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Informal & Exclusive with the makers of ‘Bandish Bandits’

Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari on portraying the perfect Jugalbandi through ‘Bandish Bandits’

It was a rainy day and the weather was pleasant and cheerful in Delhi. I was in the mood to watch the 3rd episode of BANDISH BANDITS that has garnered an astounding response. As I was preparing to set the tone right with a cuppa in my hand, I received a call from my colleague to interact with the makers of Bandish Bandits, I felt ecstatic and could not ask for more. I was not prepared with my set of questions but thought of going impromptu with my interview. 

The interaction with makers of BANDISH BANDITS remained informal, uninterrupted, and lively. Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari make a formidable team and are known to be the best of friends too. Both met during “Barfi!’ while working as assistant directors since then they decided to work together. BANDISH BANDITS is produced and created by Amritpal Singh Bindra and directed by Anand Tiwari. The success of the show can easily be attributed to its exquisite content, incredible music and picturesque locations Albeit, this must be mentioned that the histrionics of veterans like Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Sheeba Chaddhaand energy of youngsters Ritwik Bhowmik and Shreya Chaudhary was simply infectious. Once you start watching the show you want to finish off watching all episodes in one day only. In an era of web series dominated by crime, sex, and thriller BANDISH BANDITS surely remains a refreshing change. This should perhaps motivate many others to toe the line. 

During an hour-long conversation, the duo shared about their camaraderie and experience of working in Bandish Bandits. 

Q. Please tell us about jugalbandi two of you have for the past many years, how you guys have pulled it off so successfully? Share the mantra with our readers and viewers too.
Anand Tiwari: The bond we share has grown stronger only with time. being respectful to each other with an attentive attitude, giving space, and having understanding, knowing about each other strength’s and weaknesses, all this has nurtured our relationship all these years. 
Amritpal Singh Bindra: On the work front and off the field too we make sure that we divide our roles and responsibilities and respect each other’s expertise. We have been long time friends and colleagues, our equation works really well and reflects in our work. We understand each other’s style of work, strengths, and weaknesses, and all these compliments to bring out the best output. 

Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari on portraying the perfect Jugalbandi through 'Bandish Bandits
Anand Tiwari and Ritwik Bhowmik

Q. Still, You must be having your moments of challenges and disagreements too, how do you overcome those moments?
Anand Tiwari: LOL, yes there are situations when we have our share of disagreements but all that is discussed and sorted mutually. 
Amritpal Singh Bindra: ( Laughing ) I tell you there are areas which I can not handle like I am not good at firing or sacking anyone, I can’t do this. So I pass this task to him, but I have seen that even he can’t do that easily. A few months back only there was a guy we did not want to go ahead with at work so I asked him to settle his account but I was bewildered to see the guy working with us for another six months. And another thing which I pass on to him is work of casting, I trust his selection and tell him that you have been a casting director and you are excellent in that department too so don’t hire someone from outside and do it yourself but he doesn’t listen to me and increases my budget. 
 Q. What was the initial idea of starting Bandish Bandits?  
Anand Tiwari: The idea behind “Bandish Bandits” was to chronicle the stories of two young people and display their aspirations and external dilemma on a vast canvas. The love story of two young performers from different musical backgrounds is depicted through this show.  
Amritpal Singh Bindra: These lead characters have different backgrounds, set up, and mindsets. Yet music binds them and brings them to a common platform through different styles of music they follow.

Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari on portraying the perfect Jugalbandi through 'Bandish Bandits
Shreya Chaudhary and Ritwik Bhowmik

Q. How did you zero in on the story?
Anand Tiwari: We have worked on different categories of content in the past many years. The culture of India is vast and boasts of the rich tradition of age-old musical gharanas that have preserved the cultural legacy and they are imparting it with music and dance. We have tried to present this through the tale while embellishing this with classical music, contemporary notes, jugalbandis, fusion tracks, and purepop songs, entire gamut of music has connected with the audience beautifully. We wanted to create the content for Bandish Bandits around these gharanas and knew that this kind of content was untapped. Moreover, we wanted to connect millennials with the rich cultural heritage of India and classical music. The story remained a starting point for us, once that was finalized, we started figuring out the cast. For BB we wanted newcomers for lead roles who were absolutely fresh. We did a complete the audition process and opted for the faces who met the characteristics. 
Amritpal Singh Bindra: We have worked on different types of content in the last 5-6 years. With Bandish Bandits we decided to create something that could resonate with youth and could be expressed through art. We felt that presenting two popular forms of music traditional and pop would be a perfect idea to give a glimpse of India’s culture.

