Monthly Archives: October 2013
Dedicating the first Video Mix of our blog to the one and only Kunal Karan Kapoor…..
Kahani Ab tak – Meri Zubaani
A Race Against Time!
It isn’t often that we have a Hindi television series that makes you sit up and focus your undivided attention on the screen. So “hurray!” was my reaction to the news that Anil Kapoor was bringing to us a series of international standards ‘24’ is an Indian adaptation of the American series of the same name .The story takes place over 24 hrs, has only 24 episodes and is about the race against time to foil an assassination bid on Aditya Singhania the future prime minister of India.
Inter linked with the main plot are many sub-plots which build up interest and add to the pace of the story. On one hand we have a ruthless sharpshooting mercenary with a new face; coupled with a woman who kills, blows up a plane while calmly parachuting out and a cold and meticulous boss Yakub who is directing the whole assassination operation. On the other hand we have a man of integrity in Jai Singh Rathore the chief of the ATU ( Anti-terrorist Unit) who is racing against time to find a lead and foil the assassination bid. In the midst of this ,he receives the shocking information that there is a traitor within the ATU and can trust no one. Can it be Tej the second in command who is jealous of Jai’s relationship with agent Nikita Rai (Mandira Bedi) ,or Zia(another agent) or Nikita herself?
In the meantime there is trouble brewing on Jai’s domestic front . His daughter Kiran upset at his giving priority to his work, sneaks off late at night with a friend Jhanavi and is kidnapped by two men . While Jai’s wife Trisha accompanied by Jhanavi’s father searches for the girls; the girls make a desperate bid to escape from the kidnappers. Jhanavi escapes but ends up in hospital, unconscious, where she is smothered to death by the man we thought was her father .Now Trisha too ends up in the hands of the terrorists along with Kiran!
Neil Bhoopalam plays Aditya Singhania the future prime minister, a straight forward man of principle and a youth icon. Anita Raj excells as his pushy mother, Naina Singhania, determined to place her son on the PM’s seat. A renowned journalist threatens to disclose something from Aditya’s past, adding to the tension.
Jai is compelled to follow Yakub instructions fearing his daughter’s death. Jai is torn between his love for his family and his loyalty to his country and duty. At Aditya’s meeting with the labour union, Jai is forced to help the sharp shooter who is impersonating as a photographer; however the assassin’s bullet goes astray due to a disturbance he creates. While Jai is arrested for attempted assassination the sniper manages to slips away! The episode of 26th Oct ends with Nikita and Tej finding out that Jia is the one who has betrayed them and that Jai fearful for his family’s life is being compelled to obey the terrorists.
Will Jai’s innocence be proved and what will be the fate of his family? Who is the person responsible for the news from Aditya Singhania’s past reaching the journalist ? The bitter aunt, cousin Prithvi or Vikrant the boorish, alcoholic husband of Divya Singhania who is having an affair with the journalist played by Suchitra Pillai.
Will Naina Singhania find the journalist’s weak spot and use it as leverage to stop her from exposing her son? Who are the people behind the assassination attempt? Are they terrorists or is someone else behind it …could it be the P.M’s seat that they are after?
So many questions needing answers, a sure shot way to keep the viewers guessing and hooked! All said and done, though not perfect, 24 is pretty riveting and will keep you glued to the screen each Friday and Saturday!
Tracking the episodes aired till Oct 26.
What are your views about 24? Did it live upto your expectations or did it fall short. If you loved it do tell us what you liked best or what irritated you, while we wait for the story to unfold further.
Unheralded, unsung and without a big bang
Out of the blue, into our mundane lives he sprang!
He got us all hooked, kids, women and men,
All glued to their screens, at half past ten!
Such was the lure of the man,
He made millions, into diehard fans!
My first encounter, got me curious,
I had everyone around me, furious!
My life revolved, around the serial,
Other things, in comparison become menial!
“Have a life”, was someone’s reaction,
But I couldn’t get over, watching Mohan in action!
It’s late slot though, was daunting me,
“Dere na,” wouldn’t stop haunting me,
I had to talk, or I would go mad,
So I held forth to my friends, when lunch we had!
In our fifties, an age for meditation, books and Tai chi,
My outpourings brought bemused looks, smiles, and some hehe!
Bas yeh thi meri dukh bhari kahani,
The angst of a Mohan diwani, kise ne na jani,
Till came a time, a few viewed and thought,
Yes, there is something about the man to make her besot!
Coffee at 10, and phone at five,
Become the most awaited hours, of my life!
