Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hats off to Ekta Kapoor!

More than six years, more than 1200 episodes, more television awards than any other soap on the Indian television, more number of characters than you care to remember, more drama than ever seen on Indian television before, more generations than can ever come together in reality, thats the Virani Parivaar of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (KSBKBT). Tulsi Virani, the central character of the serial, holds the family together with a carrot and a stick attitude. She instills the right values, evokes the appropriate emotions, scolds and slaps at the right time. The same amount of drama as KSBKBT, again more number of characters and more generations than one cares to remember, over dressed bahus, scheming bahus, crying bahus, ideal bahus, you will find them all in the Agarwal household of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (KGGK). Parvati Agarwal, the eldest bahu of the family does everything to save the family from evil eyes, fulfilling the duties of her dead husband. Produced by Balaji Telefilms, the brainchild of Ekta Kapoor, who is the celebrated daughter of our own jumping jack of yesteryears, Jitendra, KSBKBT and KGGK, are two of the oldest and most popular of the popularly called ‘K’ series soaps. These serials are a subject of ridicule for the so called generation ‘X’. And I was one of them till fate too a 180 degree turn and hurled me in the opposite camp of those who religiously watch these serials. I used to laugh at the senseless melodrama, the eccentricities, the emotional blackmailing, the lovey-dovey-weepy-villainy scenes which are so common to these soaps. I started watching these soaps with the sole intention of making fun of those who watch them. However, the more I watched, the more I got hooked on to them. I soon realized that there is a lot more to these serials than just the apparently ridiculous stuff. For example, there is something about the background music “Ram Ram Jai Raja Ram, Ram Ram Jai Sita Ram” of KSBKBT or the pain in the eyes of Parvati Agarwal when she talks to her dead husband, Om. Somewhere these serials catch the imagination of the viewers with the portrayal of the values, the traditions, the culture, which are a part of the extended joint family system in India, which has been breaking up rapidly now. For example, the respect that Tulsi commands from her sons or the emotions shared by the brothers which keeps them together in spite of the differences between them, these values touch a chord within me which is difficult to express. Similarly, Parvati Agarwal selflessly taking care of every member in the household in spite of the others mistrusting her or accusing her of various wrong doings stands out as the epitome of patience and perseverance. Well, I had resolved to stop watching the serials after a few episodes. And I would have. But, at this point, I must laud Ekta Kapoor for being a master story teller. As soon as I was ready to stop watching both the serials after Tulsi Virani came back to the palatial Virani house and accepted Mihir Virani again in KSBKBT and in KGGK, Parvati Agarwal was finally able to send Suyash Mehra to Jail for the murder of her husband Om, story in both the serials have taken a twist. In KSBKBT, a new character named Abeer has been introduced who is apparently taking revenge from the Virani’s. But for what? Who is he? What does he want? Will he be able to marry Bhumi (daughter of Karan, son of Tulsi)? Has Karan survived the accident orchestrated by Abeer? Or will we see Karan, a very popular character, exiting the serial? Similarly in KGGK, suddenly Suyash Mehra is being shown as a victim. He seems to be genuinely in love with Parvati Agarwal. There is someone else who has masterminded the whole thing, making it appear as though Suyash killed Om. But who is this person? There is also this angle of three ladies in the Agarwal household being pregnant at the same time. The serial has been fast forwarded six months in one episode. Three months more to go. There have been indications that at the end of these three months, the mystery surrounding Suyash Mehra and the mind behind Om’s murder would also be revealed. Whoa! When you are caught with such important questions, how can you stop watching the soap?
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