When Jassi meets Jassi in the cyberspace
by Sujoy Dhar, Indo-Asian News Service
Kolkata, Sept ... (IANS) She is a college teacher and a desperate housewife by the day and a "serial killer" by the night.
A mother of a five-year-old boy, Anindita Sengupta juggles with her commitments at home and workplace during the day, but by late night the Economics lecturer is the netizens' favourite "coolbie", a sobriquet for updater of TV serials on the site
As one of the "coolbies" she updates every <> Monday and Thursday on net the roller coaster ride in the life of Jassi, the fading darling of Indian television audience.
Net-savvy housewives across urban India, teenyboopers, cool Indian techies in USA- all avid watchers of Jassi, the loveable Cinderella of Sony Entertainment soap 'Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin' (JJKN), eagerly wait for an update by Anindita on www.india-forums.com, a TV serial discussion forum with huge following.
Anindita's update is one of the most avidly read contents on the site for those who miss an episode and even those who have lost interest in the serial because of its "illogical twists" but cannot really hold themselves back from abreast with the latest.
Welcome to the happy happening world of cyberspace where sash (mother-in-law), bahu (daughter-in-law) and sajish (conspiracy) are dissected every night and debated furiously.
India-forums.com, developed by Kolkata-based 25-year-old software professional Vijay Bhatter, is one such site which has a dedicated reader base of more than 30,000 and it is growing by the day.
Interestingly, it is managed by the television serial fans across the world.
<> So what was the idea behind India Forums?
"Initial reason was my enthusiasm to discuss the serial JJKN which I believed was something different then other shows and started daily updating show. Soon we got so many users coming on to the site regularly checking the updates.
"Thus the basic idea on starting India Forums was to create a universal discussion board for Indian Television and to meet people from all across the globe," says Vijay.
"It was fun as then there were no forum which allowed people to discuss TV Shows. Soon members joined us and started penning daily synopsis of what's missed, and also a daily detailed transcript of different shows.
"Its growth has been exponential in all respect whether in terms of Popularity, Memberbase or Site Traffic. We are expecting to reach 1,00,000+ members by the end of this year," Vijay boasts.
"However, members' interest in other topics also lead to the creation of the sister site www.india-forums.in which is also seeing similar growth and becoming extremely popular," he informs.
Says Anindita, "Some people who used to watch Jassi.. , it being very different from the other saas-bahu shows, grouped together under this umbrella to discuss about the show.
"Later on the forum went on expanding for other shows on Sony as well as other channels.
"Actually I myself joined in January this year. I liked JJKN because it was inspired by superhit Mexican tele-novella <> "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" (I Am Betty The Ugly) which I had read on the Internet after translating it from Latin on the Google.
"It was a moving experience reading the love story and thus I landed at India Forums while searching for more information on Betty and our own Jassi."
Says Azim Bootwala aka Jammy, a moderator currently doing MBA in IT in the UK.
"The best part of our forum is it doesnot takes sides, the users are openly allowed to critisise the serials and the actors and directors, but still we keep an eye on the users that they dont get out of hand or abusive," says Jammy.
"You will be suprised to know how many fans do take their serials and actors or actresses seriously and so passionately. So we help them to express their views in a creative manner.
"It also welcomes all the directors or actors to express thier views to the users openly."
Thus India Forums brings a TV star each Saturday for interaction with the viewers.
TV Actors like Swapnil Joshi and the hunky Iqbal Khan (who plays Angad in 'Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai') have already come on their live interviews. They are soon going to interview Riva Bubber (who plays Damini in "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi") <>
Says Tanaz aka Mystica Magic from Canada, who is a student doing Chartered Accountancy and is the Official India Forums Editor," Initially I was a silent reader of the updates and didn't bother participating in discussions, but eventually I became very active once I saw how friendly the members were."
"At that time, the forum was small with only a couple hundred members. Few months later, to my great surprise, I was elected Moderator, then was promoted to Global Moderator and have been one ever since," says Tanaz who manages the Community Blog (weekly newsletter) www.india-forums.com/blog.
"I used to actively moderate several sections previously, including JJKN, but later on, once more moderators were added to the team, my workload was reduced and I started focusing on specific sections that I enjoyed visiting."
"Right now, I'm quite active in the Harry Potter section of the forum which I moderate along with the section moderator, Misha," says Tanaz.
India Forums is also planning to come out with an India-Forums e-book to help showcase the talents of budding authors to the world awaited every night by thousands.
The site also is going to introduce "IF Telly Awards" as the first of its kind for Indian Television which will be conducted online in a transparent manner where soap viewers not just from India but across the globe can nominate and vote for their favorite TV stars, shows and people working in the TV industry. <>
Sums up Lakshmi Maruthi, a software engineer with Cisco (USA) and one of the site administrators, "We are growing for three reasons: friendliness, freedom and cleanliness."
Yahoo India News
"We have strived to keep the forum friendly and simple for all the members while giving them the freedom to expresses themselves. It is our constant goal to keep it clean for members of all ages.
In short, IF is "a home away from home" on the cyberspace for many a netizen.
--- Ends ---
South Asia News
Edited by vijay - 17 September 2005 at 12:23am