. But creating a world and seeing it come to life by the director is quite exciting.
Dahan revolves around the story of a village named Shilaspura, where many secrets are hidden. It is said that this village is cursed. It is also said that the village will become a heap of dead bodies as soon as the illusion is released. Tisca Chopra plays the role of an IAS officer of the village, who feels that all this is just a rumour. Dahan is a dark story of age-old rural beliefs and superstitions.