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Ekta Kapoor, the Queen of soaps is slowly vanquishing her coveted title with her run-of-the-mill television soaps. The much sought after lady who churns many serials per day, has lost track of late. Her serials Kyunki Saas Bhi kabhi Bahu Thi, Kasautii Zindagii Ke, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kkusum, