‘Motu Patlu’ Writer Niraj Vikram And His Fascination For Indian Mythology, Culture

Writer Niraj Vikram has written some of the most popular kids’ shows in India – Motu Patlu, SonPari and Shaka Laka Boom Boom. In this interview, he reveals why he prefers to keep Indian values in his shows, instead of following the trend of western pop-culture. One of his latest shows is titled Pandavas – it is about the childhood stories of the Pandavas, the five heroic brothers from the Indian epic Mahabharat.

Having spent his childhood days in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Vikram started writing plays right from his school days and continued to do so in college. Recollecting the time when he got his big break with an opportunity to write Motu Patlu – a show that instantly hit popularity, Vikram says, “I wrote Sonpari earlier and then was called to write Motu Patlu (inspired by the popular comics Lotpot). I used to love the comics. As a writer, I will write what is given but I also have a responsibility towards our kids and society – I prefer stories rooted in our culture and background. Motu Patlu was an instant hit and opened doors for other local content in the field of animation, it changed the market.”

The popular kids’ TV show uses the background of India’s middle-class, small town culture, and also offers subtle messages apt for young kids. Asked if he ever felt the pressure of following Marvel or DC style cartoons, as most kids’ shows do, Vikram says, “I always preferred to keep it close to my reality. Not much is different – they have good vs evil and so do we. Both want to teach good things to kids. It is just the way of telling it that changes with culture.”

The writer reveals that he has also served in the Indian Army for five years. “I wanted to come to Mumbai but I also sat for the competitive exams for the army (SSC – a short service job opportunity that offers candidates an option to take an early exit from the Indian Army). I even shifted to Mumbai and worked for a few months when I was told that I got selected in the army. During my days in the army, I visited Mumbai and roamed around, searching for places where I would stay when I quit and shift to the city again. But, life in the army was wonderful, I wouldn’t have left the army had I not dreamt of Bollywood.”

The writer also shares that it is his dream to write a show about the childhood of the Hindu God, Shiva, as not much is written about his childhood.

(The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/swetakaushal/2022/08/01/motu-patlu-writer-niraj-vikram-and-his-fascination-for-indian-mythology-culture/