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Monthly Archives: September 2011

"Whatever be the show, it just has to be honest" – Sidharth Sengupta!

When you have delivered a hit show like Balika Vadhu for three years in a row, and continue to tell a story of over 1000 episodes, like there were something new to tell each day, one would definitely wonder what is it that ensures this kind of consistency and quality? Having worked on unconventional shows like Ek Chaabi Hai Pados Mein which was a weekend Drama, and Jyoti, a simple story of a strong willed girl from a middle class family, Siddharth Sengupta ( known as Goldie to the TV fraternity) excels in story telling.

Every show has its own back-story to tell, and every one involved in it only goes on to make this story what it finally is. When you talk to Siddharth Sengupta, you can see why his shows are what they are: simple, strong yet effective. He is all of that! Play me your show, and I will tell you who you are.

During our hour-long chat with Mr. Sengupta, we were more than thrilled to know how shows are made, and what makes them click through the tale of Balika Vadhu.


Rangmunch.TV: Congratulations! Balika Vadhu has completed three years. What do you thing is the USP of the show, which has helped garner such high TRPs week after week?
Sidharth Sen: Thank you. Yes, it has completed 1000 episodes. The idea was to give something to society. We wanted to do it in an honest way because I had seen child marriages; it takes childhood away which is unjust. Everything else just fell in place; we never knew it would be such a big hit. It has worked because its extremely well written with lines that have lot of depth. The show has good actors and Pradeep Yadav, the Director is also good. I believe that when all the departments involved in making a show fall in place, the show becomes a hit.
Since I had been busy with Gulaal, I haven’t being doing Balika Vadhu for a while. Infact, I shot with Pratyusha (Anandi) for the first time only recently. Avika Gor (younger Anandi) and Avinash (younger Jagiya) were the ones I had worked with right from the start. I brought them up. 
Rangmunch.TV: Currently, there are several shows with a rural backdrop. Do you think it is essential to garner high TRPs?
Sidharth Sen: I don’t think so. Whatever be the show, it just has to be honest. After Balika, in these three years, how many shows that have started with rural background have been successful? Bade Achche Lagte Hain is doing well and is a respected show. It is not rural it is completely modern. It is actually a herd mentality to follow a success formula. If the story demands it then it is fine, but if it doesn’t why have it in the first place?
Infact, I don’t know how to make a hit show. More than us, everyone else seems to know why Balika Vadhu (smiles) is such a hit. At our end, we are just trying to tell you a genuine story.
Rangmunch.TV: So, whose concept was Balika Vadhu?
Sidharth Sen: It was Purnendu Shekhar’s concept who is the writer of the show and is also from Rajasthan. Purnendu and Sunjoy Waddhwa, the Producer, have been trying for years to get this across to people until Ashwini Yardi, Programming Head of Colors understood the concept and decided to air it. Nowadays the channels work on research. Four years ago, the Channel would not have allowed a story revolving around two kids getting married.


Rangmunch.TV: Do you think the unique idea of asking the viewers to choose the actress they wanted to see as their Anandi after the leap, worked in your favor? Why this strategy only for Anandi?
Sidharth Sen: Everyone has apprehensions when the story takes a leap because audience gets connected to the characters and their faces. Am sure that it has worked well as you can see Pratyusha (Anandi) is still working (smiles). This was an open audition. Television is led by women. She was the protagonist; hence, it was done only for her. Also, it was Anandi’s story at the end of the day.
Rangmunch.TV: Since your show depicts the rural Rajasthan, your characters not only wear the traditional Rajasthani costumes but also speak the dialect. Did you conduct any workshop to ensure the right diction?
Sidharth Sen: No, we have consciously not had very hard dialects. Its spoken hindi delivered with a leja – a flavor of the language. We have kept it flexible; we just wanted the flavor of Rajasthani dialect to come across. If it is over done people start disconnecting.
Rangmunch.TV: Do you prefer working with the same people (team) always?
Sidharth Sen: I am very finicky about who I am working with. I have a great equation with Sanjay. It is a pleasure working with him. Anybody who is interested in making a brand out of their name, which Sunjoy Waddhwa is, I am more interested in working with such people, because people are product conscious. I have been lucky to work with some of the best writers.


