By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Mumbai, (IANS) "Sometimes I feel 60 years old!" says TV tycoon Ekta Kapoor who has turned 30 and is planning a sequel to "Kya Kool Hai Hum".
The sequel, says Ekta, will be her return gift to her brother Tusshar Kapoor.
Lucky Tusshar! "Yeah, I love my Tusky," Ekta gets as mushy as one of the women in her soap.
"In fact I postponed my birthday party by a week for my brother who was away on a foreign location. And, by the way, I've thought of the ideal return gift for him... a sequel to 'Kya Kool Hai Hum'! Ha ha!"
No, this isn't a joke. Tusshar gets to team up with Riteish again for the sequel. "I had to do it!
"They were clamouring for it. And who am I to say no to success? Tusshar and Riteish have become such a hit pair. They've been offered four films together.
"I guess a sequel was inevitable. Sangeeth Sivan will of course direct again. And let me assure you, this time the script will be absolutely original."
Ekta Kapoor, daughter of Jeetendra and known as the youngest female tycoon of Indian television industry, remains perennially busy.
"Between casting and scripting I had no time even to take the birthday calls, let alone celebrate! When I look at my dad's worried face writ large with 'Iss lakdi ka kya hoga?' (What would happen to this girl?), I wonder if it's worth it.
"I've no time for the closest of friends, no time for a relationship," says the creative director of Balaji Telefilms.
That's Ekta for you - thoroughly into her world and yet able to see the light side of success, besides the staggering variety of success that she has achieved.
After three earlier productions, she has made a mark with her latest release, "Kya Kool Hai Hum".
"After three duds as a producer ("Kyunki Main Jhooth Nahin Bolta", "Kuchh To Hai" and "Krishna Cottage") I finally have a hit on my hands, never mind a raunchy hit, as I'm constantly reminded.
"I'm not ashamed or apologetic about 'Kya Kool...' It was always meant to be a sex comedy. Audience couldn't have gone for it thinking it was a mythological."
Now Ekta really warms up to the topic.
"How come we giggle and chuckle at the off-colour humour in 'American Pie', but faint in horror at the same in a Hindi film?"
Speaking of horror, Ekta ain't giving up that genre.
"My mom looks at me with horror each time I mention making another horror film. But I love horror films. I love Ram Gopal Varma's cinema. That's what I'd like to make.
"But for now I've decided to make two films. Hope they won't be horrors, because they aren't meant to be.
"One will be a romantic comedy with my brother Tusshar and a newcomer in the lead. We'll launch a nation-wide star hunt for the new girl in collaboration with a TV channel."
Is "Kya Kool Hai Hum" a rip off from Robert Benigni's "The Monster"?
"So you caught us. What to do? There's so little originality left in our films. I think my soaps are more original than the films being made these days."
Speaking of her soaps, one of her soaps has revived the flagging career of a certain actor.
"My new soap for Sony 'Kaisa Yeh Pyar Hai' has given a new lease of life to Iqbal Khan. When he came to me, he had already done a few feature films and was hesitant about doing a soap.
"Look at what TV has done for him! There's soon going to be a range of merchandise related to Iqbal's character Angad," says Ekta.
The Lalu dolls had better move over. "The dolls are drooling over Iqbal. I wish other actors too would stop looking at TV as a stepping stone to cinema," quips Ekta.
She refuses to comment on the state of affairs with actor Ronit Roy, who is neither in nor out of her two popular soaps "Kasautii Zindagi Kay" and "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" to do another soap "Sarrkar" on a rival channel.
"All I'll say is Ronit and I need to work this out very soon. I've had a perpetual casting problem in my soaps. I wish I could find more Iqbal Khans."