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News |  24 Jan 2013 16:46 |  By RnMTeam

Neelesh Misra's 'Yaad Shehar' in books; mobile and TV on the cards

MUMBAI: After the massive success of its first season, the second season of popular radio storytelling show Big FM’s ‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box’ has witnessed a five-fold growth by garnering around five million page views on facebook every month. Taking the concept forward, for the first time radio content has been developed and encapsulated into books, and will also soon explore other platforms like digital and TV.

Series of books were launched on 24 January , the opening day of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia’s biggest.  The event witnessed a live storytelling and song performance, where Misra narrated stories and sang songs penned by him. The first two volumes of ‘Neelesh Misra ka Yaad Sheher’ compile the stories already aired on Big FM in Hindi.

Speaking with, Misra said, “Often content created on a particular platform remains restricted to it and there are no ways to bring it on to other platforms. I am very happy that the radio stories are being converted into books. The concept with books has been developed as oral storytelling so that the essence of it is not lost. Now in the future, there are many other platforms to explore like digital and TV.”

Series of books will be launched across the country published by the joint venture of Westland and Yatra Books which has acquired the rights for six volumes of the book. The Hindi version will be followed by a series of Yaad Sheher books in English and other languages. Each volume of the book will feature 20-25 stories. The current series of books released comprises of stories from the first season of the show.

Yaadon Ka Idiot Box with Neelesh Misra is produced by Misra’s company Content Project Pvt Ltd for Reliance Broadcast Network, the parent company of Big FM.

Big FM network programming head Manav Dhanda said, “Being one of the well-received shows in recent times, we are looking forward to augment its success through the ‘Yaad Sheher’ series of books. With this initiative, we take forward the legacy of Big FM amplifying it’s on air offerings across varied platforms.”

The next stop for the stories will be the mobile platform which will witness the content being available through different telcos. Mobile users will be able to dial a short code provided by the telecom company and can listen to any of the Yaad Sheher stories. Apart from that, Misra is also in talks to develop a special mobile application for the consumers in India and abroad.

Apart from that, the stories will be made available on the digital platform and on television. The TV show will be based on the lines of programs like Malgudi Days. The format of the show is being developed in a way that Misra will act as the storyteller, while some parts of the story will be dramatized.

“I believe that the voice-over has not been adequately used on television so I am discussing versions of the show that can be developed on television and digital. I will act as the storyteller and will dramatize some parts of the story. If something like that works on the space, we will get in touch with any broadcaster who might be interested in airing the show,” Misra revealed.

With many books now being developed into mainstream films, the inevitable path is being followed by most writers. As Chetan Bhagat witnessed tremendous success with his books being adapted into popular Hindi films by leading directors, Misra aims to follow the same route to widen the reach of the storytelling concept across India. Though nothing has been finalized yet, he is rooting for some director to adapt the stories into a mainstream bollywood film.

The expansion to other platforms was as a result of the initial success gained by the radio show. Listeners in 35 Indian cities and along border towns in Pakistan heard the primetime show everyday garnering it five times more growth in listenership from its previous season. While earlier, the show’s facebook page attained 5.5mn page views in three months, its second season has garnered five million views every month with the content being heard online in 20 countries.

He expressed, “Planning new things is an indicator that the concept is growing in stature. We aim to widen the reach of the storytelling idea to people who cannot access Big FM’s network. I am glad to see that the show is doing so well and earning accolades for its unique idea. But our attention and success is truly being measured in terms of audiences.”

As Misra stays committed to the cause, he is also working on a host of bollywood projects alongside. He is currently writing two scripts for a thriller and romantic film to be produced by Reliance Big Pictures and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, in no particular order. He is also penning the story for a short film project being made by Anurag Kashyap. Apart from further developing his rural newspaper Gaon Connection, his company has also signed their first film and is currently working on its script.

Misra revealed, “I am very happy that our company has bagged the first film. Two writers from my team along with me are currently working on the script. The story has a very exciting theme and a lot of research is being done on it.”