Discussions we held, at the expense of chores,
In their absence now, Oh! Life is such a bore!
Any character Kunal, effortlessly can, portray,
But as Mohan, he simply took our breaths away!
This ‘king of expression’, young hearts so enthralls,
That seeking any nugget, the net they trawl!
To get a response, is every fan’s dream,
When one does, in their eyes, there is such a gleam!
Siggies, Avtar, VM were words unheard,
Now I’m trying them undaunted, unfazed and not unnerved!
Writing for many became a passion,
As if it was the latest fashion!
Fan club on fb, a page and twitter,
A blog! And our lives began to glitter!
Virtual friends have come in, for instance,
A family became we, at “Happenstance”!
To do something to make him happy,
Our efforts sometimes, got a little crappy!
He inspires us, though it is difficult to fathom why?
For he himself, is humble and oh! So shy!
A trip to Mumbai did not suffice,
I found myself walking on thin ice!!
It’s crazy, silly, amusing, not hell
The way he cast us, under his spell!
The fact of it, has still not dawned,
That for now, from our screens, he has gone!
Life without him is dull and slack,
Oh! how we wish , he was back!
Watching NBT reruns some pleasure we derive
He left without telling us how to survive!
“Come back” they clamour his fans galore,
Come back, we want you, on our screen once more!
So, Kunal K Kapoor this blog, we dedicate to you,
For the things in us, you have inspired and we have imbued!
Khelti hai zindagi aankh micholi, the new show of Zee TV at 10pm (Monday to Friday) is a touching story of a young widow Shruti Joshipura (Gautami Kapoor) and her two daughters…Amy (Ulka Gupta) and Khushboo (Reem A Sheikh). The story revolves around these three characters and their struggle to find a foothold after the death of Harsh Joshipura (Vinay Jain), Shruti’s husband, in an accident. After Harsh’s death, it was Sanjay Mehta’s (Manav Gohil) constant support that helped Shruti and the girls pull through the trauma, the girls finding a father figure in him.
Harsh Joshipura was a perfect family man, Shruti’s soulmate, a friend, philosopher and guide to Amy and a perfect son to Baa (Farida Dadi). His untimely death two years back created a vacuum in Joshipura family which is yet to be filled. Amy, a teenager is lost and confused and finds it hard to move on without her father, who she adored. For Amy her father was the best man on earth. She is unable to focus on studies and has fallen into bad company at school. Quite often her misgivings have proved challenging to her mother.
As a sole bread earner of the family, Shruti is trying her best to give her daughters good education and a secured life, despite struggling to strike a balance between home and work. The family is fighting for the insurance claim, which the Company has declined based on rumors that Harsh’s death was a suicide and not an accident. Sanjay comes to their rescue, he helps her get a lawyer to fight a case against the insurance company. Just when things seem settling Shruti loses her job due to Amy
Sanjay Mehta is a decent, caring,matured ‘n’a selfless man. Although he belongs to an eminent business family of Baroda, he has not joined their family business, instead runs a partnership company. When Shruti loses her job, Sanjay requests her to join him which she does hesitantly. He makes it a point that he does everything to keep Shruti and family happy. This said, his mother Prabha Devi (Soma Anand) dislikes their friendship and wants Sanjay to settle down with a girl of her choice. Sanjay rejects all the alliances his mother brings for him enraging his mother further. In the process he also realizes he loves Shruti and takes courage to propose to her. They say ”Pyar jab hona hota hai..toh baas ho jata hai.”. How true. Enraged at this sudden turn of events, Shruti decides to quit her job with Sanjay and break all ties with him.
Hoshipura family faces a new crisis when their landlady serves them a notice to vacate the house they were staying in a month’s time. The entire family, especially Amy is very attached to the house because she feels her late father’s presence in everything around. The Mehta family is also going through a major crisis as their son-in-law is arrested in a passport fraud case.
Having quit, Shruti is serving her month long notice period trying her best to remain normal. Sanjay tries to maintain a distance with Shruti and starts treating her like an employee. This hurts Shruti a lot, …..she feels humiliated when Sanjay shouts on her for a genuine mistake she commits. Unable to bear the dilemma, she breaks down wondering what made her lose a good friend forever. Sanjay tries to console her, makes her understand that he loves her very much and will love her forever.
”Ristein badal rahe hai Shruti…ristein badal chukke hai…” he tells her…. but Shruti is unable to accept this change in Sanjay. Shruti’s mother, who’s aware of Sanjay’s proposal, tries to convince Shruti to give life a second chance.
