Posted on March 2, 2009
Chung Lao: Ajayan, thanks for being interviewed here at
IndaPhatFarm.com How are you?
Ajayan: I am doing great ! .. It has been a
great start of the year for us; especially because all our
recent episodes have been well received
Chung Lao: Where did you grow up?
Ajayan: I was born and brought up in
Palakkad, Kerala. Though as part of my education and my work
I have travelled and stay in many cities and towns in
Chung Lao: When did directing/script writing become a passion in your
Ajayan: I guess it started after I began to
enjoying cinema as an artistic expression. Maybe it was
during my college years when I used to bunk classes to watch
all the new releases. It start of as any other teenager
interested in movies but my uncle Mr. P.R Nathan during that
time did few movies with Bharathan and Kamal. So I should
say, I was kind of exposed to the making movies and serials
in that way.
It was always something I wanted to do but its
after meeting Abi Varghese that I began to give
scriptwriting and direction a serious thought.
Chung Lao: Where did the idea for Akkara originate from?
Ajayan: Well, it all started with Kairali T.V’s
Mr. Jose Kadappuram calling us to know if we are interested
in a doing a half hour show for Kairali T.V. During that
time, me and Abi where seriously looking for some
opportunities to get hands-on experience on doing something
After few discussions, we realized that there are
unique struggles and experiences as an Indian-American
immigrant which would be comically presented in a the sitcom
Chung Lao: I know that you all have other jobs, how does
the shooting schedule work for Akkara?
Ajayan: Ya …It is a bit of challenge. I work as
a Technical lead for a Fortune 500 company similarly all the
cast and crew of Akkarakazhchakal have full time jobs. All
the cast and crew set a day off on the weekends for the
shoot . But sometimes; depending on the length and content
of the episode this could stretch beyond a days shoot . Then
we meet after work to get the scenes completed.
Chung Lao: Was it hard to get the cast members involved
initially in this project?
Ajayan: No. Jose
Valiyakallumkal(who plays George) and Sajini Sachariah(Rincy)
where the first 2 actors we talked to regarding the show and
they where very enthusiastic about it .
Same was the case with all the rest of the cast. Its
talent, dedication and enthusiasm of these artists, which
is the reason for the success of Akkarakazhchakal
Chung Lao: What types of reaction/feedback have you gotten
from fans of the show?
Ajayan: It has been very positive so far. I have
heard many comment that it doesn’t feel like sitcom; it more
like a funnier take on their real life : so its great to
hear that people to could relate well to show. But I think
the best feedback I got was from a teenage boy(maybe the age
of Matt in AK) that this show helped him understand his
parents better and where they are coming from
Chung Lao: One of the great things about what you’ve
created are the memorable characters, the chemistry they
have, and the fact that everyone can relate to a character
on the show. Whether it’s George’s “Homer Simpson-isms”, or
Appachen’s big mouth. Was that intentional, or did
Ajayan: I think it’s a bit of both. All these
actors like George, Girigiri and Appachan have an excellent
chemistry on screen. I guess the dialogues and screenplay
are just part of it; the other aspect comes because of the
real life camaraderie we have with each other
Chung Lao: What directors do you admire?
Ajayan: There are many. I admire Padmarajan, Sathyan Anthikad, Bharathan, Guru dutt etc from
Indian movie industry. Martin Scorcesse, Stephen
Speilberg, Kurasowa are few of my ‘international’ favorites
Chung Lao: What are your favorite films?
Ajayan: Oh that again is a long list ; OK the
few that come to my mind are :
12 Angry Men, Matrix, Amelie ,City of God,
Shawshank redemption, Seven Samurai ,
Thoovanathumbikal, Kireedom, Vaishali, Manichitrathazhu, Sandhesham
Chung Lao: Will there be any blooper reels released?
Ajayan: We are planning to release the blooper
as part of the future DVD release.
Chung Lao: Describe for us, one of the funny moments in
Ajayan: There are many. With Josettan around
there are no shortage of jokes.
I remember the scene where George says: ”Hi Rincy, this my wife Candy. No opposite opposite”. I think
we took like 30-40 takes to get it right because we where
bursting into laughter every time we where shooting that
scene. Finally Abi asked everybody except George and Candy
to go out of the set so that he could finally shoot it. Even
then, if you can listen closely to that dialogue you could
hear us bursting in laughter sitting in the next room
Chung Lao: Where do you want to take Akkara? Also, how
long do you want the series to run?
Ajayan: We are planning to end it by 60 episodes
for now. Well we never know ; we might comeback to it later
if we see that there are more stories to be told.
Chung Lao: Where can people watch future episodes of Akkara,
and will they be available for purchase?
Ajayan: Yes . We will be launching the DVDs very
soon. We will updating our website
details about the DVDs soon.
Chung Lao: When it’s all finished, what do you want the
legacy of Akkara to be?
Ajayan: I think I want it remembered as a good
,clean comedy show rooted in reality.
Chung Lao: Lastly, leave us with a parting thought.
Ajayan: Well first I would like to thank
IndaPhatFarm for having this interview. I would also like
this opportunity to thank all the viewers of
Akkarakazhchakal for their great support and their genuine
criticism. This started off (and still is ) small budget
show created by few amateur artists who is passionate about
it . We didn’t have any sort of advertisement campaign to
get the word out about the show and it was each one of you
who mailed your friend or sent a scrap on Orkut help this
show get such popularity. So I would like to thank you all
I also want to acknowledge the great humor and aesthetic
sense a Malayalee has to laugh at ourselves. We are proud of
catering to such a wonderful and educated audience.