Astitva Ek Prem Kahani

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Astitva Ek Prem Kahani
Astitva Ek Prem Kahani

Ajay Sinha is on a new high

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Posted: 24 March 2006 at 2:00pm | IP Logged
   Saturday, March 25, 2006

 

 
Interview of the week: By Sneha Hazarika


From Hasratein to Justojoo to Astitva – Ek Prem Kahaani, Ajay Sinha's name has always been associated with substantial subjects and he is considered to be the thinking man. His latest show Astitva had a long and successful run on Zee TV for three and half years. The serial was doing well, it had its share of loyal fan following. Then why did he think about putting it to an end?

"Everything has its limits. One just can't go on and on. Do one leap after the other. Astitva was a realistic show. I showed whatever I could, the younger generations, their problems and the solutions. I put in interesting tracks like the London track where the daughter goes missing. But basically the story of the younger man and the older woman was coming to an end. You can't just heat the chapati again and a gain and keep feeding it to people. That way the taste just vanishes."

But what about the emotional quotient? Wasn't he attached to the serial which was his baby for so long. "Yes I was emotionally attached to the show. It was like a child. But I have to accept that the child has grown up and has got himself a wife. In all my serials there has been no formula but has dealt with sensitive issues. But I have had people coming and telling me, "since Astitva got over, we do not even feel like looking at TV. We have stopped watching fiction and have resorted to news and stuff like that."

And he firmly adds, "But to give Astitva a logical ending was a mutual decision which the channel and myself took." What about the impending rumours that after the success of masala serials like Saat Phere and Sinndoor, Zee TV wants something different from Ajay Sinha?

"How many people from intellectual circles like you and me prefer masala? These are the people who want to evolve. Many people in India do not want to change and they are in the majority. Leaving mental growth aside, they want to see masala items like rape, murder etc. Among book lovers too many do not know about Premchand and Shakespeare. And 90,000 people in one lakh do not want to know also. But that doesn't mean that we, after being responsible members of the society should also think the same. We are aware and we have some responsibility towards the coming generations. People look up to me. They await Ajay Sinha's next. I can never let them down," he explains.

As far as the saying that masala serials gets more TRPs, he clarifies, "The so called masala serials also have not got great TRPs. Its like two, three and four points only. So for TRPs sake if I attempt masala, my respectability is gone and I do not gain anything also. That's why there is no question. I know what I want from myself?"

Astitva was never plagued by controversies except when new actors Abbas and Yuvika Chaudhry, who played the second generation on the show walked off and later talked about being ill treated by seniors on the sets. "They were amateur actors who could not handle it all. I chose Abbas from Lucknow. But there is a difference between working for the stage, serials and films. We had to replace him. We wanted to keep quiet but they talked to the media. And accusations and counter accusations happened. Yuvika wanted to do films and when she told me that we had to twist the story and kill her character."

And what about his film plans? After Stop, is he doing another film?  "I am doing a film for Prakash Jha Productions. I can't reveal the name now, but it will be 85 per cent in English and will be shot in London in the month of July and August. The hero is a big name whose identity I can reveal only after the paperwork is done. There will be two girls from England, Om Puri and a good mix of character actors", he reveals.

"TV will happen hand in hand," he further adds. But will Zee favourite Ajay Sinha continue to work with them only or will he expand his horizons. "Yes I have worked mainly for Zee but if there is good work happening elsewhere, there is no question of saying no", he clarifies. Looks like there will be many more substantial shows to keep us busy for years.

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