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Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah producer: ‘I want Disha Vakani to return as Dayaben and I am hopeful she will’

Disha Vakani, who plays the role of Dayaben in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, took a maternity leave in 2017, and is yet to return. The show's producer says they are in constant touch with her and are hopeful of her return.

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has been trying its best to bring a relief to its audience amid the grim situation in the country. Amid the Maharashtra lockdown, which has halted shoot, the team is dependent on the re-shot episodes. The producer, Asit Kumarr Modi, however, is open to the idea of moving outdoors for shoot if needed.

In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the creator of the longest running sitcom said that the show already has a bank of episode till May 3, and would decide on the future course in accordance to the state government’s next orders.

“We have kept the option of moving outdoors, however, our highest priority is everyone’s safety. Also, in these challenging times, we wish to reiterate what Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah has taught us through all these years — spread laughter and positivity even in times of adversity,” he said, adding that even before the shoots were halted, the team’s primary focus was to keep everyone safe. “While work is important, health has become a priority in the last year. This is like a new life that has been given to us, and one has to keep it safe. We are also including real life situations and happenings in our storyline so that the audience also follows all protocols and stays safe,” shared Asit Kumarr Modi.

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As he mentioned storyline and audience, we quizzed him on the recent flak the show has received from its fans. A section of the audience had claimed that over the years, the quality of Taarak Mehta had seen a decline. Refuting the same, the producer said that people are going through a tough time, and its getting harder for them to smile.

“I don’t think the show and its stories have degraded. People are in so much stress that they may not find these episodes funny but I am sure when they watch it after a few months, they would have a hearty laugh. Right now, everything is just too grim around us.” Asit Modi also said that the team has been as passionate as it was from day one, and leaves no stones unturned to put out an entertaining episode. “But we are always open to criticism and if people would still feel that we are lacking, we will work hard. I am quite active on social media and also read each feedback and suggestions,” he shared adding that people are also getting restless, and want to see Daya back and Popatal get married.

Disha Vakani, who plays the role of Daya took a maternity leave in 2017, and is yet to get back even when the production has been in constant touch with her. While the buzz in industry suggest that her in-laws want her to focus on her family, others believe that Disha has asked for a mammoth hike.

Trying to evade discussion around her comeback, Asit Kumarr Modi shared that the audience would get to see Daya’s character in Taarak Mehta Ka Chhota Chashmah, the animated version of the sitcom. With a pause, he added, “Honestly, the Covid-19 situation has made things more difficult. As much as the audience, even I want Disha to return as Daya, and I am hopeful she will. All said and done, I am thankful that the audience has been giving us equal love even in her absence, which is quite a boost.”

Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah airs on Sony SAB.

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