And now mythology from the feminine perspective
EVER since Ramayana and Mahabharat turned TV viewing into a religious ceremony, mythological serials have been the lifeline of most channels. Except Star Plus which had religiously stayed away from godly epics. Now this channel, too, has succumbed to the lure.
Thankfully Ma Shakti, Thursdays, 8 pm, is not one of those shoddy serials with plastic cut-outs flying in the air. Simply because its been made by B.R. Chopra, the man who caught the imagination of the nation with his slickly produced Mahabharat.
As the name suggests the serial revolves around Ma Shakti, the "mother power", who has given birth to Lakshmi (Wealth), Saraswati (Knowledge), Mahakali (Destroyer), Vishnu (Nurturer), Brahma (Creator) and Mahesh (Destroyer).
One of the most fascinating part of this mythological is that the stories are being told from a woman’s point of view. Which is what differentiates Chopra from other run-of-the-mill directors.
The nightmare begins in the first episode itself of Smriti on DD Metro (Golden Hours). Going for an innocent picnic Sandhya Dhanrajgir meets with an accident that burns her face and leaves her husband Raj and two kids completely devastated.
After the plastic surgery, as the doctor unwraps the bandages, her family realises that along with losing her old face, Sandhya has lost her memory as well.
Having lost her sense of identity Sandhya is re-christened Smriti and now believes that she is a single woman with no family. Faced with a complete stranger, the family is totally disoriented and afraid to tell her the truth to avoid a mental and physical relapse. To add to the drama, Sandhya, who’s been witness to a murder, starts getting threatening calls from the criminals.
Will she get her memory back? Will she testify against the murderer? And will she accept her husband and children. For the answers, tune in to the Golden Hours on DD Metro.
He’s directed television’s longest-running soap. But Tara is not just his only claim to fame. Raman Kumar has to his credit successful serials like Rahieh, Raahat Umeed, Shatranj, Agnichakra and more recently, Aur Phir Ek Din.
Now he has teamed up once again with writer Vinta Nanda and the result is the daily soap Papa on B4U at 2.30 pm from Monday to Friday.
It’s the story of Vishal Mehra, the head of a happy household. Mehra’s extended family includes his brothers and their wives and kids who all lovingly call him ‘Papa’. Till the time a hidden skeleton comes tumbling out of his cupboard — ‘Papa’ has an illegitimate child. Suddenly, all the love for him evaporates.
If you find any similarities with the eighties Shekhar Kapoor film Masoom, Raman Kumar is quick to explain that neither he nor Vinta Nanda claim there is anything new in the script. "It’s about human emotions, family values and social pressures."
What’s so new in that? Doesn’t every second serial make similar claims? Which is where Papa and Raman Kumar lose out.
Three of a kind
What’s the difference between Heena (Sony), Rehnuma (B4U) and Shaheen (Sony)? Very little. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. They are all about unhappy marriages where the woman has to bear the brunt of being wedded to a wrong man.
And the similarities don’t end there. All are about young women of orthodox Muslim families who go through a life of marital suffering because of the bad choices made by their guardians.
Shaheen on Sony every Thursday at 8.40 p.m. starts with the main protagonist being forced to marry, despite her wanting to study further. But she abides by her father’s wishes and weds a Lakhanvi Nawab, much older to her.
On reaching Lucknow, she discovers that her husband is a widower and the father of a 10-year-old son. Shaheen is shattered to learn that her father was aware of this before he consented to the marriage, but chose to keep her in the dark.
Shaheen still harbours some hope and begins piecing her life together again. But will she ever get happiness from this marriage? Will she, or for that matter will Heena or Saher of Rehnuma ever find solace in marriage? See any one of the three serials for a common answer!
Re-discovery of India
Meet Aditya Patankar and Mark Shand, the award-winning photographer-writer team who are the real heroes behind India Diaries a journey into the heart into the very heart of India.
Filmed in spectacular locations across India, the six-part series is being premiered on National Geographic Channel worldwide on November 5, 2000.
The channel presents an opportunity to interact with these travellers, as they share their experiences of making those breathtaking documentaries on India. From the bleak deserts of Gujarat to the forbidden forests of Arunachal Pradesh they unveil some of the mystery and enigma that is India.
He’s weird, wacky and wild, but so is Animal Planet, and this November, viewers pack their knapsacks and take a trip with host Jules Sylvester on The Great Croc Trail on November 13 from 9 a.m.
Jules has made it his life’s work to study and assist these animal in an effort to educates the public on how humans can share their backyards with alligators and crocodiles.
The show takes viewers from the home of the Indian Mugger Crocodile in Goa, to the Mary river in Darwin, Australia, for a look at what it really means to live with crocodiles.
Then Jules is off to Florida in the United States, where an unsuspecting family finds an alligator taking a dip in their sparkling swimming pool. Jules doesn’t let a set of snapping jaws keep him from taking a swim himself — how else would he get the alligator out of the pool?
So get prepared for one wild trip when Jules Sylvester takes off on a phenomenal adventure on The Great Croc Trail.
— Mukesh Khosla