Q. Why did you prefer the digital medium to release BANDISH BANDITS?
Anand Tiwari: World of digital media is evolving and is here to remain popular for a long. The kind of spurt this medium has seen is unprecedented and phenomenal.
We all saw that during the time of COVID too this medium remained the most effective and bankable medium for entertainment.  Content at OTT is much wider than television of movies, its vast landscape with a wider horizon, many untapped subjects are being dealt with quite intelligently on the digital platforms. And I strongly believe that the popularity of this platform is gaining is there to stay for long. 

Amritpal Singh Bindra: Its popularity and growth has been phenomenal and we are glad that we released the show on this medium. The overwhelming response show has received has only motivated us to keep churning more such work for the OTT platform. Comparing its growth and pace it had taken television many years to be popular with people but the digital medium has reached every household in no time and within months it has topped the popularity. Everyone is hooked to the medium through their mobile, laptop, or television, on the internet the world is like your oyster. And in the days to come If the same trend continues it will be created a hybrid where broadcast and broadband will become a single thing. Medium is relatable to people and they respond very promptly too. The minute you upload something you begin to receive a quick response. It is amazing to see the way people connect through the medium, resonate, participate, and respond with their likes and dislikes.

Q. What made you opt for Rajasthan as the backdrop and location for the entire shoot?
Anand Tiwari: The place complemented the royal story of the musical gharanas and their tale. The place influenced everything and added charm to every scene that was shot there. The Tale of Radhe and popstar Tamanna against the backdrop of the scenic and rustic beauty of Royal Rajasthan added to the grandeur and magnificence of the show. Ethereal locations of Rajasthan were simply dreaming destinations for us as creators of the show. Although at times the shooting conditions were extreme the overall feel of the place, ambiance, and experience was memorable for us. Even people were very responsive, forthcoming, and welcoming to our entire team, cast, and crew. 
Amritpal Singh Bindra: Heritage beauty, forts, historical sites, and grandeur of Rajasthan described the tale of musical gharana very beautifully. Beautiful Mehrangarh fort, Umaidnagar Garh in Jodhpur and different majestic forts even lanes and bylanes of Bikaner were very enchanting. 

Q. How was it to direct the legend like Naseeruddin Shah?
Anand Tiwari: He remained our first choice to play the pivotal role of a celebrated Hindustani classical musician from Rajasthan and grandfather of Radhe. We were very delighted that we got the opportunity to direct him, and watching him work only made us grasp and pick up so much about direction as well. like how to deal with actors and get the work done. It was very easy to communicate with him, you don’t have much to tell him because he has that knack of doit it all with finesse and ease. Since the beginning we wanted to rope in someone of his stature and gravitas, when he walks into the frame he captures all without uttering a word. He was the most lovable person on the sets, he is a stalwart and legend but still, he did not throw any weight around and remained very humble and friendly. He is simply magnetic on-screen and his journey is phenomenal with vast experience in mainstream commercial and alternative cinema and also serious theatre. Working with him was like a dream coming true.

Amritpal Singh Bindra and Anand Tiwari on portraying the perfect Jugalbandi through 'Bandish Bandits
Amritpal Singh Bindra, Naseeruddin Shah and Anand Tiwari

Amritpal Singh Bindra:  We had apprehensions before approaching him and didn’t know if he would accept the role as he is selective about picking roles and movies. I was in complete awe of this legend, he is an institution in himself, he comes with a rich legacy and experience. He remains completely dedicated to his craft and is very inspiring. I was inspired to see someone so big at stature being so humble and down to earth. 

No one could play the role of Pandit Radhemohan Rathod, a celebrated classical musician who inspires his grandson Radhe to follow his legacy the way Naseer Ji did. He mingled with everyone on the set, the younger generation of artists had most of the fun with him, he had a huge repertoire of jokes and inspiring instances to share with them, he was very friendly with everyone. His level of commitment and dedication is rare to see.

+ posts

She has been there and done that. After graduating from Delhi University, she completed her diploma in Journalism from Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. Down the line, she completed her internship with National Herald Newspaper successfully,, and went on to Join Mainline Business daily, Business Standard. She also dabbled in image management and brand consultancy. She is a prolific writer on lifestyle entertainment, branding, lifestyle, travel, and politics.
Contact her at

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