A still from a television episode of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai
Aatish Kapadia, writer-maker of cult show, says he wouldn’t ever cross the line despite greater creative freedom that the Internet allows
Letty Mariam Abraham (MID-DAY; May 8, 2017)

From television to the web, Aatish Kapadia and J D Majethia’s Sarabhai vs Sarabhai has come a long way. Fans are thrilled that the cult show is back for consumption after 12 years. In the promo shown to mediapersons last week, the characters — Indravadan, Maya, Rosesh, Sahil and Monisha — were seen trying to clean their house. Asked why, Sahil says, “Because we are a clean show”.

However, a few other lines in the video made us wonder if the makers have incorporated more sexual humour than before. Aatish says, “If you remember the earlier TV episodes, we had Go-go girls dancing, spoke about erectile dysfunction and what not. We did that earlier on TV and are now doing it on Hotstar. A lot of people told me that since the show will be digital, we have creative license. [But] We don’t need it, because we are not going to use cuss words. I don’t feel the need. It is funny for 16-year-olds.”

But will the adult humour be on par with what sex comedies these days offer? “In India, filmmakers don’t know what sex comedy means. What they show is ribald, college level humour. Sex comedy is not about eyeing the other man’s wife. That’s why in Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, we spoke about erectile dysfunction, where a woman is telling her mother-in-law that her husband comes home tired every day. I didn’t use the word sex, but it is all there. The things, which we explored 12 years ago, I am doing with a little more ease now. I have never bothered about what people will say because I am not crossing a line,” he reasons.

Sumeet Raghavan, who plays Dr Sahil Sarabhai on the show, claims the content has been created in a tasteful manner. “We have dealt with taboo topics in the past. In one episode, the discussion was centered on my character’s so-called erectile dysfunction. Dushyant’s [Deven Bhojani] pants drop on seeing Go-go girls. And we have not taken any liberty because we are on a digital platform. We have subtly touched on topics, unlike most other shows,” he says.