*Shruti* Global Moderator

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Posted: 12 February 2007 at 5:25am | IP Logged
Dangling the carrot... again

Karamchand is back but Pankaj Kapur is more apprehensive than excited... Karamchand had a strong brand identity that you had managed to shake off. How do you feel revisiting it?
For me, it's just a job, something with which one has to experiment. Are you excited about the re-play?
There is a certain level of excitment but also a lot of apprehension about how it will be received by the audience. Two decades ago, there was only one channel, Doordarshan, today there is a plethora of them. Will Karamchand retain all his peculiar characteristics?
Of course he will continue to be a carrot-chewing detective. There are no major changes except for the fact that like me he will be older by 20 years. You will have a new 'Kitty'...
Yes but it's not fair to compare Sushmita (Mukherjee) with the new girl (Sucheta Pavase). Sushmita is a trained and seasoned actress while Sucheta is a young talented girl. Both are different personalities. How are you taking the serial forward?
Ideally, as an actor I would have liked them to give some explanation about what had happened to the detective, where he had disappeared for 20 years and why he has made a comeback. But that hasn't been addressed in the serial. The channel (Sony) and the director thought it better to bring it on as a fresh series.
You must remember that there is a whole section of viewers that is ignorant about the earlier Karamchand. This will be a new show for them. What are your memories of the serial?
Before Karamchand happened, I was into theatre and films. This was my first television job in terms of a series. I knew nothing about the medium. I had to concentrate hard on developing my part and play the character, yet all of it was spontaneous. I enjoyed playing the character but the plot and shooting situations were quite tedious. This time did you feel any difference?
I don't feel much of a difference. I have grown by 20 years and there are times when I feel there are loopholes in the script, much more today as a professional, but then I felt the same even 20 years ago. Finally, I have left it to the director. How keen were you to play the role when the director approached you?
I confess I don't believe in re-runs. Creatively it doesn't offer anything new to those involved in the making. But I have a long-standing relationship with the director (Pankaj Parashar). In a way he was instrumental in making me popular. As I told you I was a stage actor and at that point it was important for me to get mass recognition and Karamchand made me a household name. Also, I haven't revisited any of my characters in the past and this will be an interesting experiment. But you are doing Naya Office Office, a kind of a sequel to Office Office?
When Naya Office Office came to me I looked at the other choices in the medium and found nothing to my interest. Obviously, I cannot be a part of saas-bahu sagas. Naya ... was the only serial that was socially safe, culturally decent and giving insights into the functioning of a common man and his problems, with a sense of humour. The viewer can digest the goings-on because it doesn't make him morose and at the same time delivers the message - 'Life's like that'. Also, maybe they are made aware of certain problems that they didnot know existed. Most actors complain of fatigue...
Definitely, fatigue has set in in a big way doing the same thing, but there are commitments that one has to fulfill. You are known for your comedies on television...
That's something I love. I like to laugh at myself and make others laugh. I have done a lot of serials which aren't comedies like Neem Ka Ped, Lifeline and Kab Tak Pukaroon but the sitcoms stand out because in general, humour sells. What is your take on the comedies aired these days?
Well, each to his own. But I defintely expect a better sense of humour. However, the concept is skewed. Vulgarity takes top precedence. Humour, actually, lies in real-life situations. Which of your films are you looking forward to, this year?
There is Blue Umbrella, where you know, I play a small shopkeeper, Dharm in which I am a pandit, Halla Bol where I am a theatre activist and Good Sharma where I am some kind of a landlord. I guess all these films will release this year. Are you happy with the way your son Shahid Kapoor is going about his career?
Yes, I am happy with the way he's been placed in the industry. He's assured of bigger things not just in terms of stardom but as an actor too. He won't be looked upon as a loverboy which will be his main triumph. Right now, he is choosy, which is a sensible way to go about because you need to have better choice of characters to portray.

Any favourites from his films?
I liked him in Vivah. The character hardly had anything to offer. It was the way Shahid developed it with subtle nuances that gave life to the character. I also loved his performance in Fida but I think the climax was all wrong.

Edited by Manoj_Tina fan - 17 February 2007 at 10:17am

*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 12 February 2007 at 5:27am | IP Logged
"There's more to television than the sindoor, saas and the bahus"

Karamchand is back with a bang after twenty years. Pankaj Kapoor, the man who rose to fame with this historical show two decades ago is back to dangling the carrots yet again. The veteran actor has aged by twenty years but his charismatic Karamchand aura will continue to melt the viewers in his trademark style along with Kitty (played by Sucheta Khanna) and the carrots. The detective series will commence from 10 February at 9 pm on Sony.

