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Balika Vadhu

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CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 11 April 2009 at 9:54pm | IP Logged
Source : The Times of India




There was a time when TV soaps were spinning around saas and bahu sagas and it was then followed by a period which showcased what was popularly


known as 'family tales.'

(Of course that included kitchen politics also). And now we see GECs (General Entertainment Channels) having soaps revolving around social issues.

These issues portray social evils that are still a part of our society. To give a few examples, some of the soaps take upon issues like dowry, child marriage, widow re-marriage, and 'forcible' arranged marriage, the challenges revolving the girl child, superstitions and the like. Interestingly, most of these soaps have a socially relevant message to wrap up the episodes or tracks.

Why are such serials taking the centre stage? Is it merely a fad on Indian television?

Producer Rajan Shahi says that the reason why such serials are on prime time television is that, "The audience was fed up of all the artificial storylines that ruled the prime time slot earlier. They want to watch serials that they can relate to. And that is why soaps that have a relevant social message are very popular."

Even Sujoy Wadhwa, producer of two soaps that are based on social issues agrees to the same as he shares, "In a nutshell, these soaps are the 'flavour of the season'! Unlike earlier concepts of saas-bahu based soaps or family dramas this genre will enjoy a longer stint on television." These soaps call for adequate research on the part of the producers and directors.


During the golden days of Indian television, read the yesteryears, there were a couple of shows that took on social issues. But now, daily soaps have taken them on with a vengeance So, what do veteran actors feel about this trend? Actor Anang Desai says, "Soaps comprising social issues are a good watch. Though what is important is that such shows have to be presented in a proper manner. Producers need to be careful."

Sanjay Upadhyaya, fiction head of a popular GEC tells us, "Many GECs have small towns and villages as their target group. So the idea behind social dramas is to empower women and the tool used here is story telling." Though, he adds, "Soaps revolving around social issues is a welcome change. But when we have too many soaps on a similar theme, they all look and feel the same."

But as these soaps grab eye balls and are successful, the new trend on telly will stay.

[Sunjoy Wadhwa is the producer of Balika Vadhu ]

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Posted: 12 April 2009 at 7:52am | IP Logged
Winds of change

After the death of Sugna's groom on Balika Vadhu , the entire household seemed to have become gloomy.



But the arrival of Farida Jalal who's seen as Maasaa's elder sister, seems to be the breath of fresh air that the household needed. Jalal as Badi Jiji comes to spend a few days with Kalyani (Surekha Sikri) and her family ends up doing a lot more than just enjoy her sojourn.

Right from the day Jiji enters Kalyani's house, one can see the winds of change in the household. Although elder to Kalyani, Jiji is a child at heart. Jiji believes in making people around her happy and not holding them at ransom to follow dogmatic traditions. With this, the show has taken on an interesting turn now, as we get to see Maasaa in a new light. After having seen her as the strict mother-in-law, seeing Maasaa as a younger sister, giving in to Jiji's requests is a welcome twist. Jiji, although rooted in tradition, has a modern outlook. She effortlessly breaks the shackles of rigid traditions.


She brings back innocence into Anandi's and Sugna's life. For the first time, the entire family enjoys little pleasures like playing outdoor games or going shopping. The family even indulges in a fun-filled evening of antakshari. Jiji's entry seems to have made the serial livelier. To share the family's moments of joy tune into Balika Vadhu, every Monday to Friday at 8 pm on Colors.

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/TV-/Winds-of-change/articleshow/4391760.cms
CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 14 April 2009 at 8:31am | IP Logged

From a teenage bride and then widow in Color's Balika Vadhu to a ghost in Zee's Shree. Isn't that a big risk?
That's another way of putting it. But when Zee approached me for the role, I realised that it's a great opportunity to explore a drastically different form of acting and widen my horizon.

Do you believe in ghosts?
I do, and I get frightened each time I watch a horror show or film. But acting as one is okay especially since I won't be the victim this time.

Tell us a little about your character in Shree.
I'm the ghost that has been haunting the Raghuvanshi family and especially Wasna Ahmed's character, the daughter-in-law. As Kangana, I reveal some long-kept secrets of the Raghuvanshis as Kangana shared her history with them. That's all I can reveal for now but I can assure you that I play a central character after Kangana is introduced on the show sometime next week.

What will you, as Kangana, look like?
I won't be a ghastly ghost but I will inherit my white sari from Balika Vadhu. Dressed in pastels like peaches, pale yellow and white saris, I'll leave my hair open. It's a simple yet effective look.

