The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, March 25, 2001

The goddess from Bengal

IT’s been a long haul from being one of the most powerful actresses of Bengali films to becoming a lead star in a Hindi serial. Indrani Haldar crossed the rubicon and stepped into the world of television when she was selected to play the pivotal role in B.R. Chopra’s Ma Shakti On Star Plus from among hundreds of aspirants.

Indrani Haldar in Ma Shakti: Small screen deityBut television is nothing new for the gifted actress. In fact she started her career as a child artiste in the hit Bengali serial Tero Parban. Ever since then she has been as comfortable on TV as she is doing films and theatre. Her moment of glory came when she received the National Award for her gut-wrenching performance of an upright school teacher in Dahan.

Of late, she has also been focusing her energies on TV serials. She did Fakir, a telefilm by Gautam Ghosh and followed it with Basu Chatterjee’s Hamari Shaadi. But she says Ma Shakti has been the most challenging as she plays four roles those of Goddesses Saraswati, Kali, Lakshmi and Shakti.

Says the actress," Viewers simply love my style. Most viewers have been mesmerised by my eyes." Immodesty in a goddess is best forgiven!


In search of greener pastures abroad
March 18, 2001

Another soap about trials of family life
March 4, 2001

The fine art of murder
February 25, 2001

A predictable but absorbing tale
February 18, 2001

The longest-running comedy is a winner
February 11, 2001
Woman power to the fore
February 4, 2001
Another run-of-the-mill serial
January 28,2001
An engrossing tale of relationships
January 21,2001
A familiar, predictable family drama
January 14,2001

Mistress of the mind
January 7,2001

And now Neena’s third avtaar
December 24,2000

A tale from the hills
December 17,2000

The second coming of Zeenat Aman
December 10,2000

The Mallika of many roles
December 3,2000

Chandigarh children on a winning spree
November 26, 2000

Breaking a misconception
November 19, 2000

And now mythology from the feminine perspective
November 12, 2000

Focus on family fortunes yet again
November 5, 2000

A tale of two sisters
October 29, 2000

Face to face with Madhuri
October 22, 2000

Triumph of the mind over matter
October 15, 2000

Intertwined lives and their story
October 8, 2000

Making their dreams come true
October 1, 2000

How to cope with two wives
September 24, 2000

Story of revenge and retribution
September 10, 2000

Being a saheli to women viewers
September 3, 2000

Papa don’t compete!
August 27, 2000

Hotspots: A treat for armchair travellers
August 20, 2000

Reality TV

It’s a year old and is fast-making a place for itself in investigative journalism. Satya on DD News has been making waves with its hard-hitting and in-depth features.

Satya: Daring themesAnd the issues the show tackles are both bold and unusual — The Worldly Yearnings of Nuns, Unlicensed Abortion Clinics, Child Unfriendly Juvenile Act, Can men Be Sexually Harassed At The Workplace? Why Are Hijras So Regressive and more. The programme doesn’t just resort to reportage but delves into the subject with interviews, case studies and live footage.

For example, when the show focused on growing alcoholism in women, it did not just stop at case studies. It looked at the coping mechanism of the victim and the people around her, a psychological analysis of an addictive personality as also the wide difference in acceptance of women and men alcoholics. Produced and directed by Gayatri Khosla and presented by Shefalee Talwar, Satya has three segments — an investigative story, a debate or an issue and a light-hearted feature. All interviews and anchor links are done on location which explains why the show pulsates with energy. Had the show been on one of the satellite channels it would have got star billing.

Small screen dreams

"Let’s get this straight," she says with a wave of her hand, "I didn’t want to be an actress in the first place. I just got pushed into it," But now, after a hit film like Papa Kehte Hain, Mayuri Kango says she wants to be primarily a TV actress.

Mayuri Kango: Looking for comic reliefHer first serial Nargis Mondays 9 p.m. on DD-Metro is already hitting the high spots. It is the story of a young girl who shatters her parents’ dreams by marrying against their wishes.

"This is the kind of meaty role I was looking for in films but all they wanted me to do was the dance-and-song routines. That’s not my idea of acting," says Mayuri who got through her IIT entrance exam but opted for acting instead.

Besides Nargis, Mayuri is doing the lead in Thoda Gham Thodi Khushi and has TV producers queuing up with offers. But she’s saying no to most of the blink-and-you-miss-me kind of roles.

"Frankly I’d like to do a real good comedy. But there isn’t too much talent around. The comic serials on air virtually make you cry. If somebody comes along with a really funny script I’d accept it without a thought. But knowing scriptwriters’ sense of humour, Mayuri may have to wait for a long time!

Heady cocktail

This is a treat for lovers of Urdu and Hindi poetry. Adabi Cocktail on Zee TV is a blend of different shades of ghazal and kavita. The programme lends these literary gems to music and then has a celebrity guest analyse the thought of the poet.

Tom Alter anchoring Adabi Cocktail: LyricalEach episode is devoted to a common topic — Chehre, Mohabbat Zulf, Jawani etc which different poets have tackled in different moods. For example, one could be a sad ghazal on the theme of love and another a very light-hearted Hindi poem on the same theme. The main criteria of selection here is the quality of poetry.

Scripted by Nida Fazli who wrote the lyrics of Sarfarosh and anchored by Tom Alter, the show has music by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan who gives a new meaning to Urdu and Hindi poetry with his amazing sense of music. Which all makes Adabi Cocktail worth a dekko for ghazal fans.

Colours of India

In a country rich in culture and tradition, adventures are limitless. From April 15 to 20, 10 p.m. Discovery Channel presents a special week-long programming event celebrating the breathtaking landscape, age-old rituals and colourful people of India.

The Journeys begin with Beneath Indian Skies: Temples & Pilgrims, an insightful look at the sacred rituals of India. Next viewers go Beyond The Himalayas for a modern-day excursion along the ancient Silk Route between Kashgar and Dunguang. Then a bewildering expedition leads viewers through the link that binds seemingly incongruous subjects in Sentimental Journeys.

The show also takes viewers to northern India with host Andrew Daddo who visits the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal and explores the Himalayas in a jeep. Then there are all-night Onam festivities in Kerala as also the world-renowned camel fair in Pushkar and the rat temple in Deshnook in Rajasthan. A breath-taking journey to some of the country’s breath-taking locales.

— Mukesh Khosla

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