The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 18, 2001

It is double-trouble for Baazi kiski

ZEE TV has double-trouble on hand. And it has nothing to do with competition from Star or Sony. It’s to do with its two concurrently running game shows — the Shekhar Suman-hosted Nilamghar...Bid Bid Boom and Baazi Kiski anchored by Ashutosh Rana Sundays, 10 p.m.

Rana hosting Baazi Kiski .... Game show trouble
Rana hosting Baazi Kiski .... Game show trouble

Trouble started a couple of weeks later when curiosity wore off. While Nilamghar has been scaling the charts, Baazi Kiski, hasn’t even made a first impression. Its ratings have plummeted and despite its prime spot positioning viewership remains pitifully low.

Many inside Zee are blaming Ashutosh Rana’s chaste Hindi and somewhat unappealing style for the flop show. Others say it has been done in because of the unfair competition from Nilamghar. After Movers & Shakers Shekhar Suman’s is considered an indisputable master of ad-libbing and it would be too much to expect Rana to stand up to such an act.

Whatever the problem, the truth is that Baazi Kiski even after eight weeks of telecast has failed to impress and its TRPs are into a tailspin. And Nilamghar is not helping matters as it races up the charts.

With Star Plus and Sony both planning to launch more game shows shortly, it is doubtflul if Baazi Kiski will survive the onslaught. Which is bad news for Ashutosh Rana whose film career is also not showing any signs of resurrection.


Kahani navratri ki

She’s a celebrity in her own right and is giving Phalguni Pathak a run for her garba dances. Sweta Keswani may be a hot number on TV ever since she started playing Avantika, the cunning bahu in Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, but come festive season and she’s in demand for an altogether different reason.

Sweta of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki....Pandal-hopping
Sweta of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki....Pandal-hopping

Because of her middle class appeal, she has become the most in-demand chief guest at various navratra functions organised in Mumbai and Gujarat. In the recently concluded festivities, she had to manage both her acting assignments and her social obligations simultaneously. So, it was shoots during the day and ‘pandal hopping’ at night.

Sweta was the cynosure of all eyes as she jet-hopped from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, Vasai to Ulhasnagar, Sangli to Kohlapur and Nagpur to Kutch. And she enjoyed every moments of this sudden turn of fortune even as people clamoured to get a closer look at her.

Now she’s hoping that this new-found popularity will translate into more TV assignments. But the way Ekta Kapoor has cornered her for Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, it would be long before Sweta finds time for any new project.

War dance

Take a break from scenes of bombs raining down from the sky and plumes of smoke rising from the earth and switch on to something more entertaining and laughter-inducing.

Razzmatazz....Dance away your blues.
Razzmatazz....Dance away your blues.

Zee TVs Razzmatazz every Sunday at 10 pm is an appropriate break from CNN’s relentless War On Terror. It’s a show with a difference. It may have its completely whacky moments but it does not digress from its intent of being entertaining and amusing.

The show is proving to be a boon for two Bollywood discards, Arshad Warsi and Sweta Menon who are finding themselves suddenly in demand on the small screen after they started hosting Razzmatazz.

Mercifully, unlike other similar shows, it does not have young kids dancing to numbers choli ke peeche kya hay. or meri pant bhi sexy. It is a competition between grown up people. Without too much fuss, the show manages to stay on the right side of the thin line dividing fun and crudeness.

Though watching amateurs dance may not be everyone’s idea of entertainment, but the show does come as a comic relief in these times of war and terror.

Ilayasi’s new calling

Remember Suhaib Ilayasi, the man who stirred the nation’s conscience with his path-breaking India’s Most Wanted? The anchor whose show helped nab many wanted criminals, till he himself got into trouble with the cops.

Ilayasi....Promoting a different cause

After a hiatus of nearly three years, Ilayasi is back in circulation again. No, not with any new TV serial on crime and criminals, but in an entirely new avatar — that of a social leader. He has now launched a front called Rastravadi Yuva Andolan with the cliched aim of rooting out corruption from politics.

Ilayasi invited journalists for a press conference in Delhi ostensibly to make public the names of people who had got him implicated in the case. However, he used the platfarm to announce the formation of his new outfit.

Claiming a massive support base in Uttar Pradesh in towns like Moradabad, Meerut and Bareilly, Ilayasi said, "All my life I’ve been fighting corruption and will continue to do so in future. This forum will give my fight a new dimension." Whether it does or not remains to be seen, but what’s for sure is that Ilayasi did get his 15 seconds of fame considering he’s been out of the arclights for so long.

Nobel show

In December, the Nobel Prize celebrates its 100th anniversary. In 1901, the first prize award ceremony was held at what today is called the Old Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. In Christiania (now Oslo), the names of the Nobel Laureates were announced in the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting.

Nobel Prize winner Dalai Lama.... A century of prizes
Nobel Prize winner Dalai Lama.... A century of prizes

To commemorate the centenary of these first Nobel Prizes, all now-living Laureates have been invited to participate in a Centenary Week in December.

The official international name of the anniversary year is the "Nobel Prize Centennial 1901-2001". In less official contexts, it is called the "Nobel Centennial."

Starting December 8 to 15, 2.40 p.m., BBC World will be showing a series of programmes to commemorate the centenary, together with coverage of this year’s awards ceremony.

The Nobel Century takes a tour through the 100-year history of the Nobel prizes telling familiar and surprising stories with archive and interviews. Nobel Prize winners gather to discuss some of the major issues of our time in a debate chaired by Nik Gowing. Sarah Montaue chairs this debate on how modern technology can be harnessed to advance peace and humanity.

The key scientific developments of the last century are discussed in this great debate before an audience of more than a hundred living Nobel laureates. Don’t miss this programme for anything. It’s the rarest of rare chances of listening to some of the best brains of the world.


Is it possible to travel back in time? Yes it is, with a little help from Zee English. If you get a sense of deja vu whenever you switch on the channel, don’t panic. A lot of other viewers too get the same feeling because most of the programmes are a decade old if not more and have been ‘gifted’ to Zee at throwaway prices.

But despite the eighties fashions and hairstyles, there are some shows that are still watchable. And one of them is Seinfeld, Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. on Zee English. Never mind if it is over ten years old but think of the fact that during its day it was one of the most popular television comedies — and also one of the most profitable, as well.

Jerry Seinfeld stars in this comedy series as himself. The premise of this sitcom is Jerry and his friends going through everyday life discussing various situations that we can all relate to. The eccentric personalities of the offbeat characters who make up Jerry’s social circle contribute to the fun.

The series blends elements of a situation comedy with stand-up routines. In the series, Seinfeld plays a peripatetic comedian who lives in New York with his strangely likeable friends, Elaine, George and Kramer who frequently drop by. All of them alternately wrestle with life’s most perplexing, yet trivial, questions turning ordinary situations into a chaotic comic show. Watchable show, to say the least.

— Mukesh Khosla

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