Your character in Balika Vadhu shot into limelight especially after your on-screen husband, Pratap, died. Isn't it ironical?
I became the centre of everyone's sympathies after that. A couple of neighbours and acquaintances would often come over and tell me that they lost their appetite whenever they tried to have dinner while watching the show. It's strange because it's just a character after all and it hasn't affected me one bit in real life. But I do appreciate the love and the attention, especially coming from the kids.

Balika Vadhu's new entrant is Farida Jalal.
She is a star! She is as jovial in real life as is on the show. With her around, we're always having fun. But the most amazing thing about her is that she doesn't need glycerin to cry — whenever the director asks her to shed a few tears she instantly obliges. I want to learn how she does that.

What next would you want to do?
Movies are my next step. I did have a few offers but I opted for Shree before that. I am waiting for the right films as I'd love to do family dramas like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun or Hum Saath Saath Hain.

Source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/talking-point-with-veebha-anand/446372/2


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Posted: 15 April 2009 at 2:26am | IP Logged

Rahul Lohani to enter Balika Vadhu..

Rahul Lohani will be the new music teacher for Gehna in COLORS' Balika Vadhu..

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Posted: 17 April 2009 at 1:35am | IP Logged
posted by queenyuks:

Sob story
Vandana Shukla/ Hill Road Media

The saas bahu dramas may be dwindling on the small screen but surprisingly, that hasn't stopped actresses from shedding their tears on television. They're armed with glycerine and are not afraid to use it; here are onscreen mothers and daughters-in-law who just can't fight back the tears, regardless of how crucial or trivial the reason.
 
 
Number 5: Anandi of Balika Vadhu
It seems like Anandi of Balika (Colors), played by Avika Gor, has forgotten how to smile of late. This happened after Pratap, Sughna's groom-to-be, was killed on the show. Anandi decided to share her sister-in-law's sorrow and that's why we perpetually see her with a tear-stained face. And now, Anandi is so used to her mournful disposition that even badi dadisa coming to visit her hasn't been able to turn her frown upside down.

Number 4: Sudha of Jyoti
It seems like we will never see Sudha of Jyoti (NDTV Imagine), portrayed by Sriti Jha, smile on the show. We understand that the character has a very traumatic past but she failed to curl her lips upward even when she's supposed to be happy! No, all you'll get from a delighted Sudha is an unwilling smirk. But when night falls, and she turns into her alter ego Devika, you'll see her laughing her heart out.

Number 3: Heer of Kis Des...
Perhaps happiness and Heer cannot go hand-in-hand and that's the reason, even after getting her Prem back on Kis Des Mein Hai Mera Dil (Star Plus), the woman never seen wearing a grin. Right from the start of the show, Heer has always been crying; sometimes due to the family tensions while sometimes due to loneliness.
Number 2: Saloni of Saat Phere
Rajshree Thakur, who is popularly known as Saloni of Saat Phere, is another of TV's leading lady often seen with tears rolling down her cheeks. But now, since her show has taken a leap, Saloni has two lovely daughters, and definitely has reason to be happy.
 
Number 1: Sadhna of Bidaai
One of the top shows on TV these days, a lot of credit for Bidaai's success goes to Sadhna (Sara Khan) who can't spend an episode without shedding what could be litres of tears. We recently saw her smiling heartily before she got married to Alekh but post her wedding, she doesn't seem very happy. And now, all we see Sadhna do is wipe her tears away as she sacrificing her happiness for the Rajvansh family.
 
 
CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 17 April 2009 at 6:56am | IP Logged

Bride And Prejudice

Balika Vadhu has replaced the K-serials as every woman's new addiction. HARINDER BAWEJA explains why

image

Playing house house Anandi(Avika Gor) and Jagdish(Avinash Mukharjee)

I'M NOT sure what I'm more addicted to — caffeine or Balika Vadhu. The question, 'what's that?' is not even valid. It is the most watched serial on Colors — discussed by politically- conscious reporters in newsrooms, including ours, and in beauty parlours by women getting their talons painted a bright red.

And just why would women — hair streaked deep purple and burnt gold; feet daintily tucked in stilettos — be watching a soap set in a village in Rajasthan where its cast even sleeps in bridal jewelry and heavy-duty lehengas, that for most would resemble oversized tents? Why, indeed, would they be hooked on a show about child marriage? Yes, that done-to-death subject that we in metros make polite, socially correct noises about; that done-to-death subject that seldom makes non-tweezed eyebrows shoot up simply because it is so part of the 'parampara' they've grown up in.

