Ekta Kapoor goes middle class with new soap ...


By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, March 24 (IANS) TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor is on a new high with her foray into non-fiction programming "Kandy Floss" paying 'bitch' dividends and her new serial "Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka", which she describes as a tribute to the Basu Chatterjee brand of working class comedies.

" 'Kandy Floss' is catty, but not bitchy. But the response has been way beyond what we expected. Now I am charged about 'Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka'. Pataa nahin kya hoga Ekta ka," she joked about her new serial, which was unveiled March 20 on STAR One.

Ekta's first soap on STAR One is a new experience for her on many levels.

"It's my first soap on the new channel on STAR, therefore it has to work not just for Balaji (Films) but for the new channel. It's the funniest show on earth. Yet it isn't a comedy. It's got drama but no melodrama. I promise my audience that no one is going to die and come back," Ekta chuckles, drawing attention to the melodramatic mode that her serials generally adopt.

Ekta says the protagonist of her new serial Nimmo resembles her in many ways.

"You know Nimmo is in many ways like me. 'Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka' is my version of the Cinderella fairytale. Like me, she has simple dreams. Like me, she waits for the pumpkin to turn into a stagecoach. And yet Nimmo is very much rooted to the middleclass," Ekta told IANS in an interview.

She promises novelty in her new serial.

"Those who have accused me of making one kind of soaps will see that I have changed to another format. I have deviated without getting into reality TV or any of the non-fiction programming formats. 'Nimmo' sticks to my style and yet goes into a new territory.

"I'd say it's my tribute to the working-class comedies by Basu Chatterjee and Sai Paranjpye. It's like Chatterjee's Parsi 'Khatta Meetha' shifted to a Gujarati milieu. But, please, Nimmo's family is nothing like the Viranis in 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi'. There are Gujjus and Gujjus."

Ekta exults about her latest offering.

"Nimmo is your regular middleclass dreamer with normal dreams with two sisters who are considered far more capable and happening than Nimmo. The mom is not a shrew like Cinderella's stepmom. But she genuinely believes Nimmo to be a loser. But, boy, does she have surprises in store!"

She has roped in ex-cricketer and commentator Navjot Singh Sidhu to play the role of a narrator.

"To play Nimmo we got a new girl Sanjita. She has done a couple of south films. But she is completely new to Mumbai. As for Ejiaz Khan, he plays our Prince Charming very charmingly. Navjot Singh Sidhu is cast like a sutradhar who may or may not be god. Who knows! He keeps popping up at unexpected times to advise Nimmo. He's like the fairy godmother in Cinderella."

Ekta doesn't see herself as being responsible for giving the fledgling STAR One channel a twist in the TRPs.

"Why only 'Nimmo'? There are several other new soaps coming on STAR One. So far the channel hasn't really focused on fiction. Let's see how far 'Nimmo' helps."

Talk veers to Ekta's other new experiment.

"In just a week 'Kandy Floss' has ruffled quite a few feathers. And it is going to get more and more irreverent. The interview with Sandhya Mridul and Rakhi Sawant was a rocker. 'Kandy Floss' isn't for the weak at heart. I guess Balaji is finally growing bold."