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Posted: 10 April 2013 at 2:26am | IP Logged

Non-stop home entertainment

The market is flooded with DVDs of popular serials, After Hrs explores if they are really worth our while

Kshama Rao

Single mother Kriti Parandikar doesn't get enough time to relax, and when she does, she and her teenage daughter sit for a marathon session of watching the Sarabhai V/S Sarabhai DVDs. She says, "Ever since the show wound up a few years ago, I have been waiting for a second season. Since that doesn't seem to be happening, the next best thing to do was to buy the DVDs. It's the ultimate stress-buster."
Parandikar is not the only one, says an official of a leading chain of bookstores. "The Sarabhai DVDs sell like hot cakes. Every time we get a new batch, they fly off the shelves. We have DVDs of other shows like Nukkad and Naya Office Office. There are mythologicals too but Sarabhai seems to be an ultimate favourite."
JD Majethia, co-producer of Sarabhai which was about an upper class, elite family starring veterans Ratna Pathak Shah and Satish Shah, says he isn't surprised. He remembers how people would come to him and demand for DVDs. But since the copyright was with Star TV, "It was a decision they had to take. Once I had been to Ahmedabad and had seen CDs of the show floating around. Someone else was making money on it and it was time Star did something out of it. And that's how these DVDs came out. I am told they are in great demand and I am not surprised given its content and production values, which were both ahead-of-its-time."
Says RH Chhatrapati, associate vice-president, sales and catalogue marketing, Universal Music, "We have always believed in good content and bringing out DVDs of TV shows are the best way to satisfy your consumer. Taking this concept ahead and beyond music, we approached Star TV for licensing their products for home videos and that's how we brought out DVDs of Naya Office Office, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge — Seasons 2 and 3 and Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai." He adds that good stories and popular shows always have a big market. "Viewers will always remember their favourite shows and love to have them in their collection."
Life OK and Ultra recently joined hands to bring out a limited edition DVDs of their flagship show, Devon Ke Dev Mahadev. Ajit Thakur, General Manager, Life OK says a survey was carried out last year where it emerged that Mahadev was one of the most-loved Indian TV characters. "The show was making an impact. The idea was to cater to an audience which was perhaps new and had missed out on the initial episodes. We were receiving a lot of letters and requests from high-profile people for these DVDs…so we re-edited and repackaged the content. Though people watch shows on YouTube, it's not always convenient. There is definitely a market for video on demand and home videos and it's only growing." 
Thakur says that the Mahadev DVD sales too have been brisk and they do plan to come out with the next edition. "The first set had the story up to Mahadev's marriage so naturally the next set will carry the story forward." 
However, Majethia says it's only content that's "all-time-classic" will stand the true test of time. "It's not just about contemporising content, it has to be ageless. Also, the show has to look new. Even if your content is good, if it looks dated and old, then chances are it may not always work." Traditionally too, sitcoms have lent themselves better to home videos. That they have a finite number of episodes is another advantage. Says Chhatrapati, "Mini-series/episodic series definitely work better and nowadays it's mostly comedy which people look forward to buy. We have already released Best of Khichdi and Instant Khichdi. Whether we will bring out more shows or not is greatly dependent on the quality of content and consumer preferences." Kshama Rao

Published Date:  Apr 10, 2013


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Posted: 10 April 2013 at 6:06am | IP Logged

Neha Marda makes a comeback with Mahadev

Vijaya Tiwari, TNN | Apr 10, 2013, 03.51 PM IST
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Neha Marda, who rose to popularity with her character Gehna in Balika Vadhu has been away from TV since quite some time now but the beautiful and talented actress is all set to make a comeback with Triangle Film Company's Devon Ke Dev Mahadev aired onLife OK.

Sources inform that the on-going Jalandar track which has already created a lot of buzz amongst the viewers will have a new addition as Neha Marda will enter the show. Neha has been finalised to play the role of Vrinda, Jalandar's (Lord Shiva's clone) lover. The future track will highlight Jalandar (Mohit Raina) and Vrinda's (Neha Mehta) love story. The couple will also be seen getting married on the show. Neha will start shooting for the show from today (10 April 2013).

Neha was recently in news for bagging the role of Chinki in Pratigya season 2.

When contacted, Neha confirmed the news and said, "Yes, I am doing the show. I am in fact going on the sets right now. I got a call from the production house yesterday night for this character and I am really looking forward to play the role." 

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Posted: 12 April 2013 at 2:56am | IP Logged

Neha Marda returns with..Mahadev

Chaya Unnikrishnan

eha Marda best remembered as Gehna of Balika Vadhu had quit acting to get married to Patna- based businessman last February. After a year of marital bliss, the actress is all set to make a comeback to TV with the mythological Devon Ke Dev Mahadev. She will play Brinda, wife of Jalandhar, who is a lookalike of Lord Shiva, albeit with grey shades. Says producer Nikhil Sinha, "We were looking for a good actress and our search ended with Neha. Brinda will have positive influence in Jalandhar's life." Neha, who has started shooting for the serial is excited being part of a show that is about her 'Ishtdevta, Bholenath'. "It was my vrat of 16 somvar that got me my husband so when I got this serial there was no question of saying no," smiles Neha who was looking for a show in which she would have a prominent role. "Though I am doing a cameo (her role will last as long as Jalandhar's track is there), my character is very strong," she informs. Ask her whether she has seen the earlier episodes of Mahadev and she confesses that she hasn't been an avid watcher. "My mother-in-law watches it religiously and she felt I should have played Parvati!" smiles Neha. Ask her what kept her away from acting for so long and she quips that she wanted to take a break after seven years of non-stop shooting. "I did Balika Vadhu for four years and before that was doing other serials. When I got married I wanted to spend time with my husband and indulge in all those things that I had missed earlier. Also, for most part I was abroad," she says. As for her husband's reaction to her facing the arclights again, Neha says that he is elated as he used to think that she is missing out on work. "It was I who had to convince him that I needed this break," she quips.
Chaya Unnikrishnan

Published Date:  Apr 12, 2013


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Posted: 12 April 2013 at 3:00am | IP Logged

"Mohit Raina is the best Lord Shiva on TV": Santosh Shukla

 

Published by: Faisal Saif 
Published on: Thu, 11 Apr 2013 at 03:53 IST

"Mohit Raina is the best Lord Shiva on TV": Santosh Shukla

Many of us are unaware of the news that Santosh Shukla, who is currently busy in shooting for Salman Khan's upcoming venture 'Mental' played the role of Lord Shiva in Mahua channel's 'Jai Jai Shiv Shankar'.

Until now the actor portrayed various deities from Lord Ram to Lord Krishna and gradually became face of mythological sagas. He was quite fortunate because he got the opportunity to participate in Colors' biggest controversial show Bigg Boss, which refined his life for the better. "It's really difficult to portray divine roles but sometimes it's even more difficult to break the image because once you do a mytho, the chances to get type cast are much higher. I am triumphant enough to get the image makeover, "says Santosh Shukla.

If given an opportunity will he play Lord Shiva again? The actor asserted, "Lord Shiva? Na baba na. Television par Shiva ke roop mein ab sirf Mohit Raina achche lagte hai (No ways, Mohit Raina looks the best as Lord Shiva on Television). He is an amazing actor."

According to Santosh, Mohit is playing a very important role in making the show such a massive hit apart from the huge production values, sets, amazing costumes and writers. "I was quite shocked when I saw him as Bhagwaan Shankar. Playing Lord Shiva in such a huge mythological show that is larger than life is not a joke. In 'Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev', Mohit carries himself so gracefully that one can't even expect someone else to play Lord Shiva in any other show. I actually want to meet him and congratulate him for doing such a fantastic job. He is best Shiva till date," quips Santosh.

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Posted: 13 April 2013 at 8:24am | IP Logged
Mansi Sharma in Mahabharat
Vijaya Tiwari, TNN | Apr 13, 2013, 04.26 PM IST


Mansi Sharma in Mahabharat
Mansi Sharma

The promo's of Siddharth Kumar Tewary's mythogical saga, Mahabharat on Star Plus has already hit the tube and with this the audiences' curiosity to see their favorite TV stars as Gods and goddesses has increased. 


The show which is all geared up to go on-air soon has actors like Shaheer ShiekhPallavi SubhashSameer Dharmadhikari in key roles and now we hear that Mansi Sharma last seen in Devon Ke Dev Mahadev has also joined the cast.