What is it about this serial that sometimes keeps me awake well past my nocturnal hour? If Balika Vadhu has the highest television ratings and if it has, in so many ways, effectively sealed the fate of all the K-serials that shot Ekta Kapoor to fame and pots of money, there is obviously meat and matter.

Child marriages may be a hackneyed subject but the serial transports you into a very real world. It takes you into the deep recesses of a Rajasthani home and makes you feel like a participant, like a member of the joint family in which the grandmother is the head of the parivar. Kalyani, the rigid old lady, sets the rules and expects to be obeyed. She terrorises everybody — her two sons, their wives and two grandchildren, a girl and a boy.

Initially, you start hating her but realise soon enough — through the many nuances and layers that the serial takes you through — that Kalyani is steeped in tradition. She knows no other way of life. She shocks you in almost every episode. In one, she pays money to procure a child bride for her older son after his wife dies in childbirth, because she has grown up watching village midwives and thinks allopaths are bad news. She also finds girls from poverty-stricken families and brings them home as brides and thinks nothing of humiliating their parents.

The serial revolves around the eight-year-old child bride Anandi, married to an equally young Jagdish, Kalyani's grandson. Kalyani delivers shocker after shocker but the serial simultaneously also delivers hope, through Jagdish's parents who encourage their children to break traditions. They encourage Anandi to go to school even though her grandmother wants her to master the art of Rajasthani delicacies. She helps her husband with his homework and when she takes the exam at school, her report card shines brighter than his.

Child marriage may be a hackneyed topic but the show transports you to a very real world

Balika Vadhu is more than just a serial on child marriage. It portrays a slice of life women in metros can still identify with. It is not black and white about its exploration of good and evil, right and wrong. With its onion-like layers, it shames you about the way widows are treated. When Sugna, Kalyani's granddaughter is widowed on her wedding day, a broken and grieving Kalyani insists that she spend a year in the outhouse. When her older son forces himself on his child wife, the camera focuses directly on the marks he has left on her body.

Currently, Kalyani's sister has walked into the family fold and is doing a delightful job of opening the windows of her sister's mind, and the rigid old lady is slowly shedding her superstitious beliefs.

Why would you opt for other serials where the saas and the bahu are still bitching and scheming each other out. Balika Vadhu is socially relevant but doesn't preach. It's a fine depiction of life and its setting in Rajasthan is now merely incidental for a hardcore Delhiite like me. A modern me, if I may say so. And yes, I've been through burnt gold streaks myself.


Source : http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41.asp?filename=hub250409bride_and.asp

niveditha IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 1:24am | IP Logged
Rahul Lohani is the new music teacher

Hit show Balika Vadhu will have a new addition to its cast next week. Rahul Lohani will make his entrance on the show as a music teacher. Rahul has been seen on TV soaps such as Jab Love Hua and Mohe Rang De before he proved his mettle as the mentally-retarded Mayank on Balaji's most popular family drama Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.

THE versatile actor says of his new role, "I am playing a music teacher in Balika Vadhu. My character is soft spoken and shy and will be teaching Gehna, played by Neha Marda. I always look for challenging roles and love to experiment when it comes to my acting."
Rahul was approached for the role a week ago by the makers of Balika Vadhu. He talks about his preparations for the character, saying, "When I heard about the role, I quite liked it and so I went along. I also took some basic classes in music to get into the skin of the character. So far, I've been shooting for Balika Vadhu for three days and my entrance scene will take place on the coming Monday."

And Rahul can't wait to get the audience's reaction to his character. He says, "I am damn excited about the show having me. It's one of the leading soaps at present so being a part of it feels great. I think getting on a show like Balika Vadhu has upped my reputation and I can't wait to see the public's reaction once it airs."

Rahul, who came to Mumbai from Delhi in 2001 in the hopes to becoming actor, learnt the ropes from his associated with the Ashmita Theater Group in Delhi.

http://www.indya.com/news/newsDetails.aspx?xfile=2009/April/News_20090418_80



CeruleanSky IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 18 April 2009 at 10:01am | IP Logged

It's more than 100 episodes old now. But within a few days of being launched, Balika Vadhu, a daily serial on Colors channel, zoomed to the top of the TRP charts. That was a bit surprising, since Balika Vadhu comes loaded — not with sensational kitchen intrigues — but with an edifying social message on the evils of child marriage.

The serial is about a little girl, Anandi, who gets married into a house ruled by the orthodox iron-fisted matriarch Dadisa (brilliantly played by veteran Surekha Sikri), who allows no rebellion. So in a sense it is a saas bahu tale with a twist — Dadisa is a mother-in -law from hell — and it's what audiences are lapping up.

