Ekta says her new TV serial is 'simple, identifiable' ...

By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, Sep 5 (IANS) This year's Ganesha festival was

very special for Ekta Kapoor as she brought her first Ganpati in her

new home and her serial "Karam Apna Apna" went on air on STAR Plus.

"It's my first Ganpati in my new home. I couldn't have as much

celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi. I'd just had a pooja in the morning,

dinner with close friends and then went to Tirupati the next day to

pray for my new serial 'Karam Apna Apna'."

As for her new serial "Karam Apna Apna", Ekta says it's a full-on

Balaji brand of entertainment.

" 'Karam...' is a simple identifiable story. We wanted viewers to

get something to chew on. I won't call this show different or out of

this world. I'm accused of becoming distanced from reality in my recent

shows.

"Well, 'Karam...' is real. But I can't move too far away from my

style. Finally, my sensibilities will show on my shows. People say they

find 'Kkasam Se' very relatable. I think they'll say the same about

'Karam...'"

And why Iqbal Khan as the main lead?

"Well 'Karam...' will have its hero in an extramarital affair. My

hero should look like someone two women, best friends would be fighting

over. Iqbal fits the bill. It's a very sweet, innocent story."

Iqbal's other daily "Kaissa Yeh Pyarr Hai" for Ekta on Sony will go

off air in a couple of months.

However, Ekta says she hardly has anything to do with the new Smriti

Irani vehicle.

"Thodisi Zameen Thodasa Aasman", which went on STAR earlier this

month is very unlike what I do. Full credit to the writer Kamlesh

Pandey and Smriti Irani plus the STAR executives like Shailja Kejriwal

for this authentic serial. As for me, I've just lent my name to

'Thodisi Zameen...."

"Karam..." on the other hand is entirely Ekta's baby.

"You've no idea how many auditions I've conducted until we found the

right girl for 'Karam...'"

Ektat hunted for new face in Simla, Jaipur, Surat, Pune and Delhi

and finally found Pallavi Subhash in Mumbai.

"We wanted a face that was pretty and yet next door-like. Then one

day I happened to see a show called 'Tumhari Disha' on Zee. Pallavi

came on for maybe 30 seconds. And I said, 'This is the girl I want for

'Karam...'. My mom nearly threw a fit. Can you imagine? We hunt high

and low and finally we find her in Mumbai on television."

"Tumhari Disha" where Pallavi played a minor role has ended.

"And a new chapter has started for Pallavi. She's a complete Balaji

kid. We're shooting with her now."

"She's Marathi. But she's playing a Bengali girl from Kolkata.

Pallavi does lapse into a Marathi accent. But we control her. We'll

manage in the dubbing."

So is Pallavi another Balaji actor who'll soon start throwing her

weight around?

Ekta shakes her head. "I hope not! See, the stress of suddenly

shooting night and day takes its toll on the actors. I love my actors

and my shows. I hope I never lose my energy level about them."