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, the soap 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."