Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki
(Star Plus) has ended. Eight years, 1,500 episodes, 1,000 headaches/attacks of vertigo later, it’s finally goodbye to Parvati & Co. I’m almost tempted to pronounce the end of an era (accompanied not by stifled sobs but by whoops of joy and ecstasy), but I can’t as yet. Not as long as Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi is still on air. For those of you who remember, a long long time ago (2000), in a galaxy far far away (in a world which still hadn’t seen the onslaught of hundreds of channels of all kinds), the first three ‘K’ serials appeared on Star Plus (Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Kasauti Zindagi Kay), ushering in a dawn of saas-bahu melodramas. We couldn’t wait for twilight to come — but it took a long time coming. As for a new dawn, that’ll only come when Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi ends (it’s still going on — and on and on).
Only once this grandmother (or should it be grandmother-in-law?) of a serial goes, will we really be able to rejoice. I don’t know if the interview was genuine or not, but I read somewhere that Ekta Kapoor had said that she didn’t know what to do with the story of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. Neither did we, Ekta, neither did we.
Are the Hindi news channels vying with each other for most bizarre story award? On IBN7, I chanced on a story about the channel having discovered the stairway to heaven. No, nobody at IBN7 was tripping on Led Zeppelin. Apparently, an adventurous crew from the channel had discovered the staircase the Pandavas had used to climb to heaven. Wow! Now that was really Breaking News. I watched the programme for about half an hour. In those 30 minutes, 20-odd minutes were taken up by ads. The rest was incoherent babble. The IBN7 TV crew had reached Mana, a village beyond Badrinath, we were told in awed tones (so have lots of trekkers, by the way). So what happened after that? Well, strange visuals collided with each other on screen. The voiceover told us what had happened to the Pandavas when they were on their way to heaven (along with truly horrendous reconstruction in which Draupadi looked like a character from a horror movie).
After half-an-hour, I switched channels. Maybe the story suddenly became coherent after that, but somehow I doubt it. (The truth is that you can, if you want, do a story where you try and match places/events from mythology with actual locations. Archaeologists and historians have worked on this for years. But of course IBN7 had no intention or inclination to attempt a proper journalistic story. The idea was merely to peddle some mumbo-jumbo in as sensational a manner as possible to credulous viewers).
And finally. I saw Munish Makhija (of the Haryanvi accent + lathi + kambal fame) in Bindass channel’s new show, Cash Cab. Unsuspecting commuters get into Munish’s cab. He then springs a whole lot of questions at them. If they answer correctly, they win some money. If they don’t, they have to get off the cab. This makes for some amusing situations — specially when people are suddenly told to get off the cab in the middle of pouring rain. “But I have to get to Haji Ali! (or wherever)” wail the commuters. But Munish drives off jauntily. The programme does have its moments, specially with Munish dead-panning his way through. And it is a change to see Bindass actually coming up with a decent show — after Dadagiri, nothing could redeem the channel, I’d thought. I'm glad to have been proved wrong.