After her seven-year-long reign as the TV screen's favourite bahu, Tulsi Virani died in a major road accident in the Thursday episode.
With a truck tumbling across a valley, Smriti Z Iraani's innings in the soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi has come to an end. But her character doesn't die since Gautami Kapoor has taken over the gauntlet. Tulsi lives on. Nivedita Basu, creative director of Balaji Telefilms, said, "We're not killing the character, we're killing the actress for now."
There was talk that Kapoor may have been looking for the kind of hype created in television history when the serial's main lead Mihir Virani died, but only to make a comeback later.
Then, Ronit Roy replaced Amar Upadhyay as Mihir. But it seems Ektaa Kapoor wants immediate viewer feedback to her decision of replacing Iraani. Controversies galore Many believe that the controversies between Kapoor and Iraani were a publicity stunt to get in the viewers.
On being asked if Tulsi is a retrograde role model, Kapoor had recently said, "I'm not making my serials for women in Malabar Hill. Real India has real problems which are reflected in my serials."
Also, it remains to be seen whether Gautami will be able to portray the vulnerability that Tulsi is associated with– especially since she has bagged the role over Padmini Kolhapure and Poonam Dhillon.
Ego clashes The Iraani-Kapoor relationship has seen many ups and downs over the years. It has seen many downers, particularly when Iraani had to devote time to her own productions.
Added to that Iraani's demand for a pay hike and her inability to give dates added to the existing tension. Fights or no fights, it's doubtful that their friendship will ever go bust.
Iraani is on a three-month break from Balaji Telefilms. Kapoor has conveyed to her that she can return to play Tulsi whenever she wants to.
At a recent awards function, Iraani has said that she will not stop being Tulsi because it has given her fame and success and that one shouldn't turn her back to the adulation from viewers.
Obviously, now it's their egos which are taking a breather.