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Snubbed by the elite for dramatic excess in soaps and by the audience for the lack of it, the life of television writers is a tricky balancing act
Just as I was about to return to my hometown disheartened, I received a call to script the popular show Imtihaan. Writing became a source of survival before I developed a passion for it - Purnendu Shekhar
IT was festive season last year and Gautam Hegde had planned a brief break from work. The TV show screenwriter (Saath Nibhana Saathiya, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, Navya: Nayi Dhadkan, Naye Sawaal and Sapno Se Bhare Naina) even informed Star Plus about it in advance and banked episodes that could be shot while he vacationed for four days. Still, Hegde found himself working through his holiday due to unforeseen changes in the shooting schedule. "You live your life on standby in this profession," sighs the 29-year-old who goes everywhere, including to parties, with a tablet PC, data cable and a 3G internet connection.
Working seven days a week through the year seems like a big drawback, but the monetary compensation usually overrules the discomfort: A writer can end up making up to Rs 5 lakh a month. Hegde even likes it. "I find kitchen politics highly entertaining," he confesses and recollects going for his board examinations after watching the daily telecast of Shanti. However, only a few in the profession because they actually enjoy it. Purnendu Shekhar, whose Balika Vadhu helped establish Colors as an entertainment channel, discovered his passion for writing late in life. A journalist from Rajasthan, he came to Mumbai in 1992 to become an actor. "Just as I was about to return to my hometown disheartened, I received a call to script the popular show Imtihaan. Writing became a source of survival before I developed a passion for it," he explains.
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