Telly veterans make a comeback
Some of Indian television's original queens would be seen making a comeback on the small screen.india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 15:55 IST
That Bollywood's out-of-favour stars, have always found a second lease of life on the small screen is old news. However, of late, some of television's original queens can be seen making a comeback on the small screen.
Making the transition from weekly soaps to daily ones and especially not in the prime of their youth or energy, how has it been like, getting used to the gruelling schedules of daily programming?
Supriya Pathak of Doordarshan's Idhar Udhar fame says, "I had heard of the erratic schedules prevalent of late, so I have been careful in my choice of serials. For instance, Khichdi was a weekly and my role in Baa, Bahoo aur Baby is clearly etched out and comfortably paced."
Navneet Nishan, who makes her comeback in the recently launched Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka, says, "I have worked in a biweekly before and luckily for me the producers have comfortably spaced my dates so that my work schedules are not that much different from before."
Comfortable pacing of their acting schedules incidentally, happens to be a common condition for these comeback telly stars.
Television's original chat show queen, Tabassum, who finally makes her acting debut with the new Rajshri show, Pyaar Ke Do Naam - Ek Raadha Ek Shyaam says, "The good thing about this serial is that it gives me a lot of leeway, and inspite of being a daily, it allows me my pace of work."
With the schedules in place, it's always a well-defined role or a big banner that seems to be a major factor in getting that appreciative nod from these telly veterans.
Nishan, who made telly history as Tara, the original leading lady with grey shades, says, "After the spate of conniving mothers-in-law, my character in Kya Hoga Nimmo Ka, is going to introduce you to a conniving daughter-in-law.
I play an ambitious, greedy woman, who beneath that sugar-coated sweetness, wants to corner everything for her son.
Unfortunately, you do get typecast, so although this is one more character with negative shades to be added to my portfolio, the appeal lies in being part of a good cast, and working for a banner known for its popularity."
Echoes her co-star in this serial, Sujata Mehta of Doordarshan's epic telly series Shrikant fame, "My role has a lot of shades. It's about a housewife, who wants to be a designer and dreams of being featured on Page 3.
People have always known me as a dramatic actress; Kya Hoga Nimmo Kaa gives me an opportunity to show multiple shades to my talent. Doing a daily is a challenge, but I gave my nod for Kya Hoga... because it's different from the other Balaji shows, in looks, plot lines and character build-up."
They may not be the new face about town, but they are also aware of their contribution and standing in the Indian television history. They won't say `yes' to just anything that gets them back -- it has to put some spotlight on them too. More than money, what keeps them going is the respect of their juniors and the lure of a good role, albeit small.
Says Tabassum, "There are so many budhiyas on television that I didn't want to play another, but then this role was closer to reality.
In real life, I am a grandmom of 60, while in the serial I am 70, with the verve of someone much younger. I have always put in a bit of social message into my shows, and here too I do the same.
Through my character, I show that if you stop getting cranky when old, then youngsters too won't run away from you. I play a cute, emotional dadi."
And mind you, these actors don't take it easy to being reduced to the producer's 'name dropping' publicity gimmicks or play trophy stars either.
While Mehta, who had earlier walked out of a serial, when her half-baked character began to change by acquiring new negative shades, sallies Pathak, "I have to know where my character is going, otherwise I can't work on just anything.
A role has to excite me to commit to it, the why, how and nature of the serial is subsequent to it."