Vikram Bhatt kick starts his own web channel with an adult love story that centres around fake aliases and BDSM. Not another web series! They are being made by the dozen with few finding takers or getting hits.
So what makes Vikram Bhatt’s ‘Maaya’ different? For one, it will kick start his own web channel, VB on the Web, in October.And two, it is an adult love story about two people who come together using aliases and experimenting with BDSM. It’s as close to EL James’s erotic romance, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, as our desi audience will get, considering the film it inspired never made it to the theatres here.”In the ongoing censorship debate filmmakers today are clueless about what will be retained. In this worrying scenario, self-censorship is beginning to creep in with writers and directors editing stuff out, convinced it would never pass muster, and that bothers me. Maaya was an idea I’ve had for a while but in a country where evenJames Bond is not allowed to kiss, I didn’t think BDSM would curry favour,” points out Vikram who is known for his bold content, explaining his reasons for going on the web.Pointing out that it’d be near impossible for any country to censor the world wide web even if they do block out YouTube or Facebook, he plans to take his erotic fantasy to audiences across the globe with English subtitles. He is convinced that his story which grew from Yahoo chatrooms with netizens living out sexual fantasies with fake identities, will connect with youngsters between 15 and 30 who, disillusioned with Indian TV which caters mostly to ladies and the heartland, have turned to American TV. “Maaya is one of us and all of us are two people–one we present to the world, the other so private not even our family or friends know about them,” he says.It’s a revolutionary concept even for Bhatt as is the idea behind the channel which will be free to viewers. He hopes to recover costs from advertisers. “In India since TV is mostly free, I didn’t think people would subscribe to a new channel unless assured of a flow of interesting stuff worth paying for,” he argues, having joined hands with Samir Pitalwala’s Culture Machine which will co-produce, market, monetise and distribute the content that he creates.Vikram used to write a story a day on his Facebook page that was read and liked by a cross-section of people. We wondered if there was any way to do something around them and that’s how the idea of a digital platform came about,” Samir says. Apart from ‘Maaya’ which features Shama Sikander, Veer Aryan and Vipul Gupta among others and is being directed by Vikram himself, he is also producing a comedy, ‘Apun Ka Naam Sailesh’, and a rom-com, ‘Ek Plate Zindagi’, which he hopes will give our viewers something interesting to chew on!