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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baa Bahoo Aur Baby: A realistic serial

Baa Bahoo Aur Baby is a serial that is pretty different from the other serials that come on the various TV channels; and especially very different from the K serials of Balaji Telefilms. There are many similarities:
- This also has a family situation like the K serials
- There is a Saas and various bahus in the serial like the K serials
- The saas is the head of the household and everything runs according to her (atleast that's her wish)

However, there are very many differences that make this a unique serial:
- The serial is about the middle class as opposed to the rich people of the K serials
- The saas is not evil, nor are any of the characters shown as deliberately mean unlike the K serials where there will be one or more characters who are shown as mean from the beginning
- The serial does not seem to want to suddenly jump by 20 years as opposed to other serials that jump by 20 years, maybe more than one
- The people in this serial look real, and when they wake up, you don't see them still immaculately dressed or painted in full make-up

Okay, now that we have established that this serial is unlike any of the K serials, we can talk about the serial. The serial is about a matriarch, Godaveri Thakkar, who runs the household and has a total of 7 children, 5 of them sons and 2 daughters, and most of them have a family of their own. Most of them live with her in the same house, donated to her by her her sister-in-law Gurvanti. Godaveri has her husband also living in the same house, Labhshanker Thakkar who is a good-for-nothing alcoholic and does not contribute significantly to the running of the house. Godaveri is not a dictator, but her word is law and in most of the cases, her decisions seem to be based on some logic, although there is the usual resentment among some member of the family or the other depending on who got affected by what decision.
Her family has a number of different characters, whether they be among her sons or her daughter-in-laws. He eldest son Arvind for example, is a boring character, but very responsible. His wife Leela is a jovial person, but very fond of daydreaming. Similarly, her other characters in the household such as sons Pravin (fond of money and a tight-fist), Pravina (Pravin's wife and a prankster, but about whom Baa always finds out), Subodh (an actor), Meenakshi (Subodh's wife and fond of fasting and crying), Harshad (a doctor and who lives outside the house, but is now reconciled with Baa), Shilpa (Harshad's wide and a doctor), Charubala (daughter of Baa and egoistical), Gopal (known popularly as Gattu, he is retarded and hence not capable of behaving like a true adult; he is very popular, my young nephew only knows him from the serial), and Radhika (known as Baby, she has polio and crutches, but is very strong-willed).
These are not rich people, and yet have a strong sense of pride. The serial is particularly middle class, and these people do not have a business that is making them lots of money. The men work outside and make a living from that. An episode or a series of episodes talk about mini-stories that are captivating to some degree; such as the quest to get a husband for Baby and the issues related to her polio affecting the types of boys coming to see, such as the historical background for why her daughter is now being refused by another family, or their relationship with the estranged son Harshad and how his dying son is bringing them together again.
People who watch this serial regularly can identify with a lot of the issues that they face, even the jealousy between the different family member is not a killing jealousy, instead they have their issues which eventually gets worked out.
The serial started in 2005, and is fairly popular for the reason that the scenarios described are realistic, there is no vulgarity, you can watch it without suddenly seeing cars braking or doing full speed chases, or a villain trying to seduce a young girl and so on. The serial is on Friday to Sunday on Star Plus at 10 PM. Also, the serial is directed by Deven Bhojwani who also plays the retarded 'Gattu'.
For a lot more detail about each character and some of the stories, refer to Wikipedia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Teen Bahuraniyan on Zee

