Choreographer turned producer Binaiferr Kohli, along with her husband, Sanjay Kohli (actor turned showmaker) are the creators of many successful TV shows, mostly comedy, under their banner Edit II Productions. While their ongoing shows, Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai and Happu Ki Ultan Paltan, are already a hit, the team is now working on their next, a dream project. Binaiferr is happy with how things are progressing, and talks about how she balances her busy personal and professional life, taking care of her better half, kids, pets and the importance of mental health.
“I had decided long back that there can never be two-three and four bosses, but only one boss and that is Sanjay ji. If there is a difference of opinion, it’s his opinion that will hold importance and that’s very clear. And we are fine with that unless I can convince him otherwise. That’s how it becomes easier for us to balance things,” she continues, “As far as our relationship is concerned, I will describe it as love filled. We fight, and argue, but above all there is great love and respect for each other, which is very important. We just can’t do without each other.”
Binaiferr considers her son and daughter as her strength. “Whenever I have faltered, my kids have been there with me along with Sanjayji. They are sorted, especially Vihaan, my son, and Chayn, my daughter, who also has some great advice. Both of them are my strength. Besides them, my whole unit is like my children. They are my most precious medals that I always want to keep close to my chest,” she sounds emotional.
As a pet mom and dad to a dog called Zuma, Binaiferr says that the four-legged furry friends are like the centre of their lives. “The pets cannot tell you whether they have a stomach ache or headache, so they need special care. They are always with us, even going from one room to the other, we make sure to play with him. I don’t think my pet is left alone for even two minutes. He seeks immense attention. Zuma is the most spoiled pet you can come across,” she says.
On whether she has ever experienced burnout or anxiety as a result of her work stress or the industry, she answers in negative. “The reason is my love for my work. I am a workaholic, I can work for free also. But I have experienced great anxiety especially when my actors, and technicians would fall ill when there was a curfew when the daily wage earners had nothing to eat at home and we were trying to send supplies to them. I do sometimes get anxious for various things when an actor is unruly and misbehaves as then the atmosphere on set is not conducive for a comedy. Everything is on a budget and loss affects everyone. I overcome it by being disciplined and make sure everything comes back on track immediately” she explains.
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So what can actors and industry professionals do to create a more supportive and mentally healthy work environment? “It’s very important to have a good work environment. In fact, we believe in the same too. Everybody in my unit holds each other’s hand of course, except for one or two of them who are very selfish. Our team is always together, they help everyone and try to motivate those who need it the most. We also try to pull up those who are a little in trouble for the good. Everyone’s work is equal and everyone’s respect is equal. But if somebody is suffering and needs help, then we do that. My actors can be 15 out of 20 but when it comes to being good human beings, they all have to be 20 upon 20. It is imperative because you have to come on set every day, and it becomes difficult to work with bad human beings. We have had bad experiences, but we keep it to ourselves and we just move on holding hands” she ends.