Cyrus Sahukar and Mini Mathur about their new sitcom Mind The Malhotras: Indians are crazy and in slight denial of it
Amazon Prime Video’s new sitcom is a show about accepting our inner 'madness'
The quirks and insecurities of a dysfunctional urban family come to a head in Amazon Prime Video’s new sitcom Mind The Malhotras. Adapted from the Israeli comedy La Famiglia, the show stars Cyrus Sahukar and Mini Mathur as a middle-aged couple seeking therapy to spark up their relationship. Streaming online since June 7, the light-hearted series touches upon issues of parental fulfillment and marital stress as Rishabh (Cyrus) and Shefali (Mini) tussle hard to mind their three kids and themselves.
“The amazing thing about India is that we are all crazy and always in slight denial of it,” says Cyrus, who notes that the lack of mental health awareness in Indian families can lead to interesting scenarios. “My character, after a long time, is a representation of the average good guy. He is someone who does not want to go out and party every night. His worries are about his future, his family, his kids. So somewhere in the middle of an ever-changing world, he is dealing with his own madness.”
Another aspect of Rishabh’s character that fascinates Cyrus is his relatability. “Underneath all his anxieties and craziness, he is someone who is hoping for things to work out fine — so that he can go back to watching cricket, play video games and get on with life. That's something I feel speaks to a lot of people, whether they are married or single.”
Mini, who describes Shefali as an exaggerated version of herself, echoes the need to normalize our inherent ‘weirdness’. The actor praises the show for closing the communication gap between couples who love each other but are afraid to admit the flaws in their relationship. “As a mother, I am on several school WhatsApp groups where people are complaining about getting their lives all wrong. I say, ‘Don't worry. No one’s getting it right.’”
In the show, the lives of the Malhotras take a turn when several of their friends end up filing for divorce — a possibility Shefali wants to shield out from her own marriage at all costs. “She is someone who wants to keep the white picket fence around her life,” observes Mini. “Everything needs to be perfect for her, from her husband to her kids. Of course, they are not! Everything that could go wrong is going wrong. The show is about taking life with a pinch of salt.”
Mind the Malhotra marks the second directorial venture of Sahil Sangha. He had previously written and directed by the romantic comedy, Love Breakups Zindagi (2011). The producer-filmmaker, who co-owns the banner Born Free Entertainment with his wife Dia Mirza, says he was attracted to the snackable nature of the show. “At a time when everyone is busy making thrillers and mysteries, we wanted to bring a show that makes you smile. I feel the best thing about Mind The Malhotras is its simplicity.”
Co-producer Deepak Segal of Applause Entertainment hails the show as a clutter-breaker. He notes, “It was a tough decision to adapt an Israeli show for an Indian audience. It wasn't your usual slipping-on-a-banana-peel comedy. This is our first collaboration with Amazon. They liked the show and backed it from the start. We are definitely willing to come back with a second season.”