When I first saw this serial, I was flabber-gasted. Imagine having the typical saas-bahu serial, and multiply that by 4. So you have the Gheewala parivar with the patriarch living with his wife and mother. He has 3 sons, and 3 daughter-in-laws. The 3 sons in turn have a son each, and each son is getting married, so there are 3 new bahus in the house. Make sense, or let me repeat. There is this guy with wife and mother; he has 3 sons and daughter-in-laws and each son in turn has a son and daughter-in-law. Serial is fairly new, and comes at 10:30 PM on Zee, and just started in March 2007.
In the household, his word is law. But not all is well. Each son is somewhat lead by their wife, who essentially dominate what will happen. So there is one shrewish daughter-in-law, Kokila, who is portrayed as the most manipulative daughter-in-law. She has this annoying habit of saying 'Don't mind', and then spewing venom. Her husband is in her control. The 3 daughter-in-laws are always in competition with each other, including who will get the best bahu for their son.
So the 3 sons get married, and the daughter-in-laws arrive to the household, and these are shown as somewhat better that their mother-in-laws. However, Kokila has to show that she is supreme, and show down her bahu, something that she tries on a number of occasions. Things come to a head when the father of Kokila arrives on a visit, and like his daughter believes in divide and rule. He manages to induce his son-in-law and his brothers to turn against their father in open defiance. By the time he leaves, the change has happened, with the sons and wives no longer willing to listen to the head of the family.
Finally, the father splits the house, and makes lines demarcating each person's area, and in turn he lives outside the house. And what happens next? The daughter-in-laws says that this is good, and forbid any contact of their son and daughter-in-law with the other families. This happened all of a sudden. Suddenly, they are shown to be very petty towards each other, and openly acting against each other. The sons also break off from their father, unwilling to support him, something that seems a bit strange. After all, out of 3 sons, you would expect one of them to be supportive.
Anyhow, the 3 new bahus are very surprised and shocked at this turn of events, and would like to reverse it, but are unable to do because of the opposition of their saas. But they start planning, and first one bahu walks out, and then another. The movement seems to be that the bahus will bring sense into their mother-in-law and make things a happy family again. But the serial is only a few months old, so you would expect a lot of things to happen in this serial.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Salman Khan

Now the the movie release of the latest Salman Khan movie, Partner has just happened, Salman appeared on the singing talent show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa on Zee TV at 10 PM. This was a show that lasted for around 100 minutes, and this episode was essentially centered on Salman Khan. The songs were from his movies, he spoke a lot during the show and he also captured a lot of the attention by dancing for some of the songs.
There are many things endearing about Salman. At times, he seems just like a kid in the way that he behaves, suddenly jumping on the stage to dance and have fun. He had some fun by going and removing the upper shirt from one of the contestants when he was singing a song that Salman had sung bare-chested in the movie, Jab Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya.
At other times, he was very endearing in the way that he tried to speak in a very friendly and normal way to many of the contestants, trying hard to give none of the star airs, encouraging them, and pepping them up. He also praised a lot of them for the quality of their songs, and many of the judges also seemed to get inspired, giving many of the contestants top scores.
It was easy to miss his co-star from the movie, Lara Dutta. Salman is obviously the more important star, but the crowd, the judges, the contestants all made a beeline for Salman, so one could see Lara Datta being left out. She spoke for all the contestants, but in front of Salman, somehow one did not much of a impression of her being noticed.
Slowly, this concept of stars coming on TV to promote their movies has increased more prominently in the recent past, with publicity being such a strong need to make a movie hit, a popular music show with the potential to showcase the movie to some extent seems like an excellent choice. For the TV show also, getting a super-star would have brought more people to the show. So Govinda, co-star from the movie appeared in Indian Idol, just the day before.
Such things have happened more frequently. In the past, this marriage between movies and TV would never have happened, with movies stars looking down on the small screen, and TV shows not even trying to movie stars (or has-beens on their shows). But, you find besides the people mentioned above, Suneil Shetty, Shilpa Shetty, Javed Jaffrey, and numerous other stars all appearing on TV. And I did not even mention the cast of Big Boss that had a number of stars such as Rahul Roy, Kashmira Shah, Rakhi Sawant, etc, giving it all up to spend some dedicated time on TV.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interaction between the 2 popular K serials on Star Plus

