The Tribune - Spectrum

, September 22, 2002


Younger divas elbow out the old

Shweta (Left) in Kasautii...Ekta Kapoor’s lucky mascot?
Shweta (Left) in Kasautii...Ekta Kapoor’s lucky mascot?

THEY are hep and happening. Queens of the soap and role models to millions of young girls. Over the past one year, the small picture tube has been virtually invaded by a new set of young ladies who are setting new fashion styles and social trends.

These young new divas have not just elbowed out the established ones but have made them look like the generation past. Much of the credit must go to, who else? — Ekta Kapoor, who has introduced a slew of new ladies who have cast a spell on the Indian audience. Stars who were nobodies till a year or so ago but are top of the pops today.

Leading the band is Shweta Tiwari who has attained heady stardom with her role in Kasautii Zindagi Kay. Following her closely is Mauli Ganguly, who as Shaina Sikand in Kaahin Kissi Roz has created a cult following for herself.

And then there is Sangeeta Ghosh whose vivacious screen presence in Des Mein Nikla Hoga Chand has won her a instant fame. Gurdeep Kohli who plays Dr Juhie Singh in Sanjivani has won acclaim with her girl-next-door looks and a disarming smile.

Films, they say, can wait. Confident in the fact that with their dedication and commitment there’s only one way to go in television-up, up and up.

Shekhar’s moving on

Shekhar Suman: Pastures new
Shekhar Suman: Pastures new

Ever since his foray into television, Shekhar Suman has never followed the herd. He has let his passion change the rules of the game. Which explains why the failed film star of the eighties is today the hottest anchor on television.

After having worked in dozens of serials and after anchoring Movers & Shakers on Sony which made him a household name, he has now moved on.

Shekhar is the master of ceremonies in a look-alike show — Simply Shekhar on Zee where he’s remembered more for touching Shiv Sena Supremo’s feet than for humour. He has also re-entered films and in Chor Machaye Shor, he plays seven comic roles.

But he says he doesn’t want to keep doing comedy forever. What he’s looking forward to are intense roles where his talent is on display.

"I am not a comedian but an actor with a comic talent. A comedian is someone who is restricted only to comic roles. I am looking around for some intense cameos where my talent shows." And he’s moving in to find such roles.

Return of Numero Uno

He’s returning to the hot seat and so are the wannabes. The Amitabh Bachchan-anchored Kaun Banega Crorepati will be back in business after it has tested the waters for 15 weeks with the Best of KBC every Friday at 8 p.m. on Star Plus.

The current repeats feature some of the best episodes featuring celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Aamir Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, the first Crorepati Harshwardhan Nawathe, some jubilant winners, some brave losers and some intriguing participants.

Now with the leader making a comeback, the season of game shows has been declared open. Sony Entertainment Television is coming up with a new show called Bachke Rehnaa based on the Russian roulette a concept and anchored by Mohnish Behl.

Zee already has Khelo Number Khelo and Karavan Kismet Ka which in no way come in the league of KBC. Both the shows are lottery-based and have two squeaky anchors in Archana Puran Singh and Javed Jaffery.

All of which makes KBC a class act to follow. And Bachchan need not look back nervously over his shoulder. Competition is miles behind.

Life’s stage

Neena Gupta: Full steam ahead
Neena Gupta: Full steam ahead

Her Kamzor Kadi Kaun was a damp squib. Siski sunk without a trace. Still Neena Gupta has a lot to cheer about. Cheer? Considering she’s had two major flops, the lady should be down in the dumps. But no, she’s in a different orbit. From extra-marital affairs she has now moved on to younger themes.

Few know that three of the currently-on hit serials come from her production house. She is making Kyon Hota Hai Pyarr and Son-Pari for Star Plus and Saanjhi for Zee. But the big news is that she has become very active on the stage once again.

There are many new projects in the pipeline "I have been working in several directions in the past few months and hope to make some more quality serials," says Neena.

Now with the news that Kamzor Kadi Kaun may stage a comeback with modifications, Neena is a busy bee. But surprisingly she has managed to find time for the stage — a passion she’s nurtured for years. She is directing and acting in two plays — Surya Ki Antim Kiran Se Surya Ki Pehli Kiran Tak and Doosra Aadmi Doosri Aurat.

Doesn’t the punishing routine exhaust her? "Not really," says Neena. "If you love what you are doing then it’s not work any more." No wonder the lady is such a dynamo.

Power on wheels

Over the past 100 years, Harley-Davidson has become synonymous in the motorcycle world with muscle, passion and power.

Recently, the company introduced one of the most revolutionary new motorcycles in its history — the V-Rod. Designed by the legendary Willie G. Davidson, grandson of one of the company’s founders, the V-Rod promises to challenge the senses for years.

In Birth of the V-Rod on September 29, 7 pm, Discovery Channel takes viewers on an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes ride through the intricate design, engineering and building process of the next generation Harley-Davidson motorbike.

The programme follows the story of the design and creation of this innovative piece of 21st century machinery, from the initial sketches on dinner napkins through the unveiling of the finished product to dealers to the ultimate litmus test — test rides.

From sketching out the design to home movies of riding early prototypes around the neighbourhood, the show gets the inside scoop on the epic battles between the neighbourhood, the show gets the inside scoop on the epic battle between the dreamers and the engineers struggling to turn their dreams into a bike.

For all you bike enthusiasts this is a rare treat you’ll relish for a long time to come.

Mysteries of death

It’s the season of death at the National Geographic Channel. Even as leading explorers explain mysteries of the pyramids and how the ancient Egyptians disposed their dead kings and queens, another programme examines why people die of natural calamities.

In forensic science, death is not the end; it is only the beginning. DNA samples retrieved from victims of a viral outbreak yields clues to preventing such epidemics in future; carbon-dating of an excavated city gives information on what led to its demise.

In Riddles of the Dead on the National Geographic Channel, starting September 29 at 8 p.m, viewers join scientists as they use forensics and new technology to piece together clues of some of the most puzzling mysteries.

The 13-part series shows archaeologists, palaeonotologists, forensic scientist and criminal medical specialists investigate extraordinary riddles of our times.

Future episodes in the series include Dracula Unearthed which differentiates between the myth and reality of the legendary Count Dracula. Other fascinating episodes include Biography of a Corpse and The Man Behind the Shroud. Tune into this deadly programme and meet scientists who’ve made death their life’s mission.

— Mukesh Khosla

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