Rangmunch.TV: How do you ensure consistency with regards to the story and characters over a period of three years?
Sidharth Sen: That is the difference – it is a very honest and dedicated approach. It is the Director’s job to tell the story without letting any character or actors getting out of hand. This is possible when everything falls in place including the writers.
Rangmunch.TV: You have dealt with issues like puberty in the show. When shooting such scenes with children, how do you let them know what and why they have to do? Did you ever feel uncomfortable while explaining certain things to them?
Sidharth Sen: Avika (younger Anandi) is a very intelligent and mature girl. I used to call her Bindni (wife). I used to speak to her father too and he used to tutor Avika. I would try to explain to them drawing references from their world. Kids pick up faster that way.
Ali (younger Kesar) of Gulaal was much more innocent than Avika. Avinash (younger Jagiya) was also little difficult to explain to.
Rangmunch.TV: Has it ever happened that a scene or a dialogue was written that you were convinced of but the actor wasn’t?
Sidharth Sen: (Thinks and smiles) Well, it has. But we as creators have to justify the same, and make actors understand for them to perform. For eg. Senior artists like Surekhaji (Dadisa) play their characters with their heart, so you cannot tell her to do something that she is not convinced about; so it is important to convince them first as well.


Rangmunch.TV: Vasant and Gehna is another interesting couple in the show. Their suhaag raat addressed marital rape. How do you convince the actors and give them confidence to do such scenes where they have not had a chance to interact and get comfortable with each other?
Sidharth Sen: When I shot that scene, it was not difficult to convince the actors. The whole point is to do it aesthetically. It can go haywire anytime. If you have seen the show, you would know we have dealt with sensitive issue like menstrual cycle and things that are unheard of in the industry. Once you speak to actors, explain the vision, and assure them that it would be done aesthetically, they generally don’t have a problem. We don’t show anything vulgar in Balika or for that matter in any other show on Indian Television today.


Rangmunch.TV: What were some of the challenges you faced while shooting for this show?
Sidharth Sen: Shooting wise, there are scenes that we shot on the sand dunes in Rajasthan that comes to mind. It was during the month of May and it was so hot that we were getting blisters through our shoes. It was a tough shoot. Making the kids understand and setting them up for the shot was tougher than handling the climate.


Rangmunch.TV:  While Balika Vadhu has been running successfully, Gulaal went off-air due to low TRP. Why do you think it was unable to garner desirable TRP?
Sidharth Sen: I really don’t know how TRPs come. Whose job is it to garner TRPs? I have not met anyone in these 15 years who can tell a sure shot way to follow in order to garner TRPS. It has hard to tell what works with the audience. Some shows do well some shows do not.
Gulaal was not accepted I think from the word go. If the story was about Deyarvattu happening at a later stage then it should have started differently. The way it started, for the first 15 episodes you feel this is about a girl who can take out water. If people were interested in that story then they will see it anyway. Somewhere we may have made an error in judgement and I think that is why it did not do well.


Rangmunch.TV:  Do you get disheartened when things dont turn out the way you have envisioned like it did in Gulaal?
Sidharth Sen: No I don’t. We tried to tell a story and infact, till the last episode we gave our best.

Rangmunch.TV: Have you watched any other Hindi shows on Television recently?

Sidharth Sen: (Thinks and tells) Yes! Infact I did watch a show on Star Plus called Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon which is produced by a friend of mine, Gul Khan. I did not get to follow the show regularly because of my hectic work schedule, but I must say that I loved the overall execution of whatever little I saw.
Rangmunch Team would like to thank Mr. Sidharth Sengupta for taking time out from his busy schedule and talking to us at length.

Interviewed by:
Swati Ghosh
Niharika Vidya Sagar
Edited by:
Neeraja Unni 

Rangmunch.TV

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Colors

 

Just Dance : Friendship is in the Air!!!

Just Dance not only served as a platform to promote Dance but also united two friends.


Well in the recent past, we did hear stories about how two strong friends of Bollywood, Farah Khan & Shahrukh (Badshah) Khan had fallen apart for reasons best known to them.




However, we now hear that they have finally put behind their differences and have once again joined hands and become friends. All Thanks to Just Dance. The channel was shooting it’s Grand Finale episode in Filmcity, Goregaon when the camera captured SRK nudging and poking Farah on stage till she gave up and hugged him back!


Rangmunch.TV brings to you some captivating moments from the sets of STAR Plus’ show JUST DANCE where both Farah Khan (judge) and SRK (celebrity guest) PATCHED UP!




