With Ponggal just around the corner, Astro speaks to the cast and crew of two special Ponggal programmes, Kurumbu Ponggal, and Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaazh.

Kurumpu Ponggal will premier on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH 231) on 14 January, at 9.30pm, while Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaazh will be shown on Astro Vaanavil HD (CH 201), on 14 January, at 9pm.

Catch the interview below.

Kurumbu Ponggal

Dev Rajah, Director

Could you tell us more about this show and what were the process like getting this place?

I’m thankful and happy to be a part of this show, as we wanted our audiences to enjoy themselves as well on Pongal. While including tradition, we conceptualised this program for guest couples to be a part of it as well. We faced lots of challenges preparing the set but with the Art Department crew and guidance from their Art Director (Ravikumar @ Ravi Mando), we worked wonders.

Astro’s creative team also played a vital role in enhancing the feel of the show. It was an honour to work with a young and energetic producer (Muunessh) who brought great content for this show, my production team, Line Producer (Shantra), Production Manager (Arputharaja), Assistant Director (Poobalan), production house (Reacch Productions) specifically Yugeswaran & Suresh ,as well as many more for their contributions and support throughout. Santesh’s magical music touch accompanied by Gayathiri Thandapany in vocals also provided a huge impact to this show.

What can audiences look forward to on Kurumbu Ponggal?

A fun packed show with elements of surprise. Stay tuned!

Ahila Shanmugam & Irfan Zaini, Hosts:

Please share your experience hosting Kurumbu Ponggal?

Ahila: It was a memorable experience for me as it was shot around paddy fields. This was my first experience shooting in such an environment. Dressing up in fully traditional attire and standing under hot sun in the middle of paddy field was unforgettable. Yet, being a host for a show means we need to adjust and accommodate everything.

My favourite moment would be the game sessions which were traditional based yet fun. Especially our last game session, which was making ‘Ponggal’ with a surprise element in it which even our guests were not aware of. Overall, I liked the whole experience of hosting Kurumbu Ponggal with the sweetest co-host, Irfan.

Irfan: My experience hosting Kurumbu Ponggal was just like the title of the show very Kurumbu (naughty) – literally, and not just the host but the guest couples as well. The games and the contestant were also fun filled. I can guarantee laughter watching this show because I remembered how the whole crew who worked behind the scenes were telling us how much they laughed till they teared while watching us in action. Very happy to be a part of this show, thanks to the director, Dev Rajah & producer, Muunessh for giving opportunity to me and my co-host Ahila to run the show according to our comfort. Last but not least “All in All” ithu oru Ponggal treat for all you.

Saint TFC & Anjali, Thevaguru & Rathi Vishali, Shastan & Karishma, Kesavan & Pashini, Participants:

What was your experience like participating as a couple?

Saint TFC & Anjali: Not only is this our first time in a game show like this, this is probably the first time such a game show was done on TV with so much effort and preparation. It was amazing to get involved with other couples and compete. Our favourite moment would obviously be when we had to do the ‘Ponggal’. Well, you will see why. This has been a very lighthearted experience and we had made new friends for life.

Thevaguru & Rathi Vishali: It was a beautiful experience to reminisce even to our kids later on. We did funny gags and most of it worked well and I’m sure the audience will love. Our best moment was the ‘Ponggal’ making task which consisted of excitement and challenges.

Shastan & Karishma: It was our very first time on a game show and we were extremely excited to be participating in a game show as a couple. We also met other amazing couples who made the show even more fun. The ‘Ponggal’ making segment as well as the shooting of the ‘Ponggal’ song was really enjoyable. We believe the audience will enjoy the show as well.

Kesavan & Pashini: This is our first experience together in a game show as a couple and it was a memorable one. We had so much of fun throughout the show. Especially with all other couples. Definitely can’t forget the part where we made the ‘Ponggal’ in a very tricky way. Will treasure this experience for life.

Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaazh

S. Mathan, Director:

What was your experience like directing this and what can audiences look forward to?

The experience of directing Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaaz was unforgettable. We had to work harder during the shoot, especially to comply with all the SOPs. My main goal was to produce a high-quality telemovie and as such, we even rented equipment used for theatre releases, and took some time to ensure the shoot locations were new. We completed the shoot in 13 days thanks to the help of our production manager, Deepa Chandaran. Our cinematographer, Kaviarrasu also gave his best in the lighting and camera shots which will give the audience a different feel.

Our editor, Dineshwaran also worked hard to deliver a theatrical feature film look within a limited time frame and music director Lingges, completed 2 whole songs within only 2 weeks. Audiences will definitely enjoy this high-quality production. The unique part of this telemovie is its story. It’s a very unique and yet emotional love story with a strong message too for society.

What was your inspiration behind this show?

My inspiration was the people I’ve met in my life. Watching this film will be an eye opener for most of us on what is true love and how to handle certain relationship situations.

Manogaren Suparmaniam & Vidia Liana, Casts:

Please tell us about the roles you play in Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaazh?

Manogaren: I played ‘Kavi’, a lovely and charming character. Kavi tries his best to keep others happy. He lives a happy-go-lucky life and is a food lover. I played emotional scenes which were close to my heart. It was not a character I was used to and had a few days of rehearsals with my director to adapt to it. I hope audiences enjoy the character as much as I did.

Vidia: I played ‘Amutha’, a role close to my heart and a tough character which I needed rehearsals to adapt to. Amutha is a quiet and homely character who lives alone. She is on a journey to cherish herself and get over her past. She also loves food.

What are some of your hopes for this telemovie?

Manogaren: I hope audiences enjoy this telemovie during Ponggal because it was mostly done by fairly new cast and crew who put in their efforts to deliver a high-quality production. For this telemovie to reach more viewers and celebrate by all those who watch it because it was entirely done by newcomers be it casts or crews.

Vidia: I have high hopes for the success of this telemovie, as we all put in our effort to give our best.

Remember to watch Kurumbu Ponggal on Astro Vinmeen HD (CH 231) on 14 January, at 9.30pm, and Anbirkum Undo Adaikkum Thaazh on Astro Vaanavil HD (CH 201), on 14 January, at 9pm!