Note: These are excerpts from the conversations with the known names of the industry, whose full accounts will soon be published on Rangmunch.TV.
Category Archives: Hitesh Kewalya
Change they say is the only constant thing in life. But change brings with it a lot of happy and sad moments. I still fondly remember my days in first year of college when my senior and I would religiously be glued to the Television in our hostel never to miss an episode of Remix, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai. Thus started my romance with StarOne as a channel that soon became my favorite.
At the outset, the Channel was not just entertaining it was addictive. As the list of programmes and the variety it offered only made TV viewing an inevitable habit, the wrapping up of the shows on it, became like a heavy moment to live with.
Strange isnt it? Who would ponder so much over a mode of entertainment. But StarOne besides being a total entertainer, offered variety of “Youth Shows” as everyone calls them, that no other Channel on Indian Television could boast of.
From Siddhant, Guns and Roses, Hotel Kingston, India Calling to Laughter Challenge, Dil Kya Chahta Hai, Men Mange More,Family Business to a totally different genre of romance with Remix, Dill Mill Gaaye, Miley Jab Hum Tum, Rang Badalti Odhani, Geet Hui Sabse Parayi, I fell head over heels in love. To say it was a non-living entity would be an understatement. With the varied emotions and the sleepless nights it gave me, I had no other option but to completely take a plunge into the madness. I have made some of the best friends through the Discussion forums of this Channel and today as the Channel bids adieu to its old avatar and takes a new form with a new name Life OK, I am finding it extremely hard to let go. Is it just me who feels this way?
We at Rangmunch.TV tried to get in touch with some of the known names and faces in the industry who have been closely associated with the Channel through their shows to know what they feel at the moment.
Industry Bids Adieu to StarOne Part 1:
Gul Khan (Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi-Producer 4Lion Films): Our association with StarOne has been fantastic. Geet is a product of a perfect collaboration between the channel and us. Rohini Singh with her creative brilliance, Nissar with his Direction, Richa as the Creative Director, and Hrishi with the camera work made a brilliant team. All of us have worked so hard that there was never a disparity between channel and team. When we did drama in the beginning which was not working for us, I remember how we would sit and cry with disappointment. Richa once came home, and the TRP around that time was 0.1, we cried so much that we started laughing after that.
Then we put our minds together and decided to change the genre. The heavy drama and family was not working for us so we switched the Romantic-Comedy zone and that’s how the Geet everyone has gone onto love today was born. We discarded the old cast, brought Maan and Geet together and set off on the roller coaster ride. Things slowly started picking up. It soon became a cult. The amount we cried, we laughed that much later. But I admit, its been hard. We as a Production House would like to thank all the fans for sticking by us and loving us.
Anand Sivakumaran (Writer-Director): What appealed about Star One to me was the intention – to create content for people like me who have no other alternative in terms of Indian Television. We who end up watching American and British TV shows because in sensibility and character attitudes and thought processes, they’re closer to us than any Indian TV show. The chance of doing something like that which reflected the thought processes, aspirations, realities of urban, metro India was exciting.
The journey had it’s ups and downs – in the first interaction when I was involved with Guns and Roses and Studio 1 was exciting but ultimately disappointing cause though we had lofty ambitions, somehow we didn’t manage to achieve them. the second round was more satisfying when I did Miley Jab Hum Tum cause while I feel we could have gone much further and taken the show even closer to what are urban realities and aspirations today, we did strike a chord with young urban people, we made a place in their hearts and we were the most successful show that Star One had ever seen. I feel if the channel had progressed further and taken the Miley genre, space further, perhaps it would have been way more successful. But that’s water under the bridge.
Life’s OK – no comments.
A bit of sadness – there was a unique vision that perhaps did not materialize as it should have. But I still think a channel like this has its niche audience and can be successful if someone’s willing to invest in it, nurture it and go out on a limb to make it happen
Message? Keep the faith. Another time, another platform, maybe not on TV but online – but there will be the shows we want to see. IT WILL HAPPEN.
Sukirti Kandpal (Pia- Pyar Ki Yeh Ek Kahani): Well…. The association has been amazing… Its been a wonderful journey. I’ve learnt a lot, grown up and been a part of the process. There is a name change and change is the way of life… 🙂 the show must go on… I think that’s the essence of life and my profession I love it.
Iqbal Rizvi (Director): Star One epitomized youth, it had a variety of shows that catered to the modern and the young audience whether it was Sarabhai vs Sarabhai or Guns and Roses or REMIX, these shows set the tone to what Star One was to cater to us for so many years. I remember there being a phase where I was contacted for many shows and the first thing they would tell me was it is not a saas bahu show it is a youth show.
STAR ONE hence was always a channel synonymous with youth and more importantly catered to an audience that had no other shows to look forward too. STAR ONE did under go a metamorphosis over the last few years trying to cater to the gentry as well as the masses and the approach met with great success with shows like Miley Jab Hum Tum, Rang Badhalti Odhani and Geet Hui Sabse Parayi being hugely popular as RANGMUNCH would endorse. I shall sorely miss STAR ONE with whom I had a close affinity having directed shows like REMIX and Jaane Pehchaane Se Yeh Ajnabi for them. THANK YOU STAR ONE for all those moments that lit up our lives.
