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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 9:42am | IP Logged

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aries_sakshi IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 9:42am | IP Logged

No Woman, No Laugh
 
The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, a talent hunt for the country's funniest stand-up comedian is on air on Star One. Of the 50 finalists, not one is a woman. India's most-known female stand-up comedian.
 
Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal
 
OF the 100 career goals set for me by my father, theatre and stand-up comedy figured nowhere. But, the powers that be ordained otherwise, and who can fight those powers. No one. Not even an over-ambitious and over-optimistic dad, whose sole ambition in life was to see his only child become a doctor.

In more than half a century, things haven't changed much, have they? Well, they have, in a way... parents now want their kids to become models, actors, celebrities, but, obviously, no one encourages his/her daughter to become a stand-up comic. A few male stand-up comedians is all we have in India, and without meaning to be self-promoting, I know of no Indian female stand-up comedian other than myself. If there is one, I would enjoy meeting her and exchanging notes.


 
To be able to write your own script for stand-up is a difficult task. Jay Leno, Milton Berle, Seinfeld, Bob Hope and most of the stand-ups out West had huge teams writing for them. Unfortunately, here in India, true humour is at a premium. Very often, I cringe at the stuff dished out by the so-called humorists and stand-ups, and even more at the way their stories are delivered. It is possible to tell a really naughty story without offending people. We take ourselves too seriously. We want to project ourselves as holier-than-thou, virgins, holy men, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Unfotunately, there's very litle to laugh about in a world where nothing is wrong.

I will be lynched for this, but this particular career is just not meant for Indians. In a country where censorship rules, where cracking a joke about a politician or religion can bring everything to a standstill for days, even men, leave alone women, are wary to experiment with this art form. So, what you have, are a few jokers trying to evoke laughter by calling someone motu, kaliya, taklu, etc.

Indian women have been so silenced, so deprived of confidence for centuries, that this is a totally new but intimidating career for them. A career that requires you to be confident, articulate, and above all, have the ability to laugh at yourself. Very daunting characteristics to find in anyone. I am sure there are women like these, but perhaps they have found other careers where all these attributes have been put to good use.

Our culture is simply not comedy oriented. The same sardar jokes are told and retold, as are the Laloo ones. Our literature does not allow for comedy, and our society is steeped in hypocricy and double standards. Actually, it works wonderfully for me—I have tons of untapped material and no competition. Cheers to that.


 

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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 9:43am | IP Logged
"I find saas-bahu soaps artificial"

As the wily Porineeta in Zee's Tumhari Disha, Kavita Kaushik has made her mark in tellydom. She also plays a lawyer in Star One's Remix; was a part of Sony's Ye Meri Life hai and also anchors Zee's Kahiye To. Kavita Kaushik spoke to Misha Malhotra about her likes, dislikes and her experiences in tellydom.


Kavita: I hate bad actors

Can you tell us about your new show on Zee TV?
The show called Kahiye To comes on Zee TV on Sundays. It is just like Rakshanda's show on Sony Ab Aayega Mazaa. Here, I invite celebrities and chit-chat with them. This proves to be the best time for me to bond with my old friends whom I don't get to meet because of our busy schedules.

How do you prepare yourself for the show?
To be very honest, I haven't done any preparations for the show. The show doesn't follow a script. I just have to be myself. And that's not difficult at all.

Were you comfortable doing this show?
Yes, I was quite comfortable. As in, I didn't have to do any homework. Just go on the sets and then be very interactive. Off-screen also I love talking. Hence it came very naturally to me.

What part would you prefer playing?
Now, this is a very tough one. But let me try. There are many characters which I would like to play. I would love to play a cop, a Punjabi kudi (gir), a gaon ki gawar (an illiterate from a village). I believe it will be challenging and creative to do such roles.

How do you balance your time and your roles?
I am a very chilled out person. I don't like to take too many tasks at one time. So I generally do one at a time. Which as a result doesn't make my day so tiresome and I am satisfied with what I do. I just do those roles which are challenging and which excite me.