Sources inform that Mansi has been signed to play the role of Ambika in Mahabharat. Ambika was one of the three daughters of King Kashya of Kashi. Her two other sisters were Amba and Ambalika. 

When contacted, Mansi Sharma said, "Yes, I am doing the show but I can't comment anything on my role."


Edited by A-A-S - 13 April 2013 at 9:52am
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I am Patnivrata like Vrinda in real life: Neha Marda

Binita Ramchandani | Apr 15, 2013, 10:24AM IST
 
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Rose to fame as Gehna of Balika Vadhu, Neha Marda took a small break as she tied the sacred knot with Ayushman Agarwal. Now the pretty actress is all set to sizzle on small screen with Mahadev. She will be essaying the character of Vrinda in the show.

On questioning her how close does she associate with the character of Vrinda in Mahadev she laughs and replies, "I am absolutely patnivrata like Vrinda in real life. I have soft corner for Lord shiv and I have got my real life hubby after fasting for 16 Mondays(16 somvar). My
character Vrinda will be a cameo for two to two and half months."

Talking about the show she says, "My family and I am very happy that I am doing this show .My mother in law is a big fan of Mahadev. In fact all female cousins of mine want to drop in at the set to meet Mahadev( laughs)."

When probed further about her interaction with Mohit Raina she says, "We dint interact much but of whatever we did, I found him very humble and down to earth person. He has a wonderful personality."

"I feel he is truly a gentleman with awesome looks. He has made me feel comfortable on the sets," She concluded.


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From the Editor-in-Chief

India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie on rising popularity of Lord Shiva



For generations of Indians over millennia, Shiva was a God to be feared. People worshipped him because he alone, among the holy trinity of Hinduism, possessed the power to destroy. Like in several other spheres, young, urban India is rewriting the conventional wisdom. For them, Shiva is cool, an ancient icon given a contemporary twist, fit for consumption in the 21st century. Shiva is the flavour of the times-a star on television, the superhero in books, a subject for painters, a role model for the urban male and an object of admiration for the urban female.


In his rising popularity, Shiva has left behind Krishna and Ram, the avatars of Vishnu, both of whom had dominated popular culture since the 1980s. Two television serials from the 1980s, Ramanand Sagar's Ramayan and B.R. Chopra's Mahabharat, which riveted the nation's attention one Sunday after another on Doordarshan, did much to promote Ram and Krishna in the national consciousness. That period also coincided with the rise of Hindu nationalism in the political domain and the demand for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. For the BJP, which has since toned down its Hindu rhetoric and symbolism, Ram has always been the God of choice.

The rise of Shiva has a lot to do with his depiction in pop culture but is completely apolitical. The young author Amish Tripathi achieved a rare feat for an Indian writing in English when he sold more than a million copies of his Shiva trilogy, all works of fiction, in which Shiva is the central character. The film rights to his books have been bought by Karan Johar's Dharma Productions. One can expect the already rising popularity of Shiva to get a serious boost once those films are released. On television, the very popular serial Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev has made a demigod of its leading star Mohit Raina, who is greeted with devotion in public, something that was experienced by the stars of Ramayann and Mahabharat.

Behind all this, is a rediscovery of Shiva's many virtues. He is viewed as the ideal family man, devoted to his wife, an attractive quality at a time when urban Indians find it harder to make relationships work. He is a symbol of modern masculinity, the attractive kind without the hard edges that the average male often dishes out to the female. Shiva is macho but compassionate. In an age when a majority is caught in a rat race to be the best, Shiva stands for effortless cool. He is good-looking, even with matted hair and a loin cloth. He occasionally smokes cannabis without fuss. He is a symbol of eroticism, the epitome of a good lover.

Our cover story, written by Senior Editor Gayatri Jayaraman, captures this new social trend amongst the urban youth. Shiva is worn on body tattoos and on T-shirts. His accessories, like the rudraksha beads, are sported as trendy bracelets or necklaces. Most of all, chic Shiva is a friend, philosopher and guide to young people as they struggle to meet the complex demands of city life, whether at home or at work.

I find it interesting that Shiva's rising popularity graph has little to do with religion. Even atheists are happy to play along. Remarkably, it is a completely secular cultural trend. Om Namah Shivaya.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 at 2:28am | IP Logged

Good God!