We hope their friendship continues to hold strong and go long!!


Compiled by:
Swati Ghosh
Rangmunch.TV
 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Just Dance, Star Plus, StarOne

 

NAVRATRI KE UMANG, KBC KE SANG!

With Navratri at full swing, tonight is the ‘shubh arambh’ (start) of Festival Specials in KBC.
The episode starts with a spectacular dance performance depicting multicultural aspect of India. As an added attraction to already colorful KBC, festival special episodes will have Bollywood superstars appearing on the show as ‘shubh chintak’ (well-wisher) of KBC!! 


Moreover, guess who will be spotted on the show as a part of this special celebration? Well it will be none other than everyone’s heart throb John Abraham! John will be joining in the festivities and amuse one lucky contestant who he will join on the hot seat!
Watch this colourful celebration and be a part of your favourite show Panchkoti Mahamoney Kaun Banega Crorepati!!
Edited by:
Swati Ghosh


Rangmunch.TV
 
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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Kaun Banega Crorepati, Sony TV

 

I, Me, Myself! – Samir Sharma

Rangmunch brings to you a heart to heart talk with Samir Sharma who has won millions of hearts with his endearing performance as Dev in a popular television show, ‘Geet Hui Sabse Parayi’ on StarOne. It is about time we knew Samir, the person.

Rangmunch.TV: One thing you are grateful for in life.
Samir Sharma: Life itself! (Smiles)
Rangmunch.TV: One thing that is missing in your life at this moment?
Samir Sharma: What I miss most right now is travel. I love to drive on highways and travel and see the world. Unfortunately, in this profession one doesn’t get to do that. But, we do travel when the show requires. Added to that, I would love to do a travel food show. I am a big foodie and dream of doing something on that line.
Rangmunch.TV: Is first impression always the last impression for you?
Samir Sharma: No, I always give a second chance to people. In this industry where you get to be with people 12-14 hrs a day, judging them will only make you end up with enemies.


Rangmunch.TV: Are you politically correct?
Samir Sharma: I am not political, and that is correct. (Laughs)
Rangmunch.TV: Do you take risks?
Samir Sharma: Yes, I do. The biggest risk I took was entering this industry. I was working in an advertising firm, and leaving that and coming here was a risk. Fortunately, that risk paid off.

Rangmunch.TV: What is your biggest fear?
Samir Sharma: My biggest fear is to go through life and not make any sense in it.
Rangmunch.TV: What do you think you need to change about yourself?
Samir Sharma: I am very lazy and need to get off my a**(sorry for using that word) but I really need to exercise and become more active. Well, I may look thin but am not fit. I need to change that.
Rangmunch.TV: Do you thank people enough?
Samir Sharma: Unfortunately, No. One needs to thank people enough.
Rangmunch.TV: So if you need to thank someone now, who would that be?
Samir Sharma: Really? How big is your web site and how many pages can you afford to fill with my thank you’s (has a hearty laugh) Well, most people don’t thank their parents enough. One should thank them for all the sacrifices and contribution they have done. So for me it’s the parents.


Rangmunch.TV: Do you look a lot into the mirror?
Samir Sharma: NOT AT ALL! Infact I’m one of the guys who even runs away from the make-up guy unless it is really needed and that too if it comes from the director.
Rangmunch.TV: Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Samir Sharma: I don’t think I have seen enough life to either agree or refute that. I like to believe that things happen for a reason.
Rangmunch.TV: What are you proud of?
Samir Sharma: I am proud of the fact that I could defy the people who said that I shouldn’t join the industry. I came and made a place for myself and for that achievement, I am certainly proud.
Rangmunch.TV: Do you listen to your heart?
Samir Sharma: I try to most of the time. But, mind does come in the way and starts the confusion. One does not know whether it is the mind or the heart speaking.
Rangmunch.TV: Are you a Director’s Actor?
Samir Sharma: Depends. If I am sure of what I am doing then no, and if I am a bit confused about a certain shot then definitely I take Director’s cue.
Rangmunch.TV: Does too much negativity get to you and how do you cope with that?
Samir Sharma: Yes, negativity does get to me so to avoid I get away from the situation or if that does not work, I put on my head phone and listen to music.