The serials I am talking about are of course, 'Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki' and 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi', starring Parvati and Tulsi respectively as the bahu, saas, victimised, kali, avenger, heroine, and all that. It was a chance observation from my spouse that brought on this post.
The way I see these serials is that they complement each other and add things to each other (and I am not even talking about those 2 ridiculous episodes when they combined these 2 serials along with another one, Kayamath to have two 90 minute episodes where characters from all 3 serials acted (it was lucky that there was no actor common between these 3 serials)).
Let me try and list down a few things:
1. Both serials are merging towards a common theme whereby the heroine is wronged terribly by members of her own family or people very close to her, and after a long long time, she is back to take revenge.
2. In both cases, the heroine was gone for 18 years and comes back, assumes her role after some time along with taking revenge.
3. In both serials, the same effects are used (like faces breaking apart when some sudden news happens, and so on). Although these effects are also used by other K serials as well. So, if you see a new effect happening in one, you know that it is going to occur in the other serials as well
4. In both the serials, there has been a sudden conversion of a good person into a villain; so if in the Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, it's the grandson Pranay who suddenly turns into a villain when he discovers his mother is different from the one who brought him up; in Kunki, it's the bahu Tanya and Ganga who were the loved ones, and who have been turned into the villain vamps when facing some moralizing by Tulsi
5. And of course, there was one more thing that somehow seems not so obvious, but is there. I have observed that when there is a crisis or a confrontation (a peak point) in one serial, then things are somewhat cooler in the other serial. So for example, very recently, when Parvati is seeing the truth of Suyesh Mehra and fighting Rajehswari for the house, things are somewhat normal with Tulsi. And when Tulsi was fighting her battle inside the mental house, things were not peaking with Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (they were tense, but not the confrontation). I suppose the idea would be to not have both of them being tense at the same time since if you have one tense, there is a fair chance that people will stick on to watch the other serial as well.

I wonder what other people think of all this ?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Indian Idol videos

If you are a fan of Indian Idol running on Sony TV for some time now, then you might want to review some of the best performances again, or look at video of these performances in case you missed some. So here is a chance to view some of these videos on the internet:

On YouTube

On Google Videos

On AOL Videos

On Sify Channel (Partner)

Yet another location

Videos of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge

If you are an avid listener of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa VishwaYudh challenge 2007 and want to listen to some of your favourites, be they Mouli Dave, Aneek, Junaid, Amanat Ali, Raja Hasan, Yogendra Pathak, Musarrat Abbas, Sikandar Ali, Sarika, Abhijeet Kosambe, then use the links below

Listen to these on Youtube

Or on Google Videos

Or on AOL Videos

Or on (Official Partner)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Music reality shows, their judges and fighting ..

There are currently 3 reality shows running on 3 different channels, all related to music. There is 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007' on Zee, also called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Sangeeth ka Pratham Vishwa Yudh' with contestants from all over, selected through auditions. It started on the 4th of May. And there is the 3rd edition of Indian Idol on Sony; and finally Star Voice of India that premiered on Star and was Star's attempt to break into the music land.
I had occasion to read a report about the TRP's of these 3, and it seemed to confirm what I had from empirical observations, the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa was way ahead, followed by Indian Idol and then Star Voice of India. In my own house, on 2 different channels, the same thing can be seen, with both TV's (spouse and parents) switched onto Zee, on a break onto the Indian Idol, and then rarely the Star Voice of India.
Why so ? I think in the end, the program format, and the choice of judges on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa seems to be the best. What seems to sell, is that there is a certain amount of friction, and it seems natural, since the judges seem to be of the type who have a certain amount of arrogance and are expected to behave in this way. In addition, many times the judges have disputes, and the serial atleast shows parts of these disputes. This adds to the masala of the show, and somehow makes it seem more realistic. So, for example, you had Ismail Darbar doing a major protest against the introduction of 2 regional awards winners, protesting about their not being there from the beginning. The compere, Aditya Narayan was not easily able to mollify him, but in the end, all of them together succeeded.
Further, you have Himesh Reshammiya, who is in a class by himself. Before his movie was released, he was all fire and fury, and he could be expected to throw some sort of tantrum in every episode, although it was fun to watch. But as the release of his debut movie 'Aap Ka Suroor' came closer, he turned more restrained; although I do not expect this to last. The other judges, Bappi Lahiri and Vishal-Shekhar are also in a separate class. Bappi Lahiri, in all his decorations and jewellery, always has some sort of lesson to give, and can be counted on to sing something or the other (and I still admire his voice). It is interesting to watch Vishal-Shekhar, they seeming to be the junior-most judges. Vishal's stare is incredible, never seeming to blink. These 2 are also the most important people for most of the contestants now, with promises being made to many of the contestants about singing for them (which is very good thing). But I tell you, it's interesting to watch the program for many reasons, the singers who are remaining seem to be very good (especially the regional winners of the Bangla and Marathi episodes - Anik Dhar and Abhijeet Kosambi), and there seems to be good relationship between the judges, even when they are in conflict. Aditya Nayarayan is also a revelation, at the beginning, he seemed to be nervous, but is far more comfortable now, even giving his own opinions on many of the singers.
Indian Idol has lost some of the initial charm, for one, the past winners have not done anywhere near as good as one would have thought of people winning the music reality program of a leading TV channel. Anu Malik, Alisha Chinai, Javed Akhtar, and Udit Narayan are the judges. Interesting that Udit is the judge in one, while his son hosts the other. Wonder about conflicts of interest. The program somehow needs to depend on having a celebrity on every episode, and you wonder about actors being able to comment on singing skills (and many times, the actors display ignorance, and you wonder why they are calling celebrities). The show is presented by Hussain and Mini Mathur, but somehow there is just not the excitement that one would expect in a major show. I have always felt that Anu Malik is acerbic just for the heck of it. It is also interesting to see Alisha Chinai and Anu Malik in the same program, given that she had once accused him of sexual harassment.
Judges for the Star Voice of India are Jatin, Aadesh Srivastav, Abhijit Bhattacharya, Alka Yagnik and Lalit, and directed by Gajendra Singh, who created the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series. This is hosted by Shaan. I really don't have much feedback for this program, having watched a bit only, but I was not terribly impressed. I didn't see much that would make me start watching the program. There seems to be some tension between the judges as well. Some of the judgments left me wondering as to their logic.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki: Videos