Kavita: I am myself on 'Kahiye To'

Are you looking at more films after the Saif starrer Ek Hasina Thi?
I want a break right now. Hence I am planning a holiday to Bangalore. There I would do river rafting at the Kaveri. Oh it's so exciting. This will happen sometime in June after which I will be deciding which more serials to take.

What are your likes and dislikes?
I am a very home loving person. I am very simple, I don't like partying much.

Would you like to be part of saas-bahu soaps?
I find them so artificial; I love parallel genre of soaps and cinema. I have also been a part of a telefilm, called Padalaxmi for Star One, which described one day of my life.

Are you basically from Mumbai?
Officially from Delhi. I shifted to Mumbai two and half years back. Mumbai is a very warm city.

How did you decide on coming to Mumbai?
I was just about to start my direction course at Jamia Milia, when I went for the auditions of Kutumb. I got selected and once I came here, there was no looking back.

Anything happening on your personal front...
I have no love life as of now. But I might get settled; say in two years or so.

HUMM IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 10:17am | IP Logged
ANANG DESAI - From Instant Khichdi

Brief Introduction: My name is Anang Desai. I am an actor, trained in National School of Drama and I am presently working in TV and films.

Birth Sign: Taurus.

Superstitions: None.

Happiest Moment: When my children were born and when I was voted as Favorite Dadaji in STAR Parivaar Awards for two consecutive years.

Most Embarrassing Moment: None as yet.

Favorite Movie: Many…

Favourite Actor: Oh, there are so many. Naseeruddin Shah, Amitabh Bachchan, Pankaj Kapur - to name just a few.

Favourite Attire: Jeans and t-shirts. Also, churidaar kurta.

Dream Role: Any role, which gives me ample scope to perform.

What do people like most about your character?
My interaction with Praful. My calling Praful a gadha! My interaction with my grand children. Children identify with this affectionate Dadaji.

Your favourite scene so far…
There are to many scenes and I love my character. I love doing all the scenes in Instant Khichdi.

Your Inspiration: My writer and director Aatish Kapadia is a very big inspiration for me.

Instant Khichdi for you is: A lot of hard work combined with fun. It's a picnic on the sets.

Some words on STAR One: A dynamic, urban channel featuring very good and creative programmes.
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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 10:18am | IP Logged
ALY KHAN - From Guns & Roses

Brief Introduction: A recently married romantic who would love to be several pounds lighter! Aspiring for the quintissential suburban bliss, plenty of kids, barbeque in the garden, adventure holidays and of course, the privilege of choosing one's own work!

Birth Sign: Sagittarius

Superstitions: Respect most and try never to walk under a ladder.

Happiest Moment: I try and make the most out of life so would be hard pressed if I were to choose just one.

Most Embarrassing Moment: Oh! Those teenage years of being caught with...

Favorite Movie: Sholay

Favourite Actor: Robert Downey Junior

Favourite Attire: Linen drawstring pants, short kurta, funky leather chappals.

Dream Role: Ranjit Singhji

Which is the most difficult nuance in your character?
To play Ashutosh Seth as oppossed to Aly Khan.

What do people like most about your character?
That, at the end of the day, his focus is to get his son to stay with him.

Your favourite scene so far…
The poolside confrontation with Murli, my colleague/ friend just before his imminent death is very memorable.

Your Inspiration: Kaam se beimaani nahin… to be true unto oneself.

Relate a funny incident on the show: Waking up well in time but still missing an early morning flight to Goa for the start of the shooting schedule - the producer was NOT laughing!

Guns & Roses for you is: A chance to be associated with a quality-conscious project, being produced by a production house willing to go that extra mile.

Some words on STAR One: A brave effort from the most popular channel on the satellite footprint to cater and to create an audience wanting to satiate their appetite on a new smorgasbord of goodies - hugely commendable deserving a serious pat on the back.
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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 10:18am | IP Logged
AMIT SADH - From Guns & Roses

Brief Introduction: Never in life had I ever thought that I would be an actor. I was into adventure sports. I used to play soccer for Mohammedan sporting, Calcutta. Now you find me here entertaining people and growing as an actor day by day.