Rangmunch.TV: What kind of music do you like to hear?
Samir Sharma: I listen to all kinds of music. Ranging from classical to western classical, bollywood, trance, and techno, I listen to all.
Rangmunch.TV: Do you read?
Samir Sharma: (Laughs) Ask my wife that. She has strictly told me to buy another house with bedrooms dedicated only to books.
Rangmunch.TV: What kind of books do you read?
Samir Sharma: Again all kinds, whichever piques my curiosity. My favourite genre is science fiction. Though I didn’t do much of science in school, I am currently enjoying reading on quantum physics – a book called “A short history of nearly everything”, wish someone had given me this book in school. This book has given me so much knowledge, it is amazing.
Rangmunch.TV: What is the one thing about Samir people don’t know?
Samir Sharma: If they don’t know, then it’s for a reason and I want to keep it that way. (Then brushing it off in a light manner he goes on to say) I am a big FOODIE and I love to cook.
Rangmunch.TV: If you have to describe Samir Sharma in one word or a sentence, what would that be?
Samir Sharma: Hmm…lets say 2 words…Acquired Taste.
Hope you all enjoyed reading this segment and knowing Samir a bit more than you already do. Isn’t he fun to know? We certainly feel so. 


Special Thanks to Mr. Samir Sharma from the entire team of Rangmunch.TV, for taking time out from his busy schedule and doing this interview for us.
Interviewed by:
Swati Ghosh
Niharika Vidya Sagar
Edited by:
Navyanka Varma


Rangmunch.TV
 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi, StarOne

 

Just Dance Grand Finale – The Countdown has now Begun!!!


‘Just Dance’ has already tapped its way to the top among Weekend non-fiction programs with an average season rating of 3.0; while its debutant celebrity-judge Hrithik Roshan has been catapulted to the top of the popularity charts, according to the latest CIL (Characters India Like) study. The show also recently won the Best reality show award at ITA & host Ayushmaan won the best host on television award.


The three Finalists of Just Dance – Ankan Sen (left), Karan Khanna (middle), Surjeet Bansal (right)

Only one of the three finalists – Kolkata’s Ankan Sen, Delhi’s Surjeet Bansal and Mumbai’s Karan Khanna can win the Grand Finale – but not before he wins the hearts of viewers who can send in their votes through voting lines that opened on 25th September at 2230 hrs and will remain open till 28th September at 2230hrs. Viewers’ choice will account for 50% of the verdict.

The winner apart from earning the chance of a lifetime to match steps with Hrithik Roshan, will also get to drive away a brand new Maruti Suzuki Swift and a prize amount of Rupees One Crore.

Judges Farah Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant and host Ayushmaan will be joined by Hrithik and his family for the extravagant night that will pay a special tribute to the legendary Shammi Kapoor. What’s more, the finale will have its fair share of celebrity presence from tinsel town with Bollywood heartthrobs like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Rakesh Roshan and the rest of Hrithik’s family flocking in to cheer the top three!


“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet! It’s been one great dream to be part of this show and I just can’t wait for the finale,” said Hrithik Roshan, who judged the show that has become the first truly pan-India talent competition being beamed in various languages including Malayalam and Tamil.


Nitin Vaidya, Business Head for Star India’s Hindi channels said, The finale will span two-and-half-hours and viewers can feel the build up to the final climax. The finale will be fitting tribute to the very expression of dance and the winner will get to perform alongside Roshan.”

The Top 12 contestants along with the three Judges Farah, Hrithik , Vaibhavi and Host Ayushmaan

The show’s top 12 contestants will return to the stage to the Ganesh Hegde choreographed finale act for Hrithik.

So viewers get ready to be treated to a dance extravaganza beyond imagination this Saturday, 1st of October at 9pm only on Star Plus. Also witness who will win the ultimate opportunity of a lifetime to perform with Hrithik Roshan!

Edited by:

Swati Ghosh
Rangmunch.TV
 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Just Dance, Star Plus, StarOne

 

Child’s work or Child’s Play?:Food For Thought

It was in college that I had read about the micro-economic theory of utility which talks about decision making with regards to the choices you make for better a life style. Basically from what I remember and what my professor had explained, the gist of the theory goes on to explain how parents spend money on children as a means of investment, and hence their education and their other needs, with the belief and presumption that they will take care of them later on in life and repay it  . Before you sleep off, let me get into why I have picked up this heavy dosed discussion today. 