For those fans of the Sahara One serial, here are some of the locations where videos can be found. These are not arranged in any particular order, but if you want to watch them in order, then obviously you have not been watching the serial properly. It comes at night at 9 PM, and in the morning at 10 AM.

Google Video (Rental)



Woh Rehne Waali Mehlon Ki: By Rajshri

This is a serial by Rajshri, and given that this serial is not from the K camp (Balaji Telefilms), the expectation was that the serial would be different from the regular saas-bahu stuff that happens on all the channels, and it was different. I liked this serial (although there were some episodes that I thought were slow and could have done with some effort to speed up things). I asked around, and looked at forum postings, and found mostly that people were appreciative of the serial. It has a nice sweet ring through the whole serial, and was nice.
The serial does have familiar elements that people find in other serials, such as a 20 year transformation happening suddenly; a saas who is a terror to her bahu (the saas is forever scheming of ways to get rid of her, including trying to burn her on a gas stove). And now relatives, who are also scheming of ways to get the family wealth.
This serial comes on Sahara at 9:00 - 9:30 PM on weekdays. Starting on May 30, 2005; it recently completed 500 episodes. The serial already has had one 20 year leap and has passed onto the next generation. The lead characters of the current episode on air have got attention due to their pleasing personalities and looks with Reena Kapoor playing the role of Rani/Pari.
The story is not very complicated. Rani was from a rich household married into a middle class family of Prince. She adjusts and wins everyone over. She has a daughter called Pari (who has a limp).
Cut to 20 years later. Rani is now dead, and Pari has been brought up by her grandmother, and then she gets married to Soumya. Soumya married Pari because he loved somebody else, but his family guru had claimed that his wife would die in 40 days, so they need somebody else to get married to Soumya first. Her family and Soumya's grandfather do not know about this. Eventually, Pari almost dies but has a memory loss. In the meantime her family gets to know and are furious. Soumya has a change of heart, and within some time, Pari also gets her memory back. She has won over everyone except for her mother-in-law who is not prepared to accept her.
Also, Soumya's uncle turns up with his son Samir (Soumya is elder by 2 days and hence is the family heir). Samir is arrogant and his parents want him to get a share. The main issue now is the tension between them. Soumya's grandfather wants to get the family to live together, but there are an incredible amount of tension in the house. Paru is trying to help in this process of reconciliation, but is hard.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Videos of Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin

It has been some time that this serial has been off the air, so if you are looking for some videos of this hit serial, here they are:

Google Video


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Videos of Saat Phere

You watched it on television, but now you want to get some of the episodes in the form of downloadable video, well, here are some of the links you can use. Please remember, these links are not indexes in terms of sequence of occurrence, but you can find most episodes by searching:



Google Videos



Enjoy Nautanki TV