Balika Vadhu's launch was low key but it took third spot in the serial stakes from day one and then quickly ascended to the top spot, with regular television ratings points of 7.8. The longest running soap on Indian TV, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, which had double-digit TRPs at its zenith, had sunk to a rating of 3.6 recently. Which is why STAR TV axed the soap before the end of its contractual period.

Colors' commissioning head Ashwini Yardi was convinced that a social awareness programme with a rural setting would knock the socks off the viewer. Her hunch paid off. It was Yardi too who suggested the introduction of Gehna, a young girl married to a man old enough to be her father after his first wife, a child bride, dies at child birth. Gehna questions Dadisa's authority with unflinching resolve, which Anandi is too small to do.

Yardi says the intention was to convey a message without being 'preachy' and while being entertaining. The story had to evolve in a manner that reeled in viewers. "It is easy to be different but the audiences have to accept the difference," says Yardi.

But good intentions can also be dangerous. Some feel that a good start is being squandered in a softening stance against child marriage, sending out mixed messages to the audience. In fact, gushing posts on the Internet seem to talk more about the cuteness of young Avika Gor, who plays Anandi, than about the horror of child marriage.

Shakun of Vimochana, a Bangalore-based non governmental organisation that works in the field of women's rights, feels that the serial is definitely better than other saas-bahu sagas, but the makers seem to be sugar coating the message. "It's not very clear if they want to give a message or just say the practice is bad. It started strongly but now the intentions are very fuzzy. Maybe they are scared of the backlash. We all know what happened to Bhanwari Devi," she says, referring to the community worker who was gang raped in Rajasthan for fighting child marriage.

A harsher critic is Subhash Mohapatra of the Forum for Fact-Finding Documentation and Advocacy (FFDA), a body that works against illiteracy and child marriage. It was partly due to Mohapatra's nationwide campaign that the centre enacted the Prevention of Child Marriage Act in 2006. "They are glorifying child marriage," he fumes. "I feel very frustrated. The electronic media have no ethics. Do you know that in Kawardha village in Chattishgarh there are no women over 30 because they all die owing to early child bearing. Serials like Balika Vadhu commercialise the practice so much that the message has been lost."

Komal Srivastava is more forgiving. Founder of the Jaipur chapter of the Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, which takes up literacy and women's issues, Srivastava has tuned in to the serial a few times. "At least they are talking about child marriage. But it is not very realistic — child marriages usually happen in poor families. Even gauna (the married girl finally going to the husband's home after a period of staying in her father's house) usually happens after puberty. But in the serial it happens much earlier. So there are these contradictions, but at least the serial is creating an awareness," says Srivastava.

Of course, Balika Vadhu's success is also rooted in happy timing. With its clear social message, Balika Vadhu arrived at a time when viewers were weary of soaps populated by characters that snarled and blinked their way through improbable storylines.Yet it is not as if serials with social messages are new to Indian television. Doordarshan has had a long innings in it, and in the 1980s serials such as Humlog had venerable actor Ashok Kumar deliver a homily at the end of each episode.

Evidently, like Hum Log, Balika Vadhu too has touched a chord somewhere. Yardi points to TRPs zooming "every time Gehna questions Dadisa on tradition."

"I know it is being said that we are being soft but that isn't so," says Balika Vadhu writer Purnendu Shekhar, who wrote the story for a film 12 years ago but found no takers on the big or the small screen. But in Balika Vadhu, the conflict is ideological and conveyed through emotions and characters rather than incidents, he says. "At some point we will also show the prevention of a child marriage," he adds.

The lasting ill effects of early marriage such as loss of childhood, sexual mismatch, early motherhood and lack of education will be shown, says Shekhar. "Something bad will happen to Anandi when she grows up. Viewers will feel, 'oh s***. We did not realise this is the fallout.' I am now writing the episodes related to Anandi's puberty that will air in February," he says.

Shekhar, who hails from Jaipur, has seen the terrible consequences of young girls being forced to bear children. He acknowledges that there were some angry reactions to the serial in Rajasthan, a state that tops child marriage figures in the country. "But not to point out the shortcomings of a friend is a betrayal of friendship," Shekhar shrugs.

What if the channel interferes or there is a backlash and one has to tone the content down? The writer says, "I wrote on the condition that I would have a free hand. If ever there is a situation where I feel I would have to make a compromise, I will walk away from the serial."

But Balika Vadhu's audiences are certainly not walking away. Right now, all they are doing is tuning in to watch the serial in ever greater numbers.

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