This theory however doesnt go down too well with our Indian sensibilities where, we have been told from time immemorial that the only love in the world that’s unconditional is that of parents and children. But what if, instead of the parents it is the children who become their source of earnings? Sounds in-human isnt it? Well, it does the way it has been presented atleast! But is it that bad? Think about it?

I was browsing through Channels when this particular Promo on Imagine TV  of their upcoming show Haar-Jeet caught my attention. Do take a look at it for yourself.


Did that stir something in you? Well, it did to me when I watched it for the first time. We have watched Balika Vadhu, Kashi, Devi and various other such shows where little kids play lead protagonists before the older ones take over. But what stayed with me after seeing this promo, was the message that the makers were trying to convey through the show. 


This show atleast for now seems to be tackling issues like exploitation, greed, attraction towards sheen and glamour and hopefully the need for education that possibly would be dealt with during the course of the show. With a striking title like Haar-Jeet, the promo atleast speaks of the irony of losing out so much in the name of gaining short-term fame.

What happens when children become a means of your livelihood? Its good to recognise and encourage talent and tap someone young, but what happens when you become so greedy that you forget you are holding a child at ransom? 

What happens to these little children after the show comes to an end? I agree education is not the be all and end all of one’s life. In todays times, where there are a million options, education, the need for schooling,tutoring and  mentoring has also become another choice you could make. But isn’t there a reason why we are sent to school. Isn’t that where we meet other people of our age, kind and type? Don’t you get yelled at when you make a mistake? Don’t you get graded when you perform well? Would TRPS of a show give you the same lessons? Would an older actor wanting to make it on his own, not force a little child to compete with him/her forcing her/him to become a part of the mad rat race? 

I wouldnt say, this is the only place where this could happen, it holds true for all those jobs of young domestic help, pani puri waala, paper waala as well as the little kids who are sent out to beg on the roads or even young boys and girls that are involved in sports and other activities. I am not here to make a moral argument! But the question I want to ask is, if the idea of the promo is to send a message across and to prove a point that this is wrong, is there no other way of showing it than using kids again to depict the same? 

Is TV viewing also meant to educate audience or is it merely a mode of entertainment? I throw the discussion open to you all. All feedback, positive and negative are most welcome!!!



Niharika Vidya Sagar

Rangmunch.TV

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Imagine TV

 

The Resurrection of HUM: Maaneet !!!

Today’s episode left me with mixed emotions. I was overwhelmed since after a very long time I saw Maaneet for almost 15 minutes and the entire episode was nothing less than a visual treat. However the news of the show coming to an end and the idea of not seeing Maaneet on-screen at some point in time did dampen my spirit for a while. However I could not hold myself back from penning down my thoughts about the episode that left me spell bound. 
                    
“Geet kaalash ko gira kar ek baar phir meri zindagi mein pravesh karo”  Geet’s patience and perseverance paid off today. These words from Maan put an end to Geet’s desolation. She finally won her love, her Maan and for us “HUM” is back.
Apparently for me it was more of Geet’s victory than Maan’s. Earlier whenever Geet came across any difficulty, she always had Maan to fall back on. However, this time around destiny played cruel and not only took away Maan who was her pillar of strength, but brought him back as a challenge in Geet’s life by erasing every memory of hers from his mind.
Such is the irony of life that the Man who once gave her the most beautiful memories around which her world revolved had become completely oblivious to her being and Geet had to patiently and persistently make a way back into his life.
For me, Geet is an epitome of Love, Hope, Strength and Positivity. After Maan lost his memory, it was Geet’s self belief & confidence in her love, which gave the strength to hold on to her relationship, irrespective of Maan’s behaviour towards her.
Besides having conviction in her own self, she never lost faith in her Babaji. Usually when faced with so many trials in life, people tend to lose hope and question the very existence of God. But with every tough situation, Geet’s faith in Babaji ONLY grew stronger which in turn gave her the strength and courage to overcome life’s hurdles.
Even now when Maaneet have finally reunited, we should not forget that it is Geet who has all over again won the love & respect of Maan as he is still unable to recall any of the past memories of their journey together.
With Maan making his way back in Geet’s life is good enough a reason for her to look forward to a new dawn.
“What I need to live has been given to me by earth. Why I need to live has been given to me by YOU” ~ Anon


Swati Ghosh
Rangmunch.TV
 
9 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi, StarOne