The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, May 6, 2001

A suspense serial on a lavish scale

FROM hit comedies and family dramas Ekta Kapoor is now moving to pastures new. This time it is suspense. And as is the pattern with most serials from the Balaji stable, this one, too, is mounted on a lavish scale.

Kahani Kissi Roz: Suspense thrillerKahain Kissi Roz, on Star Plus from Monday to Thursday, 8.30 p.m., is a thriller that will grip you from the word go. It is the story of the beautiful and talented Shaina who has a whirlwind romance with Kunal, the rich-man-around-town.

Kunal is the scion of the Sikand conglomerate — an empire established by his mother, Ramola Sikand. Kunal and his brother Anish run the entire business. Apart from them there are three sisters, a younger brother and the old faithful, Daiji.

Shaina is aware that Kunal was married earlier and his wife died under mysterious circumstances. But she is madly in love with him and the two get married. Now she is happier than she ever thought was possible. She has a house and a family of the kind that exist only in the world of dreams!

And then — all of a sudden — Shaina finds herself to be the target of strange and mysterious happenings. Her blissful, married life is destroyed by bizarre incidents. Someone, somewhere is trying to kill her. But why? Watch the thriller for answers.

Engaging, though fanciful, serial
April 29, 2001
Power struggle in the world of glamour
April 22, 2001
Something to smile about
April 15, 2001
The mainstay of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki
April 1, 2001
The goddess from Bengal
March 25, 2001

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

Create your own Tehelka

He doesn’t want to talk of the serial that boosted his popularity to amazing heights. No, he says, Karamchand wasn’t a challenge in the real sense of the term as, at that time, apart from serials on Doordarshan, the viewer had no choice.

Kapoor & co-stars in Office Office: Common man’s woesThings have changed for the better now, says Pankaj Kapoor whose Office Office every Tuesday at 8.00p.m. on SABe TV, was adjudged the best comedy on television at the Screen Awards apart from him receiving the award for the best male performance in a TV serial.

And it was a prize well deserved. Kapoor plays Mussadilal, a common man struggling against the system. Every episode is a journey of this man through the bureaucratic maze and describes how he returns home a loser.

Encouraged by the rising TRPs of the serial, the channel has launched a contest titled Bol Beta Bol......Office Ke Pol Khol in which viewers are being asked to write about their ordeal at the hands of a government officer. The prize: your bad experience could become the subject of an episode.

So here’s your chance of getting even with babudom by writing in your real life experience and then seeing it being enacted on screen. Mail your entries at [email protected]

Art of the matter

Here’s an expose on the murky goings-on in the world of art. Baazaar Tuesdays 9 p.m. on Doordarshan profiles the art world and its inherent system of exploitations, petty jealousies and traumas. The serial mirrors the mindset of people in the creative field where established names manipulate the art scene and strive to smother emerging talent.

Baazaar: Shady world of artThe story revolves around an extremely gifted painter who unwittingly becomes a victim of his own virtue. He is so talented that he dwarfs everyone else. The artists start feeling extremely threatened by his presence and conspire to destroy his life and career.

"This is not a boring art documentary. Instead it is a dramatic depiction of the enticing aspects of art, highlighting human passion, emotion, aspirations and relationships," says Rakesh Chowdhury, who has earlier made serials like Bante Bigadte, Chunauti, Aashiana and Intezar Aur Sahi.

What makes Baazaar stand out is the fact that very few serials are made with the art world serving as the backdrop. And that, too, not the boring art world but one that goes behind the scenes to depict exploitation, greed and murky dealings. The serial is further boosted by good performances by Ajit Vachhani, Beena and Asif Sheikh.

Godman of the small screen

Mirror, mirror on the wall who’s the holiest of them all? Ramanand Sagar or Dheeraj Kumar? For years now both have been vying for the sobriquet of the Showman of the Religious Epic on TV.

There also seems to be race on between the two to launch new projects and bring a variety of celestial deities into people’s homes.

Dheeraj Kumar: Religious epic specialistSo it is not surprising that after Om Namah Shiva and Shree Ganesh, Dheeraj Kumar has now launched Om Namay Naraina for Sahara TV, based on the story of Goddess Lakshmi’s consort. The serial will begin with the earth being threatened by an all-consuming pralaya and people praying beseeching Lord Naraina, the preserver, to save the world from disaster. Says Kumar, "We are researching scriptures like Vishnupuran, Harivanshpauran and Shreemad Bhagwat to cull out all the stories associated with Him. We’ll do complete justice to the story and finish it in record time."

But, what’s the hurry? Is he planning another religious serial? "No, I’ll give it a break for sometime," is Kumar’s surprising answer. "I am being too closely associated with epics. And I want to change that image. I am planning a fantasy-based serial that would be far removed from mythology". Hope this is not a flight of fantasy!

Mughlai fare

They were the most powerful rulers of their day — as well as the most mysterious. From the early 16th century, Mughals reigned over India for nearly 200 years, building cities and palaces, gardens and mosques. Yet their dynasty collapsed at exactly the time when they appeared the most powerful.

Mughals on Discovery: A dynasty of powerful rulersWhat caused the demise of this mighty empire and what brought about the failure of the peaceful policies followed by its mighty leader, the legendary Akbar the Great? Discovery Channel takes viewers back in time in Moghuls of The Taj Mahal, May 26 at 9 p.m.

The Mughals first came to India as thieves, descendants of the Mongols. The founder of the royal house, Babur was initially intent on plundering when he and his warriors, attacked on horseback. But after conquering the land, he decided to stay back and become the emperor. His grandson Akbar united the country, which had been long torn by conflict.

Emperor Akbar was a master of contrasts. He was a fierce warrior, yet he was also regarded as a prince of peace. Although he could neither read nor write, he assembled the greatest artists and scientists of the day in his court. He founded his own religion. Some say he was ruthlessly brutal, others testify to his generosity and wisdom.

The programme leads viewers through the most mysterious sites and magnificent palaces in India built by the Mughals, including the most beautiful monument in the country — the Taj Mahal.

Friends indeed!

They are into their seventh season and still the worldwide popularity of Friends, 8.30 p.m. on Sundays on Zee English, shows no signs of abating. Chandler, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Monica and Ross entertain viewers with their wacky sense of humour.

Friends: Into their seventh yearIn 1993, when Friends started, these six were struggling stars. Today, they are household names who have parlayed their TV success into movie careers. Since its debut, the series has received 19 Emmy nominations, including three for Outstanding Comedy Series. Lisa Kudrow, has won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress.

Jennifer Aniston who is arguably that most successful of the six has had a string or romantic comedies that have been well received at the box office. Today, she draws much attention also as the wife of Hollywood megastar Brad Pitt.

The 24 episodes entertainer that caught the eye of every American television buff is now enthralling young urban India. But along with the latest season of Friends, viewers can keep in touch with the earlier series since Zee English will continue to show the other episodes during the week between Monday to Friday at 8 p.m. That’s a double whammy for the fans of Friends.

— Mukesh Khosla

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