After Ayushman Khurana, Sambhav Khetarpal, the new Panchkula kid on the block wins best TV screenplay award


First, Ayushman Khurana, then came actor Sargun Mehta, and now comes the new achiever from Panchkula,  the twin town of Chandigarh Tricity : Sambhav Khetarpal and his Goan wife Aditi Powar.

Khetarpal recently won the television-best screenplay and television-best story for Wagle ki duniya –nayee peedhi, naye kisse at the third edition of SWA Awards (Screenwriters Association of India). It is the first and only award for screenwriters and lyricists of Hindi films, TV serials and web series. The best story award was shared with three others — Jayesh Patil  (script head)  and Aatish Kapadia and JD  Majethia (producers).

 His episodes on subjects like ‘good touch bad touch’, menstruation and respect for the specially-abled have regularly trended on Twitter and other social media platforms. More so, Mumbai schools showed these episodes in their schools to spread social awareness on these important yet subtle issues.

His journey

With roots in Hisar, Haryana, he was brought up in Panchkula. He studied at Hansraj Public School, Sector 5, Panchkula, and did his engineering at Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran. While his parents live in Sector 8, Panchkula, he went on to do his MBA from Mumbai and worked in a well-known FMCG brand there. He was posted in Benaras for six months where he got ample time to write.

Sambhav with his parents.

Sambhav with his parents.

A screenwriter, journalist and author, Sambhav has followed his instincts throughout. The seeds were actually sown when he would scribble something on his notebooks out of sheer disinterest in engineering classes. Sports was his calling, especially cricket, so he started writing for a sports website Sambhav also authored two books in the meanwhile, one of which, “I too had an MBA”, a satire on business school life in India, was among top-25 humour books on Amazon in 2017.

Then, he was selected for a nationwide television screenwriting talent hunt by Star TV, among 15 others. After a rigorous and eye-opening six-month training with big names in screenplay writing and an LA-based screenwriting expert, David Freeman, he was on a roll.

Since then, Sambhav has scripted stories, screenplays, and dialogues for over 10 TV and OTT shows for platforms like Star, Sab TV, Sony, and MX player.

Currently, he is part of the writer’s room of the iconic, ITA-award-winning TV show, Wagle ki Duniya which airs on Sab TV.

Let us know more about him in his interview with

 What is special about Wagle ki duniya –nayee peedhi, naye kisse?

Wagle ki duniya is a legacy – the earlier series was aired on DD National way back from 1988 to 1990. It was based on characters created by noted cartoonist RK Laxman depicting the issues of the middle-class Indian man. In the new form which started in 2021, the serial touches real issues, and bold topics like good touch, bad touch, menstruation, etc.

What led you to take up meaningful issues?

I personally care for a lot of things. I have suffered myself as a child at the hands of a family relative. My wife chipped in with issues pertaining to menstruation, etc. It is kind of cathartic, we tell our own stories and these are the same stories people face across the board.

Did you also pick up issues from people’s lives and incidents which happen in society?

I always do. One story I picked up from my cousin sister who is wheelchair-bound but super-talented, so we made an episode on how the physically challenged do not require sympathy but the acknowledgment of their talent.

What lies ahead after the recognition of your work for Wagle ki duniya?  

Picking and choosing from different projects that we get, we need to do justice to the projects at hand and make content that can help a lot of people across the country.

How is Wagle… different from message-oriented TV serials like Tarak Mehta ka oolta chasma?

Tarak Mehta..  is a comedy serial, it has a different audience, and it is for the masses while Wagle ki duniya … is more subtle but reflects real issues.

How do you work in liaison with your wife on screenplays, do you always agree on everything?

We both convince each other keeping our egos aside, our main focus is on the quality of work.

Do you think OTT has lessened TV audience?

The TV serials are being watched on Sony Liv app, the penetration of TV serials is more in rural areas and tier 2 cities where they can identify with the issues. OTT also has not  been able to figure out yet what works and what doesn’t, there is a wide range and it is a mixed bag. I still believe TV has more penetration as 70 per cent of India lives by the day, earning a square meal a day. People in small towns are sometimes not aware of issues like bad touch, good touch and even if they know they do not know how to talk about it with their children. And, this is where serials like Wagle Ki Duniya educate them in a subtle way.


About The Author


Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Yash Khetarpal
Yash Khetarpal
1 year ago

A well researched and Ably written piece on Sambhav. This will boost his confidence further and make his his writing talent reach to the next level.