Tete-a-tete with Niranajan Iyengar


By Jigar Ganatra

From journalist to fashion designer, author, dialogue writer and now a chat show host, Niranjan Iyengar has tasted success consistently over the years. With a flair for sharing experiences, he takes us on the journey he has lived over the year and speaks about the upcoming second season of his show ‘Look who’s talking with Niranjan.’


Tell us about your journey so far in the film industry

Things have come my way and have happened with time. Neither did I plan my journey, nor did I follow one path. It all started ever since I was a journalist and unlike the journalists today, I shared a rapport with many artists from the film industry. My work brought me close to a lot of stars and ever since then we have been together.

I have always been in love with the movies and hence I have been closely associated with many from the fraternity, and that’s how every project happened – be it the book on Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, dialogues for Kal Ho Na Ho or any of my other works.

Juggling between films to television and vice versa, how does it work?

I have been associated with television as a writer, but never had a plan to face the camera as a chat show host. I have done two shows on television and hence had an understanding of the difference between two mediums. I was clear that the pace in the television industry is very different, unlike in films. Though the medium has its pros and cons, there is great flexibility and liberty in television than movies. However, I believe there is still a lot to learn about the dynamic television industry and I’m in the process of it.

Tell us about the author in you

A book on the movie Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham was unplanned, although I did realise during the making that there were several reasons to write one. I was travelling with the team and noticed that the movie's star cast was amazing. Hence, as an author, I wanted to give a perspective on how the movie was made, which is a reflection to the journey I experienced with the crew – from the idea of the movie to its release. That’s how it all started for me an author.

Can we expect another book from you soon?

Any writer would love to write. I take writing very seriously and it takes a lot of time. I believe one needs to live the moments to write on any subject. Currently, I am busy with projects, but eventually I will write a book. I have too many ideas, but I’m not planning to write, at least for a decade. I think bookshould be written when you have a certain amount of distance on the subject matter. For me to write about movies, I need to distance myself from it for a while, which is when I would be able to pen my thoughts.

Tell us something about the show and Niranjan as a host

Look Who’s Talking has a very different flavour and approach to it. The title of the show is different and was given by someone from the channel and everyone in the team liked it. The production house had the idea and offered me to host the chat show. Initially, I wasn’t very confident about facing the camera, but I was told that I could do a great job with it. Karan Johar, a close friend of mine, had a lot of faith in me. He suggested that I take up the opportunity. That’s how I gained confidence and built it episode after episode. This season the confidence has reached a great level and I’m happy about it.

As a host of the show, what ideas did you have in mind?

Since the beginning, I was very clear that I wouldn’t do anything against my personality. I wanted to be myself and present it in the most comfortable manner. This was my contribution to the show. I have known the stars for a long time and hence I did not want to look at them as stars, on this show. However, I wanted to engage with them as a friend. The idea was to keep a conversational tone and bring out the personality behind the stars. I did not want to go by any order.

Hence, the stars and I actually spoke for a couple of hours, which then becomes the episode. I believe that’s the show's USP.

What can be expected from the upcoming season?

From an audience perspective, I can say that one can look forward to the same discovery I’m making. They would love the show if they enjoyed those moments along with me. Further, the locations in this season are different to the previous and every episode is different and unique. There are a lot of stars and different personalities whom I have interacted with, starting with Varun Dhawan. However, I do have some on the ‘dream list’ and I wish I interview them, especially Aamir Khan.

Look who’s talking with Niranjan – season 2 will air from 23 August at 9 pm on Zee Cafe.


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