Gautam Hegde (Writer): I remember when Star One was launched sometime in 2004, I was very new to the TV industry then and was completely in love with the channel- its tagline was Apni Tuning Jamegi and it had this complete fun feel to it. The promos, the packaging- it was like a wafer, crisp, fresh, you couldnt just have ONE! Sarabhai, Instant Khichdi, Remix, Guns n Roses, Pyar Ki kashti, Hotel Kingston (you may think I’m googling the names but the truth is I remember because I was awestruck that TV can be THIS too!!) And I secretly wished to be a part of Star One someday.
And somehow I think God hears the whispers that you send to your own heart as well. A few years later, Vivek Bahl offered me to write for Annu Ki Ho Gayi Wah Bhai Wah!
Today the channel’s phasing out and we won’t get to see the ONE logo any more, but what matters is that somewhere it is still framed in our hearts, like the cupid in the end page of Love Ne Mila Di Jodi, like the whistle theme of Miley Jab Hum Tum, like the Ishq leta hai song from Dil Mil Gaye, like Maaheee from Geet. Its something we wont remember, because yaad toh tab aayega na jab bhool jayenge! 🙂
Star Desh/ Life Ok is coming with a new set of shows, so let’s all wait and watch what they get and hope we still have more characters that become memorable, more love themes, more jodis, kyunki bhai, dil toh bahut bada hai, jagah banane ki der hai!
Hitesh Kewalya (Writer): Miley Jab Hum Tum launched me as a writer in the television industry and that’s why Star One is more like a milestone in my life. Its been a great journey where the channel was more like a platform which enabled so many like minded creative professionals to come together and create.
‘Life Ok’ as we now speak. I am definitely looking forward to a spunky new channel and a variety of shows that should capture the audience’s imagination and who knows…Another Milestone…in the making!!
A huge thanks to the loyal…dedicated set of audience who shared the smiles and the tears of all the characters and made them their own. The audience is not just a set of eyeballs viewing an even happening…they are participants of this spectacle called a Story. A huge Thank you for all the bouquets and the brickbats for all the love and the hate mails for all the likes and the dislikes.
Noel Smith (Director):The channel was young in content , programs were youth based and it had spunk to it, which also was fun to shoot and be around many young fresh faces. I did “Geet- Hui Sabse Parayi” for long period of time. It was again a young , fun , romantic and lots of drama and I had all the creative independence on how to shoot a certain scene , which I think is most important thing for any Director to have and cast also fully supported me in it. So it was good in all. I always thought and still think we have a lot of literature which is untouched, stories by great writers, novels which can be very interesting for us to make and for people to watch. So I am hoping to see some shows based on stories /novels maybe in today’s setup or even short stories from all over the world to be translated into shows. It is the end of an era and a beginning of new one !! So hang on … while we get even better !
We will be back again, with more accounts, more stories of the people from the industry who have shared their experience with StarOne.
Niharika Vidya Sagar
The excitement we felt while entering the sets of ‘Humse Hai Life’ has still not ebbed hours after we have left the place. From the second we stepped onto the sets, there was something or the other that kept us fascinated throughout. The sheer vibrancy of the set with generous splashes of Red, Green, White, and Yellow lifted our spirits few notches higher. We noticed that the room that has the boxing ring also boasts of a well-equipped gym. The thing that caught our eye the most was the Snapshots Begham & Badshah Cards adorning the doors of the Ladies & Gents Toilets on the sets respectively.
Before we continue, we would like to thank the Producers of the show, 4Lions, for inviting us to spend the whole day with them on the sets. It was a pleasure meeting one of the producers, Nissar Parvez, Director of the show, Gorky, and the Creative Head, Persis. A special thanks to the writer of the show, Hitesh Kewalya for coming to the set specially to meet the Rangmunch team.
Spending quality time with all of them gave us a better understanding of the show, its characters, and an insight into the various aspects of making a youth based show. The reason for choosing Channel V to air their show was the channel’s belief in their vision and the creative liberty given by them to execute that vision.
They also stated that Sia, the protagonist of the show, has several intriguing layers to her character that will each be revealed as the story progresses. Though the show is currently catering to the youth, we will soon get to see the storyline progressing to include parents and elders in the viewership fold.
We bumped into Himansh (Raghav) and Abigail (Sia) on the sets. We also had the pleasure of seeing the masters themselves weaving their magic right in front of us – Nissar Parvez was enacting the scene with Maan Singh while Gorky floored us completely by clicking working stills with our camera. We were also treated to a lavish lunch that we thoroughly relished. Overall, it was a memorable experience we wish to repeat in the near future.
Forthcoming Track: We hear that Raghav who has never ever said sorry to anyone in his life so far, finally says it to Sia for the first time. What is it that prompts him to apologize to Sia?
Watch this space for a detailed account of the precious information we gathered on the sets of ‘Humse Hai Life’.