Posted: 04 September 2004 at 2:25pm | IP Logged
'Jassi...' is a year old:
[Cinema India, Bollywood] Mumbai, Sep 1 : Sony Entertainment's "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin" completes one year of telecast Wednesday, a year that has seen its distinctly dowdy heroine Jassi become an icon -- and the ugly duckling hasn't even turned into a swan yet.
Breaking the saas-bahu mould on Indian television, "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin" has given the Indian middleclass a new working-class icon who is neither glamorous nor desirable. Jassi is simply what bourgeois dreams are all about.
Deya Singh, one-half of the directorial duo Tony & Deya Singh, is still disbelieving about the soap's success.
"Frankly, we never expected "Jassi..." to be so successful. My husband Tony and I are hardly the kind of people who think about such things. We're just busy doing our work. "Jassi..." isn't our first successful show. We earlier did "Banegi Apni Baat" and "Just Mohabbat", both very different and yet successful."
Deya and her husband refuse to look at the social responsibilities that have mushroomed around "Jassi..."
"We'd rather start something new than sit and gloat over the impact of "Jassi..." Do you know, for one week we sat on the script idea of the serial. We didn't know if it would work. I don't think we should look at Jassi as a social responsibility. If she has become an icon, let her. But, at the end of the day, she's a human being full of frailties. We're not going to mould her to suit people's expectations. Jassi will be what she's meant to be."
Deya and Tony Singh are already on to their next show.
"It's a weekly comedy called "Bal-Bal Bache" and it's going on Sahara Manorajan. It's going to be on air this month. "Jassi..." has taken over our lives. We've two kids aged two and eight, but fortunately they're very accommodating."
The original "Jassi..." in Spanish ran for 330 episodes. The Indian show has completed 210 episodes.
"But it'll continue, though ideally shows should end when they're on a high," laughs Deya.
At least two other soaps, Sony's "Hum Dono Hain Na" and Star Plus' "Dekho Magar Pyar Se", have also borrowed from Spanish serials.
Deya is unperturbed. "In places like Mexico and Colombia, they've scores of such shows. Not all of them are successful. We're not in this for money. Will the actress playing Jassi get bored? I don't think so. Which other show or film will give her an opportunity like this? Look at it this way. We're working 29 days a month. Where's the chance to get bored or restless?
"You've no idea what level of commitment the Indian TV industry requires. The other day I heard a director fainted on the sets of a soap. We've to be damn professional. Day after day, we've to produce episodes revolving around one character and a slender storyline. There's an incredible amount of coordination involved. The sponsors are breathing down our necks."
And the next level for Jassi?
"To express herself. She'll express her mind more openly. The ugly duckling is blossoming gradually. We can't bring around an overnight change. Jassi is about acquiring a sense of self. We're lucky to have broken the mould. It does give us a sense of achievement."
--Indo-Asian News Service