Posted: 18 April 2005 at 11:32pm | IP Logged
1000 not outDevesh SharmaPosted online: Friday, April 15, 2005 at 0000 hours IST
Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi... aired its 1000th episode on April 13. Screen met Balaji head honcho during the shooting of the special episode where she talked about the D- day and her relationship with the serial
1000 Not Out — you must be feeling like Sachin Tendulkar?
Well, I hope I remain not out for a long, long time.
Your other serials are reaching that mark as well?
Yes, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki and Kkusum will reach that mark soon. I am as excited as the mother whose every issue has turned a topper.
What's special about the 1000th episode?
It will be a one-hour special slot aired on April 13. We are going to invite all the people who were ever connected with the serial. There is going to be lots of partying which will be shot and a portion will be used. Then, some of our artistes have been raiding the homes of the common viewer with our camera crew and their reactions too will be shown. There is a lot of similar fun stuff. And yes, I am going to anchor the episode. I am going to act as a sort of Sutradhar to the whole affair.
It would be difficult to squeeze it all in one hour.
Yes, editing is going to be hell but I'm going to squeeze in as much of the craziness as possible. Let's hope the viewers enjoy watching it.
Looking at you, a layman would think that it is your wedding day...
This Abu-Sandeep ensemble is wonderful, isn't it?. This is more stressful than my wedding day gonna be because I will be going on camera and showcasing all my fat! I am having butterflies in my stomach right now. All my actors are such pros and it won't look nice if I made a goof-up.
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What, in your view, has been the low-phase of these 1000 episodes?
The low point came when the whole Mandira-Mihir-Tulsi track was getting nowhere. We were walking in circles and could only think of a way out after much deliberation. You can't afford to be repetitive on TV as that translates as boring. Thankfully, after that, we haven't been on a low binge since.
...And the high point?
Our first time-jump. We were the first people to try that on Indian television. We all were anxious about the outcome but it proved hugely successful. I'm proud that we pioneered the phenomenon. Everybody else is copying us now.
Another time-jump is said to be in the offing?
We are going to jump another 20 years soon. The story comes full circle in the sense that now a new generation will question Tulsi's decision. There is a fine thread that links Ba to Tulsi and with Ba's demise, that thread will be broken. A new Tulsi would now enter the Shantiniketan household and reunite the family. Star is going to mount a hunt for the newcomer. All-in-all, exciting times are ahead for Kyunki ...
Will you ever put a full stop to it?...?
No, never! If STAR wants to take Kyunki ... off the air, then I will approach another channel, if that channel too says no, then I will run it on cable but I will never let it die. I want to make it the longest-running serial in the history of Indian television.
Do you still personally supervise it?
Given the vast scale of our operations, it is not possible for me to supervise it at each and every stage. However, I have got capable assistants who do the job for me and only a big mishap is brought to my notice.
Today's daily soaps are said to have affected the cultural milieu of our country in a pretty big way. Any comments?
Our serials appeal to a large cross-section of the society and it is possible that they may have some effect on the sensibilities of the viewers. However, any work of fiction is but a reflection of its time and whatever views we may be propagating would have a parallel in reality.
Does it hurt when someone accuses you of corrupting the morals of our society?
It does hurt when someone levels baseless allegations. Like there was a time when some organisation sent us a notice saying that we are in favour of the sex-determination of the foetus. The party concerned hasn't clearly seen the episode otherwise they would have known that the doctor was treating the would-be-mother of injuries and just mentioned in passing that you and your son both are all right. I guess that the serial has given me so much happiness that a little pain won't harm along the way.
Have you performed any special pooja or gone on a pilgrimage on having reached this milestone?
That's a secret and so I won't divulge the details. I am a deeply religious person and having an interaction with God is my way of being sane in this mad-mad world.
Photos: Vasant Prabhu