Kshama Rao | April 6, 2013

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With his sculpted physique and serene demeanour, TV show Mahadev's Mohit Raina has a devoted fan following. But playing god isn't always easy.

He emerges from the water, drops glistening on his torso, bare and bronzed. His smouldering gaze, tinted blue because of the lenses he wears, is intense. And then the spell breaks. "Shivaaa..." sings the television set, signalling a commercial break. And female viewers across the nation, breathless with anticipation, pray that he'll be back soon.

Mohit Raina, who plays Lord Shiva in Life OK's hit show Devon Ke Dev...Mahadev, and has acquired quite a cult following. People even beg him to visit the hospital to cure their loved ones. "I want to shake them up and tell them I am not God, " Raina says, adding that gradually, he understood that people are just demonstrating their love and faith and using him as a medium to connect with God. "They even tell me, 'Don't misunderstand us. We are not doing this to Mohit but to Shiva because you are chosen by him so don't deny us that moment, " he says.

The 30-year-old actor adds that he's being level-headed about his newfound celebrity avatar. "I don't take myself as Mohit very seriously so I don't take myself as God too seriously either. But it's my job to play this very larger-than-life character, and I take that responsibility seriously. "

Sanjay Sharma, executive producer, says they auditioned 50 actors for the role of Mahadev. "Mohit was the 10th or the 12th guy but somehow he stayed in our mind, " Sharma says. Nikhil Sinha, producer and series director of Mahadev, adds, "As a director, I had a certain image of Shiva in mind and Mohit fit the bill perfectly. Today, he has become one with Mahadev and there is no way we can separate the two. " Amish Tripathi, who has authored a trilogy on Lord Shiva, is a huge fan. "It almost seems to me that Lord Shiva himself has blessed Mohit with his presence, " he says.

Raina admits to having reservations about taking on an immortal character at first, and says that during the early stages of the show, he relied a great deal on viewer feedback to determine how he would play the role. "The audience told us what they liked about Mahadev and what they didn't, and that's how the show began shaping up, " Raina says. Playing a character of such spiritual depth is daunting, and the actor admits to learning new things about his character as the story unfolds. "I don't think I can rest easy till the last day because the character is so big that there is no end to it. "

Sinha believes Raina's greatest strength is his commitment to the part, and Leena Jumani, Raina's Bandini co-star, recalls how he has always been a focused actor. "He's not the let's-foolaround-on-the-sets type of guy, " she says. Off screen, Sharma says the actor doesn't drink or smoke, lives with his mother and wakes up at 5 am every day for the 18 to 20 hour shifts. Despite his rigorous schedule, he makes time to go the gym and works out regularly to maintain his spectacular physique. But it isn't all about his body. Kermeez Shroff, 24, tarot card reader, "I am a big fan of Mohit because I think he embraces the character completely. Yes, there are his good looks and physique but anyone can look good. It's only he who can be Shiva. He plays it beautifully. " Raina doesn't believe he has had to make any major lifestyle adjustments after taking on this part. "I don't socialise much, I am not an outgoing person, " he says.

Raina says he has not been changed by the show's success. At an event organised in Haridwar earlier this year as part of the Mahadev Ganga Mahotsav or Ganges clean-up drive, Mohit was greeted by about 20, 000 people who kept chanting his name. His fan-following encouraged the channel to release a limited edition of Mahadev DVDs in February this year. But the self-effacing actor just says, "On TV, it's about fitting the bill. I resemble what they had seen on calendars. "

As far as his own spiritual life goes, Raina, who is from Amarnath in Kashmir, calls himself a believer in Lord Shiva since childhood, having inculcated this from his father, a staunch believer. It was an emotional moment for his family when they first saw him as Lord Shiva. "But it's family, so they don't take you very seriously. I am just their son, " he says.

Raina informs that his heartthrob status isn't restricted to middle-age and elderly women;it cuts across age, gender and even religion. People have told him that he has changed their lives. "When I say something as Mahadev, it seems to make an impact on them, " he says. "You put your heart and soul into a show and when it doesn't work it hurts, " he says. "Now with Mahadev doing well, it has to be the highest point of my career. " 
He isn't worried about finding a new avatar, when the time comes. "This is 2013 and the mindset has changed, " he says, concluding, "I know I will break that mold. "


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