Birth Sign: Gemini

Superstitions: None at all.

Happiest Moment: The day I proposed marriage to my girlfriend.

Most Embarrassing Moment: I never get embarrassed.

Favorite Movie: Scarface, Pulp Fiction

Favourite Actor: Al Pacino, Tom Cruise, Shah Rukh Khan

Favourite Attire: Faded blue jeans, white vest.

Dream Role: Has happened to me. Playing Rohan/ Bardez in this very show.

Which is the most difficult nuance in your character?
Playing Bardez.

What do people like most about your character?
No clue.

Your favourite scene so far…
Where Rohan and Divya mourn for Angie's death. Everybody on the set and people who caught sneak peeks of it liked the performance a lot and the instant feedback was heartening.

Your Inspiration: Myself.

Guns & Roses for you is: A challenge.

Some words on STAR One: It's a phenomenal idea to come up with a channel like Star One. The quality of shows on the channel is of a very high standard. Star One is the channel that I watch when I switch on the TV.
aries_sakshi IF-Rockerz
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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 11:04am | IP Logged
 
(From top) Priya, Karan, Raj and Shweta — the Remix rockers; Dracula night at HHI.

Bindaas is the one word to describe the awesome foursome from Remix, the music serial on STAR One. Very much like their screen avatars of Tia, Anvesha, Yuvi and Ranvir, the four young ones — Shweta Ghulati, Priya Wal, Raj Singh and Karan Wahi — are the hip '' happening faces of the small screen. Here's what they told Goodlife on their whirlwind trip to the city on Saturday.

Shweta (Tia) — Having done a film (Detective Nani), I find television work very taxing. Not only does it mean very long work hours but also a whole lot of fast work since we have to produce software for the daily one-hour show. But I am also very comfortable doing television. Despite the fact that the Remix contract doesn't allow me to do anything else, I signed it on because I knew what I was getting into, I knew how big Remix would be. Also, dancing is my biggest passion and this serial being all about music and dancing, I said yes straightaway and I have been enjoying every moment on the sets.

Anvesha (Priya) — I have never planned anything in my life. I always wanted to be Steffi Graf and believed I had her slice backhand and strong forehand. I also used to defeat all the boys in school but I soon realised that passion remains passion and doesn't become a job. So I moved on to modelling and did work for big fashion labels, like that of Ritu Kumar and Sabyasachi Mukherjee. Then Remix happened and I had to colour my hair red for the character of Anvesha. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I do regret it, but then I become happy when I see girls in Bangalore colouring their hair like me. As for the language, my character is Bengali, but I don't really have to speak the language on screen.

Raj (Yuvi) — I did my law course from Symbiosis but showbiz is something I always wanted to do. I was shortlisted for the MTV VJ hunt and also went on to do some VJing for Zee Music. I also did a couple of music videos like Leena Leena and Kabhi aar kabhi paar. But after that life became Remix. I must admit apart from the love for music, I do not relate to my character at all. But then it's a job I do and I am ready to do the saas-bahu serials also if needed.

Karan (Ranvir) — I am the youngest of the four and will turn 19 on June 9. So I am constantly pampered on the sets. They treat me like a kid and I love it that way. I am doing a course in business administration. But now with this acting thing on, business has become secondary. I have also done other stuff like played cricket for the state, played football and been the only guy to play drums in my school. But now it's only Remix and I hope it continues that way...

 
(From top) Priya, Karan, Raj and Shweta — the Remix rockers; Dracula night at HHI. Pictures by Pradip Sanyal and Rashbehari Das

Dracula den

So what if Halloween is far far away, HHI gave the city a Dracula night on Saturday for want of something better to do.

Even though the dress code was black and red, the non-conformist Calcuttans decided to break free in fluorescent greens, pale yellows and whites as well. The mood did bring out the devil in many as grown-ups merrily sported horns and scary masks.

The fun continued with DJ Carlotta churning out popular numbers that packed in everything from Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl to Madonna's La Isla Bonita.

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Posted: 15 June 2005 at 11:06am | IP Logged
'I am not against marriage or men!'

