Her new show begins with a K but has nothing to do with kitchen politics. Rather, it aims to send shivers down many a spine with real life stories. Ekta Kapoor admits to Rachana Dubey that she’s spooked too.
(Smiles) Hi.. have we met before?
Kind of, I’m your Facebook pal.
(Lights up) Of course.. now I remember. You look much younger without your glasses.<b1>
Thank you. How does your throat feel now?
Oh, I’m still sounding like a cross between Manoj Kumar and Nirupa Roy. But I’m better, thank you.
You were asking for Vicks on your Facebook status message.
Yeah, and some friends thought I was looking for a hot dude. I must give it the few, who realised I meant Vicks, the medicine.
You’re very updated on Facebook.
Ha, ha, I’m a Facebook queen of sorts. It’s become an obsession of sorts with me. Just like horror.. I love spooky stories.
Is that why you decided to make
Koi Aane Ko Haifor Colors?
I don’t go for channels, my association is with people. I made this show for Colors because of Ashwini (Yardi), who is the
programming chief. I’ve known Ash for a fairly long time. We worked on
You haven’t been lucky with spooky shows..
(Cuts in) On the contrary, two of the most successful spooky shows on TV —
Maano Ya Na Maano
Kya Haadsa Kya Haqeeqat —
were my productions.
But this show doesn’t have the Balaji Telefilms feel.
These stories are based on real-life incidents. That’s why we’ve not shot at any of the usual Balaji’s locations. <b2>
We shot in Lonavla and Mira Road at actual locations. We haven’t even used any of Balaji’s actors.. we have taken common faces.
Did any of the stories spook you?
I can no longer sleep alone in my room. I return from work at odd hours and make my poor maid sleep in my room.
After the first promo went on air, I’ve been feeling really eerie. Paranormal activities happen all around us but we notice them only when something happens up close.
But viewers expected a family drama from you, not a spookfest.
I might just make a family soap for Colors next.
You’ve kept a low profile for the last couple of months.
(Laughs) I was on a mental sabbatical. Physically, I don’t know when I will go on a vacation.. it’s been eight busy years. But
mentally, I just took off. I’m dying to go to Barcelona.. mind and body.
How come Ronit Roy is directing
He’s really impressive as a director. It was a spontaneous decision.. he didn’t let me down.
Kitani Mohabbat Haidoing?
One is the No 1 show on NDTV Imagine, the other one is No 3.
is at No 2. Expect more announcements.
Bandini, you switched from K to B.
Dude, I switched to T in between with
Tujh Sang Preet Lagayi Sajna
. I’m obsessed with K.
K follows me everywhere. I can’t help it, it works for me. I was told by the channel that the title I’d suggested wasn’t working.. that Bandini was a more apt title. It couldn’t be
we were working on an extremely tight schedule. We had just three weeks to get the show going. My creative team came up with the name. I consulted my astrologer and he assured me it was a
Tujh Sang..going off air?
Nope, it’s only been shifted to the afternoon slot. There are a certain number of hours for which I have to provide content as per my
contract with STAR.
Three of your longest running shows,
Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu thiand
Kahani Ghar Ghar ki, went off air in this accounting year. You must have suffered acute parting pangs?
I did, it happens with every show that ends. With
.. the pangs were more because I was really attached to it. It will go down in history as my longest-running show.
I have an emotional connect with
also for two reasons. The first reason is Ashwini, who gave me the most amazing twist to my story. In the original draft, there was no provision for Jai and Bani to marry.
Ash called me one morning and gave the idea. I didn’t respond immediately.. I agreed after 30 seconds. The reason was that I was doing my morning pooja. When she called, some ash and a flower from the statue fell on me. It was a signal from God that something good was coming my way. The rest, as they say, is history.
And the other reason?
The other reason is that for once we told the channel that we want to end the show.. it wasn’t proposed to us. We knew we could not stretch the story any further and gave it a happy farewell. It will always bring back pleasant memories.
Have you been following Ram Kapoor on
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 3?
Yeah, I saw him on the first episode. I think that fat people are naturally graceful. He looks so cute. And it’s commendable the way he dances with all that weight. I think he’ll win.
Recently, when your dad, Jeetendra, was judging
Dancing Queen, he was criticised for favouring Anita Hassanandani?
How many times will my father’s decisions as a judge be under the scanner? Just because I have friends in a channel and an old
colleague was a participant on the show, doesn’t mean that my father will make biased decisions on national television.
You were extremely passionate about
Kahaani Hamaarey Mahabharat kion 9X.
It’s a distant memory now. I couldn’t do anything about the show ending so abruptly, the channel itself ran into troubled waters. It shut shop and started having re-runs. I was helpless.
Kids rule the tube. What would you have watched if you were a kid today?
. It’s one of the nicest shows I’ve seen. I’ll hate Ash for the rest of my life because my mother watches that show more keenly than she ever watched any of my shows.. she even watches the re-runs.
You’re making a film on the TV industry inspired by the recent murder of one of your former colleagues, Neeraj Grover.
That project is under wraps, I can’t tell you much except that it will not be directed by Madhur Bhandarkar. I will rope in someone with a TV background. The subject matter is as shocking as the person who will direct it.
Once Upon a Time in Mumbaigo on the floors?
This May, I’m really excited.
You’re making movies when most companies are stopping production owing to the economic slowdown.
The slowdown has affected me also. (Pointing at her clothes) Look at me, I’ve started wearing Fab India clothes. A newspaper is so obsessed with my footwear that they published five pictures of me wearing the same pair of slippers. (Sarcastically) Listen, I don’t have money now. So I get a roadside mochi to make me a pair of slippers once a year.
Finally, your Facebook account was hacked recently. Did you find out how it happened?
No, it’s unheard of that anyone’s Facebook account gets hacked. What kind of losers do we have around today?