Kathmandu, August 14:
It may be just a teleflick, but Nepali housewives are deeply "troubled" by the "death" of Anurag Basu, a protagonist in the wildly-popular Hindi TV soap Kasauti Zindagi Ki (KZK). Basu's 'demise' is the current obsession of droves of such housewives who are oh-so-depressed and unable to get over their grief. "I can't believe it, this is too much," Sushila Neupane, a housewife, is overheard telling one of her friends on telephone. Their 30-minute conversation remains confined to Anurag's 'death' and its possible impact on the course of the soap. Finally, they sign off by cursing Aporna, Anurag's wife. "Why did she do it?" (Murder him). KZK fans in Kathmandu are bewildered at Anurag's death, with many even going into collective shock. A host of them refuses to believe that Anurag has 'died'. "No, he must not die," diehard KZK fan Hari Badan Acharya, 50, said. Like other viewers, Acharya is still hopeful that Anurag (Cezzane Khan) will return after undergoing plastic surgery, a common ploy to resurrect characters in Hindi soaps. Several fans of KZK recall the Hindi soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi in which a character Mihir, too, was declared dead but later made a dramatic comeback.
Incidentally, the decision by some cable operators to stop beaming Star Channels has kicked up a lot of dust in several quarters. Scores of husbands grumbled that their wives had developed the habit of scooting off to neighbours' places to watch their favourite soap places. A pained husband recounted how his wife leaves every evening at 8.45 pm to watch KZK at the neighbours'. What pains him even more is her frantic haste to clean the pots and pans after returning home. Deepak Sainju of Sky Cable Television and several other cable operators admitted enraged viewers start making repeated calls whenever any disruption hits the beaming of KZK. Now that Anurag, obedient son and dutiful husband, has been conveniently bumped off, Aporna is hogging the lead, with the audience surmising on her overtaking Komolika's famous Nikkaaaaa!
Can such a faithful wife murder her own husband? KZK fans, male and female, have labelled it a "trick" to keep viewers foxed. Others, like Milan Khadka, a Baneshwor housewife, believe Anurag was written off as the director decided to get back at his character simply because he had decided to hop out from KZK and into another serial, Hum Do Hain Na on Sony. Is Anurag really dead? Patience is the watchword. The trick is to wait and see — analyse and speculate. Time and further episodes will decide the question. If not, believe in what has happened.