- What will Shruti do?
- Will she accept Sanjay’s love?
- Shruti’s concern for Sanjay..Is it love or just friendship ?
- Will Amy accept Sanjay as her father….???
Badaalte Ristein kya baadlav lata hai Shruti- Sanjay aur unn dono k parivaar walon k jeevan mein…..Dekhne k liye..Stay tuned to Zee TV..Monday to Friday, 10 PM.
—Sharmila Gupta Sen —
Tete- a- tete with Sonal Ganatra
Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Saas Bina Sasural and now Khelti hai zindagi aankh micholi, the list seem endless. One of the best writers Indian television has seen, she created a mark for herself with the recent success, Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha. Passionate about her style, deeply connected to her characters, incredibly close to ‘slice of life’ and above all an impeccable storyteller, one could go on…..one wonders if she studied human behavior closely to weave magic in her plots such that hardened critics could not help but laud and admire her…
HERE’S A PEEP INTO SONAL GANATRA, THE WOMAN BEHIND THE WRITER.
“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Tell us something about such moments of future as a kid.
I was 13, had just entered high school and it was a different atmosphere with new classmates and teachers, new subjects, some of which I hated. I wrote a tragi-comic poem on my teachers, titled ‘Prickly Preachers’ … one of my dad’s friends read it, and sent it to the supplementary section of The Times of India. It got published and they actually sent me a cheque of Rs.25 for it! … And my sporting teachers proudly displayed the poem on school notice board… it made me think I could be a writer some day.
How did television happen? Do you enjoy writing for television?
In the period of 1999-2003, three of my Gujarati novels were published in Gujarati newspapers and later there was a proposal to make one of them into a TV serial. That deal never worked out, but it got me in touch with Mr. J.D. Majethia and I became a part of several shows of Hatsoff Productions like Mein Office Tere Aangan Ki, Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai, EK Packet Umeed, Burey bhi hum Bhale bhi Hum, Sukh by Chance etc.
In earlier years of my writing, I enjoyed the entire process of learning how to write for a medium which was new to me. I interacted with dozens of prolific writers and directors, picked up tips on how to enhance my skills and think out of the box. But the uncertainty of projects and non-professional behaviour at times have been major put offs too. Since I am not a typical soap writer, it has always been a struggle to balance writing sensibility with commercial formulae of TV shows. My first show went on air in August, 2004 … so it has been a pretty long time. An honest answer to the second part of the question is that I have enjoyed writing for television, but now I increasingly yearn to do something different.
‘A woman of success or A woman of value ’ Where do you see yourself five years from now ?
Being a woman of value was never an option … it is a constant throughout life. So hopefully a woman of success – five years down the line.
‘We don’t meet people by accident, they are meant to cross our paths for a reason’ Two such people who have crossed your paths and stayed on forever.
I feel each person who has crossed my path has had a reason to do so, choosing just two is so difficult. I was the Prefect in Class Nine, when I had a fight with some new students. The most mischievous girls in that group, two real sisters – Sona and Anisha- ended up being my best friends and are still a part of my life.
On the professional front, I have met so many talented and unconventional people in Television industry, but one person who has really stayed on is the eminent writer Dhiruben Patel, 87, Sahitya Akademi prize winner and one of the pillars of modern Gujarati literature. I was supposed to adapt one of her novels for a TV show. The project never took off, but in her I have found an amazing friend and a calming influence.
‘The tragedy lies not in dreams unfulfilled, but in no dreams to fulfill’ that one unfulfilled dream you still pursue and hope to achieve.
I started off professionally as a novelist, and though I have achieved more success and recognition as a TV writer, I would like to go back to novel writing. The episode of a TV serial lasts for just 22 minutes and is then gone forever. I would like to write something that remains with the readers for a long, long time.
Rapid Fire :
A movie unforgettable : Dil Hai ki Maanta Nahi
A character unforgettable: Mohan Bhatnagar
A book you felt you could rewrite for the better: My first novel Partitioned Hearts
Favorite song right now: Tum hi ho Bandhu (Cocktail)
Favorite quote from anything you have written: Can’t choose any one
Favorite pick up line : I love the way your eyes twinkle when you smile
A dream holiday to: Europe
A dream dinner with: Barack Obama… such a fascinating man
Hobby besides writing : Cooking, Travelling
Stuck in an elevator with: umm… hmmm… J
When going gets tough: Sonal gets tougher
A walk in the clouds with: God.
********* Thanks a ton, Sonal ********.
— Credit Sharmila Gupta Sen —