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Mahesh Manjrekar, Deepti Naval's characters are inspired by my parents, says producer Siddharth P Malhotra


The writer-producer of the MX Player web-series, says the characters Pawan and Pooja represent love as felt by real people.

Our Correspondent

The new MX Player web-series, Pawan & Pooja, which began streaming on Valentine's Day features three couples (Mahesh Manjrekar and Deepti Naval, Sharman Joshi and Gul Panag, and Taaruk Raina and Natasha Bharadwaj), all named Pawan and Pooja. The writer-producer of the series, Siddharth P Malhotra, said one of the couples, played by Manjrekar and Naval, was inspired by his own parents.

Malhotra, who is a grandson of the late actor Prem Nath and actress Bina Rai, said the couple, Pawan and Pooja Kalra,  are in their sixties and want to live life on their own terms. The filmmaker recalled a time when his father, the actor Prem Krishan, began life with just Rs36 in his pocket and managed to build an empire out of it. However, back then, his father and mother worked hard to survive on that money.

"Even when I and my sister became independent and got settled, my parents were still concerned about our future," he said. "Now they worry about the grandkids! And all this when we want them to live for themselves, because they have done more than enough for us and for others."

Malhotra said Manjrekar and Naval had done full justice to the characters. "They have understood the emotions and not treated Pawan and Pooja like mere characters in a show," he said. "I didn’t have to tell them much about the script or the characters. In fact, my generation will relate to such couples as we have seen the sacrifices our parents made for us.”

For the characters that Joshi and Panag play, Malhotra looked to a dear friend and her husband for inspiration. This Pawan and Pooja are in their forties and work in the film industry. They are at a point where monotony has set into their relationship. In a bid to salvage their love, they agree upon a plan which takes them to a point of no return.

"Despite being married for 20 years, it is unbelievable to see the chemistry between them," he said of his friends. "It seems as though they have fallen in love for the first time. It sounds like a perfect romantic movie, but tough days come in everyone's life."

The last couple, Pawan Srivastav (Raina) and Pooja Maheshwari (Bharadwaj), depict a modern-day romance. Amidst the rush to stand out on social media and wanting to be different, these two collide, sparking love.

"Pawan & Pooja will represent real love as felt by people," Malhotra said. "It is not all fancy and glittery as we are made to believe. It also tells you that if you have to be online in a relationship, you need to be offline from social media. We can all connect to it."

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