The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, May 20, 2001

Comic view of big city life

HERE’S a comedy that draws greatly from the city of Mumbai—the melting pot of rural simplicity and urban complexity. Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan, Wednesdays, 7.30 pm on Zee TV showcases the humour a big city can inadvertently throw up.

Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan: City slickersThe serial revolves around Hariprasad who arrives from Jaunpur to this city of dreams to become a glamour photographer. He has worked very hard to shed his small-town image, anglicised his name from Hariprasad to Harry and hates talking about his past. He would rather make people believe that he is from the USA and not from Uttar Pradesh.

But Hariprasad gets a shock of his life when he comes to know that Balkrishna—aka Balu— is also migrating to Mumbai. Who’s this guy and why is Harry so scared of him? The answer: Balu is Harry’s cousin, who too is coming to fulfil his dream—of becoming a movie star.

Each episode promises high entertainment with Harry pretending to be a city slicker and his country cousin Balu hell-bent on spilling the beans. Things get more complicated with the introduction of Mrs Desai, their landlady, and Mr and Mrs Ghodewala, who own the store where Harry and Balu start working while looking for their big break.

A madcap comedy that will keep you entertained from the word go.

It’s guiles & wiles all the way
May 13, 2001
A suspense serial on a lavish scale
May 6, 2001
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

Love’s labour lost

For those whose staple diet is romance and heartbreak, this is manna from heaven. A 10-hanky drama guaranteed to keep viewers glued to their sets.

Scene from Kahin Diyaa Jale Kahin Jiyaa: Rajput talesKahin Diyaa Jale Kahin Jiyaa, Monday to Thursday, 9.30 pm, on Sony Entertainment Television is the story of the wealthy Rajvansh family whose scion, Rohit, gets engaged to Payal, a girl of another prominent family.

The entire Rajput community thinks this is a match made in heaven. But Rohit doesnt! That’s because he was madly in love with Suhasini, who suddenly broke the relationship because she found out she couldn’t conceive.

Unaware of all this Payal gets married to Rohit, looking forward to a life of bliss. But her dreams are shattered. She soon discovers her mother-in-law wanted Suhasini for a bahu, but the yearning for a grandson was so strong that she had to accept Payal.

Even as Payal is struggling to try to win Rohit over, the Rajvansh family is shocked by a shattering discovery about her past. What will she do? What can she do, trapped as she is in a loveless marriage and scorned by her mother-in-law? Will Suhasini’s shadow keep falling on her life? Faced with so many dilemmas, Payal loses hope. Well, almost...

Despite its weepy title, Kahin Diyaa Jale Kahin Jiyaa is a gripping family drama, with an exciting thriller elements. It’s sure to grow on you.

Tulsi’s swift stardom

It’s as if she’s become a part of every family. People whom she meets call her Tulsi bhabhi. They besiege her for autographs and want her to resolve their family problems. Life for Smriti Malhotra of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi has gone beyond her wildest dreams.

Smriti Malhotra: Ruling the air wavesLess than a year ago, Smriti was a normal young Delhi girl whose mother wanted her to be an IAS officer. Being the eldest in the family, her father wanted her to join him in the family business. "But I wanted to be an actress," says the former Miss India contestant.

That’s when she met Ekta Kapoor who signed her for Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Star Plus, Mondays to Thursdays, 10.30 pm. "Ekta told me that she had a gut feel the serial was going to be a huge hit, but I wasn’t sure what fortune had in store for me."

Plenty. In fact, more than what Smriti had ever bargained for. Even as one episode gave way to another four times a week, the serial began blossoming. The stereotypical role of woman as homemaker began appealing to all middle class families.

Suddenly everyone was talking about it and within weeks, it did the unthinkable. In a swift and silent coup, it nearly unseated Amitabh Bachchan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati that had the nation in its thrall.

For the first time prime time got extended to 11 pm. (Kyunki... is aired between 10.30 and 11 pm) For the first time, a family show comprising virtual newcomers demolished all competition across channels. And for the first time stardom came so swiftly to a girl who had never dreamt of going beyond a few serials.

Today there’s a flush of triumph in her voice when she says," I’d have succeeded in any field—acting, civil services or business!" As Tulsi, the widowed bahu of the runaway hit serial, Smriti has reasons to feel on top of the world.

Sister in arms

In an age of two-kid nuclear families, usually one child takes to the father and the other to the mother. That’s what Gharana on Zee TV, Monday to Friday at 2.30 p.m. is all about.

Scene from Gharana: Slow pacedThe serial revolves around a family where the constant squabbles and quarrels between parents change the personalities of their daughters. The elder one is good-natured like the father while the younger one becomes arrogant and aggressive like the mother.

Such is the cantankerous of the younger daughter that after marriage she destroys the peace and happiness of her husband’s house. The elder daughter who too is married in the same house tries her level best to reunite the family and bring back the happiness.

But all her efforts fail till the time she hits upon an ingenious idea. But the question is, will it succeed? You’ll have to wait and find out. Given the slow moving script chances are you’ll have to wait pretty long and probably switch to another channel before the writers are through with their story!

Magical writer

The unending appeal of the Harry Potter series is spawning a series of clones. Little boys with magical gadgets seem to have caught the imagination of serial makers. And whoever cared about Indianising the concepts! But whether it is Junior G or Shaka Laka Boom Boom, the basic J.K. Rowling theme is so fascinating that no matter how it is adapted, chance are the end results would be absorbing.

Shaka Laka Boom Boom, every Sunday at 11.30 am on DD-1, is a fanciful tale revolving around a school kid, Sanju, who chances upon a pencil that changes his world forever.

This is no ordinary pencil but one with magical powers. Sanju soon discovers that whatever he draws comes alive. Whether he wants a burger or a bike, he just has to sketch it out and lo and behold! his fantasy turns into reality.

The trouble is that an evil character, Mocambo (Raza Murad looking like a caricature of the earlier-day Mogambo), too, wants the pencil. And his sorceress daughter vows to get it for him. And that sets the tone for this racy tale of magic, mystery and masti.

Mummy’s the word

It may have little relevance for the ordinary Indian viewer but for the historically inclined, the Egyptian mummies hold timeless appeal. And those are the kind of viewers Discovery would be hoping to get for Unwrapped—The Mysterious World of Mummies, May 27, 7 pm.

Mummies on Discovery: Preservation at its bestThis three-hour series based on Bob Brier’s comprehensive book The Encyclopedia of Mummies explores the history of mummies throughout the world—from the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the corpse of Eva Peron. Bob Brier himself hosts this series.

From the valley of the kings to the Cairo spice bazaar, Brier takes viewers through the weird and wonderful world of ancient Egyptian mummies. The episode recreates as accurately as possible the mummification of a Pharaoh, from the removal of the brain through the nose to the ritual of pelting stones at the "slitter" who cut open (and thus defiled) the body for embalming.

This explores the strange powers of mummies to both attract and repel people. Brier looks at Argentina’s famous first lady, Eva Peron, now one of the best-preserved mummies. With the help of experts the narrator tells the strange and highly spooky story of the mummies of the world.

— Mukesh Khosla

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