USHA BACHANI is back with a bang with six serials. She is particularly excited about her deglam role in Remix and wants to do more such roles. Having played a variety of characters in her twelve year long relationship with television, a high society call girl is something she is dying to play,....

You disappeared from the scene for a while!

I got married and took a 6-month break. Unfortunately things didn't work out for me and we've been separated since two and a half years. My divorce hasn't yet come through but now I am back to work with a bang. I was doing a couple of projects for Balaji in 2002 but they went off air.
 
Which are the serials you are working on currently?

I'm doing Kkusum, Sindoor, Milli, Kaanch, Remix and Pancham.
 
A little bit about each..

I am playing Arundati chachi in Kkusum. I don't like Kusum and am perpetually doing things to put her down. It's a negative character. I'm playing Pamela Singhania in Sindoor. She's the typical page 3 sort of socialite who pretends to be Tanvi Azmi's friend but isn't in reality. We try to put each other down constantly and mine is again a negative character. My role in Milli is positive now but I don't know how it will shape up later as my husband is involved in an extra-marital affair. I am playing a woman who gets pregnant before marriage in Kaanch. Initially I am afraid that my brother will discover my pregnancy and later I am fighting hard to make sure that my daughter gets her due respect in the family. I'm playing a widow in Pancham and have a very interesting deglamourized role in Remix. 
 
Tell us more about it …..
 
Remix is a college based show on Star One. I am playing a very nasty and strict professor who is obviously hated by her students. One day they discover that the reason for her nasty nature is her breakup with her boyfriend because of some misunderstanding. They want to unite the two and set out on a search for him.
 
What prompted you to break away from your sexy, glam image?

The only reason why I took up this role was because it was a deglamourized role. I wanted to do something else besides glamour. I was quite offered when I was offered this role. Even my mother roles expect me to sport a glamo-rous look. Balaji had offered me my first mother role in Kuch Jhuki Palke. I've also done a mother's role in Chand Sa Roshan Chehra a film with newcomers.
 
Are you okay with using gray in your hair?

No! I don't want to start by playing a mother with gray in her hair. I don't mind growing with a serial if I have to do that. Otherwise I'm okay playing a glamorous well-kept mother. That's the trend today. I am a practical person. I don't expect people to offer me lead roles at  my age. I was also one of the first ones to do negative roles when I started out. Most women were reluctant to take up vamp roles then.    
 
You've been around for over a decade. Do you find a lot of difference in the television industry then and now?

I started out on television almost 12 years back. Quality work was happening then. The director had a lot of time for retakes if he wasn't satisfied with a shot. Then we were into weeklies. Today in an era of dailies, there's no time for retakes. But there is a vast difference in the technical aspects. 
 
Are you open to saas-bahu dramas?

I don't have a problem with that at all. It is a fact of life. There are very few mothers-in-law who really love their daughters-in-law and vice versa. Today besides saas-bahu dramas, serials like Jassi, Remix and Milli are also doing well. Trends are changing but saas-bahu dramas will always be there.
 
 
Any dream role?
I would love to do Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I would love to play a high society call girl. I would also love to play a psychopath. I've done so much in these 12 years but never played a call girl or psychopath. After Remix I've started enjoying deglam roles. I want to do hard-hitting characters, the sort Pratibha Azmi does. I'm bored of the made up look. Even my negative characters expect me to have long eyelashes that look stupid.
 
How about new age cinema?

I would love to do that. Recently some new producer called me as he wanted to cast me in a film that he was making. He told me that the film would be like Murder. I would love to do such films only if it were to be made by Mahesh Bhatt or directed by Anurag Basu.
 
How do you chill out?

Whenever I have the time I love to go out dancing with my brother and sister. I also love to spend time with my dogs. They hardly get to see much of me with my hectic shooting schedule. I also like to stay home and have friends coming over and watch a film.         & nbsp; 
 
Have you thought of anything beyond acting?

Right now I don't want to do anything else but I think I would make a good director. But I don't want to think about it as long as good roles are coming my way.
 
How about marriage?

I am not against marriage or men. I wouldn't mind getting married if I meet someone who respects me.
 

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