Kavita Shyam spoke to Karamchand himself in a candid conversation...

How much has television changed from the time you had started out with Karamchand twenty years back?
Television has become very regressive nowadays. There is a misrepresentation of our Indian culture and there is definitely more to the small screen than the sindoor, saas and bahus.

Why did you want to get back to doing Karamchand after twenty years again?
Pankaj is a good friend and when he asked me to do it again, I couldn't say no. When I started out years back, I was new to Mumbai and also to the medium. Karamchand had started as a different show and yes made a mark for itself with the character etched in people's memory for years together.

How different would the show be in its new avatar?
The show will obviously retain its characterizations. What has changed is its attitude, look, besides the plot also will be fresh. It's made in such a way that the people who have watched the show earlier as well as the new viewers can connect to it.

Do you think doing television fetches you enough money?

I've led a very simple life all my life. I am a middle class man and have middle class lifestyle as my father was in the banking sector.
For me any work in any medium which gives me creative satisfaction and appreciation gives happiness.

Have you thought of getting into television direction and is there any likelihood of getting into production?
I have directed two detective series in the past and would like to take up film direction in the future. I can't be a producer, as I can handle manpower but can't handle money.

So what's next for you in terms of work?
I've Karamchand and Naya Office Office besides as many as five movies lined up for release.

*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 14 February 2007 at 8:59pm | IP Logged
Naseer back on TV!
   By: Shaheen Parkar
   February 15, 2007

After almost two decades, Naseeruddin Shah is returning to television. This time, he is matching strides with the carrot-chomping detective Karamchand (Pankaj Kapoor) in the new Sony weekly. Shah was last seen on the small screen as Mirza Ghalib in Gulzar's rendition of the legendary Urdu poet on Doordarshan in 1988.

Karamchand, a hugely popular and trendsetting show, aired on Doordarshan in the late 1980s. It is currently enjoying a second run on Sony every Saturday.

The master detective is known for his wry sense of humour and his dim-witted secretary Kitty. Sucheta Khanna now plays his Girl Friday, a role  previously essayed by Sushmita Mukherjee.

Legal eagle

It is learnt that Naseer will feature in one episode of the detective series next month, and he is slated to shoot for it next week.

Says Karamchand producer-director Pankaj Parashar, "Naseer last did television ages ago and will never do it again in the present scenario.

When I asked him to be a part of the series, he told me to give him something that would excite him, something that would challenge him
enough to take it up. I hope I have."

Shah features as a high-profile legal eagle in Karamchand. "He is one of those flamboyant lawyers who takes up cases with great zest and style. As a director, it will be interesting to direct Naseer and Pankaj together. And I am sure they will give me a lot of trouble too!'' laughs Parasher.

Power performers

Incidentally, Shah has previously featured in two of Parashar's films — Jalwa and Banaras. Says Parashar, "It wasn't only because of my association with him that Naseer agreed to do a cameo in Karamchand. Naseer is a big fan of Karamchand.

He wanted to play a part in which there was something for him to do. He told me to sketch an interesting character for him."

Both Shah and Kapoor featured in Jalwa as well as in Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool. "Pankaj Kapoor is one of the best actors in the country, and having another powerhouse talent like Naseer will be an amazing experience for the show," adds Parasher.

Incidentally, Naseer's wife Ratna and Kapoor's wife Supriya are sisters. There's also a family connection, it seems!

Dimple in Karamchand?

The buzz is that Parashar may also rope in Dimple Kapadia in one of the future episodes of Karamchand.

Dimple has previously featured in Banaras as well.

"I have told her about it and she seems interested.

She too wants me to pen something exciting for her. Let's see how it goes," says Parashar.

*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 15 February 2007 at 8:41pm | IP Logged

Boli ke peeche kya hai?

In case you haven't understood these quotes made by our TV stars lately, we've simplified them for you…

Raahil Azam, actor

"I want to play a double role of a father and son ...."

Means: I want all eyes on me. And I don't
mind greying my hair for it!

Pankaj Kapoor, actor

Says:  "There's more to television than sindoor and the saas-bahus"

Means: Watch Karamchand.

Samiksha - Zaara of Zaara, Pyaar Ki Saugat

  "I got scared reading Ekta Kapoor's contract"

means: But now, after Zaara's TRPs have headed south, I don't mind signing the contract, even if its as scary as The Exorcist's script.

