The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, July 1, 2001

The hackneyed theme of a contract marriage

IT'S happened before. Time and again, Bollywood has fallen back on the theme of husbands for hire. Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra and Rishi Kapoor have all played the role with aplomb in the seventies and eighties. Now, the theme has been revived again on the small screen. Dulhan on Sabe TV every Thursday at 8.30 p.m. is all about a contract marriage.

Scene from Dulhan... Contractual marriage
Scene from Dulhan... Contractual marriage

The story revolves around Rahul, who leaves his small-town home to pursue big city dreams. He sstarts a construction company and does extremely well for himself. He also has a girlfriend, Preeti with whom he has a live-in relationship.

Once when he visits his village his father, who is very ill, asks Rahul to marry his friend’s beautiful daughter, Pooja. As he finds no ground on which to reject her, Rahul offers her a contract marriage, where they would be married only on paper. In return he will take care of Pooja’s needs and would get her sisters married off too. She agrees.

Rahul and Pooja get married in the village and he brings her to the city as his cousin. Preeti, his live-in girlfriend is unaware of the marriage. One represents the traditional sensibilities and the other, the modern, fast paced life. They instinctively dislike each other.

Does Preeti smarten up to the facade? Does Rahul fall in love with Pooja? Or does he cleverly learn to juggle his two relationships? Find out who finally becomes his dulhan in this engaging serial.


Of disillusioned father and philandering son
June 24, 2001

Turning the tables on policemen
June 17, 2001

Another in the family of soaps
June 10, 2001
Back to the golden age of cinema
June 3, 2001

A presenter with compelling screen presence
May 27, 2001

Comic view of big city life
May 20, 2001

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

Lost & found

In today’s uncertain times nothing is permanent or secure. Suddenly everything around a family can come crashing down like a house of cards with one single stroke.

Lapata on Alpha Punjabi every Thursday at 8.15 p.m. revolves around Pooja and Jagjit Kapoor, whose happy family is shattered when their five-year-old son, Karan, suddenly goes missing. They launch an intensive hunt to recover their son but it’s as if the child has disappeared into thin air.

Scene from Lapata: Son-downer!
Scene from Lapata: Son-downer!

For years, they keep grieving about their son. And then, suddenly after 15 years, a faint ray of hope comes in the shape of a mysterious phone call from a village in Punjab. The caller informs Pooja that her missing son has been traced.

An extensive police operation is launched and Karan — now a 20-year-old young man — is rescued from two dreaded criminals. After a courtroom drama, Pooja gets the custody of her son and brings him back home.

Little does she realise that her ordeal is just about to begin. For Karan is no longer a part of decent society. He has become a criminal and his offensive behaviour puts everyone off, much to the embarrassment of the Kapoors.

That’s when Pooja decides to make Karan turn a new leaf. She tells everyone that within six months she would rid her son of his terrible past and reform him completely. Will Pooja’s maternal love erase the ravages of the years of crime that Karan had indulged in? Does Karan agree to be reformed? Find out the answers in this absorbing serial.


Small screen, big dreams

It has been an amazing comeback for a woman whose small screen foray should have ended some 15 years ago. But Reena Wadhwa is evidently made of stronger stuff. The lady got her first break back in the early eighties Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi. But since no offers came her way, the promising face was soon forgotten.

Reena Wadhwa in Aatish:
Reena Wadhwa in Aatish: 
Persistence pays

A decade later, when she married and settled in Mumbai, the creative bug again bit her. This time things were simpler. Instead of scouting around for roles, she just asked her wealthy husband to finance her serials.

And the results have been there to see. Her first offering was Neeyat which notched up high TRPs thanks to its unusual subject of the love-hate relationship between filmstars and journalists. Her second serial, Ek Mulakat, didn’t do too well but Reena wasn’t too worried and followed it up with two big hits. Arth on Zee TV and Aatish on Star Plus.

And her small screen dreams have come true with Aatish that got her the Screen Videocon Best Actress award, as also the Best Drama Series award.

Her latest offerings are Panaah on Doordarshan and Kahin Diyaa Jale Kahin Jiyaa on Sony Entertainment Television both of which are high up on the popularity charts, making Reena Wadhwa a much sought after star and serial maker.

I’ve worked very hard for my success," says Reena, whom everyone had written off many years ago. Truly, fortune favours the brave.


Clash of Generations

What happens when you follow your principles and convictions blindly? When love and affection is taken for granted? When traditions and values of two people close to each other begin clashing?

The result is Shehnai every Friday at 12 noon on DD-1. It is a story of two old friends, Mittal and Malhotra. The former a successful businessman who has promised to marry his son to US-based Malhotra’s daughter.

Little does Mittal know that his son is love with another girl, but when he finds it out he won’t left that stand in the way of his decision to marry his son to Malhotra’s daughter. But the son has other ideas and unlike other members of the family is not afraid to speak up his mind to his father.

What follows is a clash of egos that threatens to blow in the face of the father-son relationship. Will Mittal relent or will the son sacrifice his love for the sake of his father’s promise? Find out in this somewhat lukewarm tale of love and betrayal.


Love all at Wimbledon

It’s been action time at Wimbledon as the world’s best tennis stars slug it out for the most important Grand Slam of their lives. A win here is bigger than all other sporting prizes put together. This year, Star Sports has been bringing the action live from this Mecca of tennis.

Action time at Wimbledon: Biggest prize in tennis
Action time at Wimbledon: Biggest prize in tennis

They say fairytales come true in Wimbledon and last year was no different. On the men’s side, there was an aging legend continuing to add to his glorious career. On the women’s side, there was a youngster breaking out for the first of what could well be many more Grand Slam victories.

Despite getting along in years, Pete Sampras once again showed his skill, courage and style. In the final opposite serve-and-volley specialist Pat Rafter, he displayed his mettle with a decisive win. This year, he will of course be back. As will the injury plagued Rafter.

The women’s circuit too saw a fairytale come true. Venus Williams had always dreamt of winning in Wimbledon. Last year, facing defending champion Lindsay Davenport in the final, she called upon all her strength for a win that ignited a celebration the likes of which Wimbledon courts had never seen before.

All these big names have lit up the small screens this year as well. And even as the Grand Slam comes to a close, it has been one more year of crackling action at Wimbledon.


Masterpieces from Junk

Get ready to go to war even as Discovery Channel sets one team against another to see who can create the biggest, fastest for strongest machine with parts from a junkyard. Beginning July 7, episodes of Junkyard Wars premiere every Saturday, from 8 p.m.

Junkyard Wars: Crazed lust for gadgetry.
Junkyard Wars: Crazed lust for gadgetry.

Out of hundreds of applicants, teams of three people are chosen for their mechanical skill, creativity and crazed lust for gadgetry. At dawn, contestants are informed of the day’s mission - it might be to build a cannon, a glider, a catapult, a tractor or whatever the producers feel like assigning that day.

Each team is also assigned one special guest with expertise in the field of that day’s challenge. They have until sunset to design and build a working machine with all the tools their hearts desire and parts they find in the surrounding scrap heaps.

After constructing their make-do masterpieces, work halts at sunset. Next day, the two teams compete to see whose glider can go up, up and away, or whose cannon makes the biggest bang for the buck. The victors get nothing more than the respect of their peers and a trophy made of junk. All of which makes the show worth every minute of viewing.

— Mukesh Khosla

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