The Tribune - Spectrum

, January 20, 2002


Cry & the world will cry with you

SHE is a wail of a female! The quintessential weepy wife of all afternoon soaps. Be it Pooja of Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi or Payal of Kahin Diya Jale, Kahin Jiya, Prachi’s teardrop-dead looks have made her the number one choice of all serial makers who want her to portray an anguished wife of a philandering husband.

Prachi (right) in Kundalii... Cry baby
Prachi (right) in Kundalii... Cry baby

But reality can be sobs away from fiction. In real life Prachi is neither married nor ready to howl at the first look her on-screen husband gives to another woman. Believe it or not, at 22 she is just another fun-loving girl. And there’s more to her than just khushi in real life and gham in serials.

This qualified architect is a trained kathak dancer and has performed in India and abroad. She participated in a beauty contest where she won a free photo shoot with a leading Mumbai photographer.

Ravi Chopra who was making Shiva Puraan saw her pics and offered her the role of Parvati. That was the first — and hopefully not the last time — she did a happy role. What’s followed are cameos of a beleagured wife that have required her to use glycerine liberally.

But she’s not complaining. So impressed is Ekta Kapoor with her performances, that she has signed her for two new serials she is planning. And when Ekta makes a serial she also makes sure her characters and viewers have plenty to cry about!


Woman’s world

No, this is not a Kishore Kumar retrospective. We’ve had an excellent one on Sony with Shah Rukh Khan enacting some of the gifted singer’s vintage numbers.

Eena Meena Deeka in the afternoon band on Star Plus, on Saturdays 12 noon is about three single women who live together, pursue the same goals and are dedicated to each other.

Anita, Reena & Asha in Ena Meena Deeka... Amusing sitcom
Anita, Reena & Asha in Ena Meena Deeka... Amusing sitcom

Reena, is a divorcee and a man-hater, Anita, is slim and trim fitness freak and Asha, the most gullible and charming of the three. The serial takes you through the difficult times faced by the three women, who are trying to fight a world they perceive as anti-women.

All three of them have very strong views and distorted ones at that. They are on a joint mission to rid the world of male chauvinism. But even though they argue among themselves or disagree, what keeps them together is the undercurrent of love and sharing.

Stay tuned to this wacky sitcom starring yesteryears leading ladies, Reena Roy, Anita Raj and Asha Sachdev. The three ladies and their hare-brained mission will keep you entertained.

Kya comeback hai!

Never has the going been so good for stars who were tottering on the last leg of their careers. Whether it is Ashutosh Rana or Arshad Warsi, Aruna Irani or Reena Roy, TV has opened a whole new vista for them. Even veterans like Prem Chopra, Danny, Rati Agnihotri and Naveen Nischol are back in the reckoning.

Madhuri.. All set to join the small screen bandwagon
Madhuri.. All set to join the small screen bandwagon

A majority of the stars are back as game show hosts. The trend was set by the Big B in Kaun Banega Crorepati and followed by Govinda in Jeeto Chhapar Phad Ke. Now Sonali Bendre and Neena Gupta are completing the circle as hostesses of Kya Masti Kya Dhoom and Kamzor Kadi Kaun respectively for Star Plus. Zee has Neelamghar hosted by Shekhar Suman and Baazi Kiski anchored by Ashutosh Rana.

The channels don’t mind giving astronomically high sums to these stars as such shows are a sure-shot way to big advertising revenue and high viewerships — two goals they aspire for.

Now another big name out to dazzle TV viewers is none other than Madhuri Dixit Nene who is all set to make her small screen debut with Shubh Vivah, a reality show, on Sony.

Believe it or not even Shah Rukh Khan says, TV is his most favourite medium. The superstar first got his break in the 1988 hit serial Fauji then he played a lead role in Circus, a serial directed by Aziz Mirza. Since then, of course, there’s been no looking back!

Band of girls

They are calling it the biggest ever glam-reality show of India. (V) Popstars on Channel (V) is a nation-wide hunt for a 5-member girl-pop band. The project will span over six months and once the band is discovered there will be Press conferences and a concert to announce the new band which will cut an album with a leading music director.

VJ Sushma at the (V) Popstars launch party
VJ Sushma at the (V) Popstars launch party

(V) Popstars will result in a 14-episode series to be broadcast on Channel (V). It will embark on a journey with the five talented girls, from their anonymous existence into the world of fame and glamour. The jury will include names like Shubha Mudgal, music director Sandeep Kambakht Ishq Chowta, designer Manish Malhotra, VJ Sushma and Shobha De.

Loaded with high energy glamour and music, the show will cover the event right from the nation-wide auditions to the nail-biting finale and finally, the formation of the all-girl band.

The series will then go behind the scenes to reveal the transition of the newly-formed band into the pop divas through the various stages of the transition; the naming of the band, the glamour makeover to the creation of the album and the launch concert.

"The most appealing part of the show is the thrill of selecting raw girls and transforming them into stars", says VJ Sushma, perhaps remembering her own heady transformation into a glamorous model and VJ.

New Year gift for Sony

The New Year’s Eve decided it all. Months a year after KBC made Star Plus the most watched channel on television, a fierce race commenced for the second spot. In contention were Zee and Sony Entertainment Television.

Dil Se Dosti: Slew of new shows on Sony
Dil Se Dosti: Slew of new shows on Sony

Finally, it seems Sony it seems has edged past Zee and ascended the number two spot. With a slew of programme on New Year starting with a retrospective on Kishore Kumar by actor Shahrukh Khan and followed by the biggest blockbuster of recent times, Kaho Naa Pyar Hai. Overnight, the channel managed to woo away a large chunk of viewership from competitors.

For over a year now, Sony has been working its way up with a number of good serials like Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye, Tu Naseeb Hai Kisi Aur Ka, Dil Se Dosti, Kutumb and more. Most of the themes have been fresh and far removed from the hackneyed saas-bahu stuff.

But it was on the New Year Eve when Sony struck the decisive blow. Even as surprised viewers found that most of the channels had hardly put in any effort on making the evening a memorable affair for millions of people who sit back at home, Sony spent a fortune getting the rights of Kaho Na Pyar Hai.

Little wonder then that the channel is reaping in the dividends even as others are ruing their missed opportunity.

Sea-ing is believing

Hidden in the heart of the world’s largest desert is a marine oasis thriving with life. Once, it was an unforgiving land of scorching heat, until rising tides from the Indian Ocean combined with the floodwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers formed the Arabian Gulf.

Discover the rare sea life of the Gulf region.
Discover the rare sea life of the Gulf region.

The rich waters of this unique sea have sustained people and animals for eons, but in recent years, modern development has posed a threat. Discovery Channel profiles the history, culture and wildlife of the Gulf in Ancient Tides from January 25 every Friday at 7 p.m.

Home to curious and unique creatures such as the mudskipper, cuttlefish and the rare Arabian white-collared kingfisher, the Peninsula is a haven of wildlife surrounded by desert. It also provides sustenance to the people that live along its shoreline.

The fishing industry and pearl diving have thrived there for thousands of years, as has sea life ranging from turtles to humpback whales. But today the ecosystem is threatened by oil spills. During the Gulf War in 1991, the region fell victim to the greatest oil spill in history, with precious wildlife being destroyed.Through local conservation efforts, such as the creation of reef sites and the replanting of mangrove areas, the area is gradually being restored and is humming with life again. So, if you haven’t been to the Gulf, here’s your chance to take a breathtaking journey through land and sea in this breathtaking series.

— Mukesh Khosla