Tina Darira, actor Husain's wife 

Says:  "I would love to act with Husain"

means: 'He' is famous; 'We' are famous (through Nach Baliye 2); Now is the right time for 'me' to be famous!

Karishma Tanna, actor

  "I would love to play a psycho"          ; 

means: "I love acting naturally"

Smriti Irani, on producing Viruddh

  "I am ready to tell a good story"

means: i.e. a story unlike Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan

Rupali Ganguli, on her Bigg Boss inmate   

  Rakhi is a third-grade person"

means:  Saying it aloud can give me first-grade
publicity, like Rakhi has got.

Rajeev Khandelwal, actor

  "Marriages are made in heaven. I am still waiting for the call"

means: I hate missed calls. p;sectid=12&contentid=20070216022448921b75c4e2c



*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 15 February 2007 at 9:39pm | IP Logged
The new detective in town

   Veteran filmmaker and director of the first series of Karamchand, Pankaj Parashar, speaks on directing the new series, "Karamchand as a character had become very famous then. People remember him even now. For those who've seen the old serial, this one will be like indulging in nostalgia, while for the new viewers it'll be a fun treat."
   In tonight's episode, Kitty, Karamchand's assistant, who's always in awe of her mentor's brilliance, requests him to take up her cousin's case. According to Kitty, the young cousin is mentally unstable as she threatens people with knives and other sharp weapons. After Karamchand takes up the case, the next day, instead of landing in Kitty's cousin's place, he lands up at one Anju's place. An avid television buff, Anju dreams of winning loads of money through game shows. She gets a chance to participate in a reality show, where she's supposed to pretend to her husband that she has got another husband for 23 minutes.
   The television producer, D'Mello comes to shoot some reality bytes. He fits cameras at her house. Instead of Kabir Chand, who is supposed to enact the role of Anju's husband, Karamchand is mistaken to be the hero, while Karamchand thinks Anju is Kitty's cousin. And suddenly, Anju finds the dead body of D'Mello in her cupboard. Who's killed him — Rajesh (Anju's husband), Anju, Kabir Chand or Kitty? If you want to help Karamchand solve the case, enter the Bano Jasoos Karamchand Ke Saath contest – SMS KC to 2525 and make your guess. The winners will be announced in the next episode.

Edited by Manoj_Tina fan - 17 February 2007 at 10:17am
*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 16 February 2007 at 9:11am | IP Logged
Pankaj Kapur back as Karamchand
By Prema K | Friday, February 16, 2007 11:2:13 IST

The sleuth returns after a hiatus of 22 years and offers his take on today's television industry.

What do you feel about the comeback of 'Karamchand'?
No one had ever thought that 'Karamchand' would be such a big hit twenty years back. One could never predict the success of a show then or even today. But there's a slight apprehension today. Then there was only one channel. So let's give it some time now and see how it goes. The 80s era of television was very good. There were serials based  on literature that were successful. Today there is misinterpretation of Indian culture and it's so easily acceptable to the audience.

Is the character Karamchand very close to your heart?
Every character I play is close to my heart. Otherwise I cannot
play it.

What prompted you to play Karamchand again?
Playing the character again is an exercise of revisiting the character I played 22 years back. It's an interesting exercise for Pankaj and me. His children too were keen on knowing what 'Karamchand' was. There was also a certain curiosity to revisit the character I'd played 22 years ago. It's a challenge of sorts. I'm sure it will go down well with the audience.

How did 'Karamchand' happen?
I was new to Bombay then with only a theatre background. It was kind enough of Pankaj Parasher to select me for the role. We were all very young then and had a great time working together. That doesn't mean that we're old now. We still have a very relaxed atmosphere on the sets.

Is there any special significance to Karamchand's carrot chewing habit?
Nothing really. It was just a different character trait that we wanted to give him. Luckily it caught on in a big way and its also been scientifically proved that carrots are rich in Vitamin A and very good for the eyes and brain.
nIs there anything that you are planning to change about the character?
nThe passage of time will cause a change in the mood and feel of the show but I'm playing exactly the way I'd played him 22 years back. I've retained Karamchand's character traits for people who've seen it and enjoyed it and also for people who're watching it for the
first time.

Will Karamchand be technical savvy in keeping with the
present times?
There was a lot of discussion on that. Karamchand uses his brains so he does not need to be a technical wizard. In fact, he's hassled by modern technology.

