My Sucess Is The Result Of My Faith And Prayers


Gregarious, god fearing and genuine. Three words which perhaps describe writer producer Ashwani Dhir in a nutshell. Wearing a warm smile, Dhir greets us with a firm handshake as we settle down for a t?te-?-t?te in his simple but elegant drawing room. His homely-looking apartment situated at Goregaon (a suburb in Mumbai) is done up well and what really stands out against the dull purple walls are the huge photographs of his daughter Garima.

"My life revolves around my daughter. Not just that, she has also proved to be very lucky for me. I have prospered only after her birth. Before that life was a struggle." As the doting father continues to help his daughter finish off with her days homework, the tea and the cookies arrive.

There's a telltale frankness about the man, as he gets down to telling us the story of his life and how he managed to get where he is today. At the beginning of the conversation, he declares, "I am not really comfortable in English. When I came to Mumbai, I used to get an inferiority complex. But then that's when I decided to turn the negative into a positive. Over a period of time, because of my strong command over the language, people on the sets started consulting me for writing their dialogues. And till date, I refuse to speak in English."

And so, over a cup of tea, in shuddh Hindi, interspersed with some couplets and interesting anecdotes Dhir tells us the story of his life.

The journey from Kanpur to Mumbai

"I came to Mumbai to make it in the television industry. I knew no one here, so it was either make or break. I tried the film line and worked on two films (Farishte and Tehelka) with Anil Sharma. But somehow, money never came in and it was a matter of survival for me. So, I moved on to television and started work as Assistant Director on Thoda sa Aasman with Deepti Naval. I realised that television is regular and good money. So, I stuck to the medium and as fate would have it, I got into satire writing. Earlier on I used to write for myself. And later the big break came when I got to write Office Office where I could express the common man's angst and struggle. I strongly believe the real awe inspiring stories come from the middle class people. I seek inspiration from everyday situations.

Again it was fate or providence that I moved on from a writer to a producer. The first break was when I produced Ram Khilawan CM which got into controversy and had to be pulled off air. Later, the big break was Public Hai Sab Jaanti Ha. Currently, I am producing Chamca in Chief on SabTV.

On values in life

The city provides equal opportunities for women as well as men and treats them at par, which is wonderful," says the 37-year-old writer. However, I believe there has to be a good mix of our old values along with the new order. "It's like have a drink, but you should know your limits. At media parties one often gets to see people crossing their limits after a few drinks. Also, I feel there should be a certain decorum in the way we use language. I feel language need to be respected and I strongly detest the use of foul and lose language"

Life is a journey of faith

"I strongly believe there's a power above which controls our lives. And it's really the fear of the future which drives us towards faith and prayers,"he says.Reminiscing about his struggling days, Dhir says "there was a time in my life when I didn't have a roof over my head. It was during that phase, that I happened to tag along with a relative of mine to Shirdi . Just after the visit, I managed to wriggle out of all my problems. It was like a miracle in my life and I soon realised the power of prayer. Since then Dhir has become a great follower of Sai Baba and visits Shirdi at least once a month.

"There were times during my lean phase, when I didn't even have the money to buy two tickets for a journey to Shirdi. Then, just one of us either me or my wife would go for the darshan. But today life has changed. Dhir lives life on his own terms, owns a swanky apartment and drives a Honda City.

"I've got more than I had asked for and I am very happy with what I have got," says the contented man who makes it a point to celebrate almost all the festivals. He reveals further, "Though I am a Punjabi myself, I've adopted many things from Maharashtra. So, be it the Ganesh festival or the nine day Navratri, we definitely celebrate it with a lot of gusto.

I am currently on a Anjali Mukherjee Diet

The conversation now switches on to certain lighter issues in life. We chat about his regular diet habits, mobile phones amongst other things. He tells us that for the last few months he has been on a strict diet.

He says,"I am following the Anjali Mukherjee diet presently and have lost more than 12 kgs. I follow the diet strictly except that I've a weakness for sweets. And sometimes, when I can't control, I give in. Losing weight has other advantages from the fact that I feel lighter and healthier.

And what about gizmos and gadgets? He says, "I feel a mobile phone is a necessary devil which does not allow you any peace of mind. Now, people can contact you anywhere anytime and intrude on your privacy. So, one is forced to talk or else switch it off and then face a volley of questions from friends and family. I am sure, this is one device which will be responsible for many divorces in the country," he says on a lighter note. Just then his phone rings. And it's time to leave.

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