Having won acclaim for developing Gullak 2, writer Durgesh Singh roped in to create the next edition of Panchayat.
Stills from Panchayat and Gullak
If the much-loved second instalment of Gullak is any indication, writer Durgesh Singh has the rare quality of putting a wide grin on your face while leaving you misty-eyed. Known for whipping up charming stories that evoke nostalgia, it’s no surprise then that Singh is now in the process of penning another TVF blockbuster — Panchayat. “Like Bollywood [does with sequels], OTT shows suffer from the jinx of season 2. Rarely have shows lived up to the magic of their first instalment. As creators, we weren’t sure if neat comedies stand a chance today, but the audience’s yearning is evident. Both Gullak and Panchayat benefit from the simplicity of its telling,” beams Singh.
When offering social commentary, the writer believes in lacing it with wit and humour — elements that help soften the blow. An ardent fan of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee works, he tries to infuse the innocence of the ’70s in his creations. “Relatability is always my priority. Another important element I try to bring forth with my writing is heartland vocabulary that is fast getting lost in the millennial world. For instance, in Gullak, we used the term ‘suvidhashulk’ to denote corruption. I want my writing to reflect what’s happening around us. In the third season, we will address more complex issues, including patriarchy.”
For now though, Singh is focused on the second season of Panchayat. “Amazon Prime Video wants us to shoot the second and third seasons together. Chandan [Kumar] is focusing on season 2, and I, on three,” he says, happy to join the charming universe of the Jitendra Kumar-starrer. “Chandan and I have always been each other’s sounding board.
There’s pressure on us to live up to the show’s legacy. If someone has created a strong foundation for me, I want to make a beautiful house for them. Panchayat opened the window to rural India. In fact, the fourth season is in discussion as well.”