Do you miss Sushmita Mukherjee as Kitty?
It's not the question of missing. It was the decision of the director and the channel to cast someone new in that role. Had they retained her,, they would have give an explanation about the whereabouts of Karamchand for all these years.

How many carrots do you consume per show?
You should be asking that to the production guys.

Do you enjoy reading mysteries and detective stories?
I love them. My all time favourite is Sherlock Holmes.

What about the so-called interference from Sony?
There is no creative interference from Sony either in 'Karamchand' or 'Office Office'. They've been very supportive.

Are you happy doing selective work?
Today when I sit back and think, I'm very satisfied as an actor. I'm a middle class person  and am leading a good life. My selective work permits me to lead a good middle class life.

How about directing television serials?
In today's time with so much interference from channels, a director is not a director. He's just a co-coordinator. Beyond a point, television is not creative. It gets very repetitive.
It's difficult for writers and directors to get creative. I don't see any growth for me as a creative person as well as a person. That's why I'm apprehensive about direction on television. But I'd love to direct a film. Presently I'm working on something.

Would you cast Shahid Kapoor in it?
Hopefully, if he likes my script. 

How about turning producer?
I can handle manpower so direction comes easy to me. I can't handle money so I don't think I want to get into production. 
Do you have any films
I have 'Blue Umbrella', 'Dharm', 'Halla Bol', and 'Good Sharma', due for release. p;subsection=showbuzz&xfile=February2007_tvtrack_standar d350&child=tvtrack

*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 16 February 2007 at 9:18am | IP Logged

Naseeruddin Shah will star in TV series Karamchand

Naseeruddin ShahIt has been two decades now that Naseeruddin Shah was seen on television. He was seen playing the lead character in Gulzar's serial Mirza Ghalib which was the story of the legendary Urdu poet. Naseer will now do a cameo in the new version of the famous detective serial, Karamchand, the series that showed Pankaj Kapoor as a carrot eating detective was a big hit in the late 80's. The serial is currently played as a weekly on television.

Naseeruddin Shah will be seen in one of the episodes of the serial next month. He will be shooting next week for the same. Pankaj Parashar, the director and producer of Karamchand says that Naseer wanted something interesting to come back to television. He told Pankaj that if he wants him to act for the serial, he has to create a character that will challenge enough. Shah will be seen in the role of a legal eagle in one of the episodes. Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor shared screen space in Pankaj Parashar's Jalwa and Banaras. They were also seen together in Vishal Bhardwaj's Maqbool.

It will definitely be amazing to see these two big stars coming together on the small screen with Karamchand. /naseeruddinshah160207.html

*Shruti* Global Moderator

Joined: 26 April 2006
Posts: 127850

Posted: 16 February 2007 at 8:18pm | IP Logged
By Shefali Martins

The 80s produced some of the most quality-oriented television programmes. Unfort-unately, we have forgotten about stories that are more real and not just about sari, sindoor, saas and bahu," says Pankaj Kapur, who is returning to the small screen as Karamchand, the popular detective of the television series that had gained immense popularity in India when it was telecast in 1984.

The 13-episode series that is being aired on Sony will offer the audience more variety and also give them a break from the usual stories that are being aired. "When I travelled to various places and interacted with people, they often asked me what more could I offer to them as an actor," says Kapur who was struck by this thought. The other reason that made him take up the role of Karamchand after 20 years was the producer and the director of the show, Pankuj Parashar.

"The show is essentially the same. What has changed in these years is only the fact that we were young then," says a witty Kapur, quickly adding, "We are still not old."  What was striking about the shows of the 80s was their association with the audience. Though there was only one channel, the level of acceptance in people's lives was very high. So, while there used to be a curfew-like silence on Sunday mornings when Ramayan would go on air, Karamchand's tag line for his secretary, "Shut up Kitty," and his carrot munching became very popular.

"There are some shows that are instantly associated by their names, and Karamchand is surely one of them," says Sandeep Sickand, the creative head of Sony Entertainment. He adds, "The target audience for this show is going to be people across all genres, for those who have seen the earlier series 20 years ago, it will be a revival of the past, and for those who never got a chance to see it, this will be a brand new show." Another new feature of the show is that the bubbly role of Kitty, the slightly dumb and confused secretary of Karamchand is being played by Sucheta Khanna. Besides that, the technological changes over the years will have affected Karamchand, who works with his brains, But Kitty will be tech savvy. aramchand%20is%20back%20with%20more%20carrots

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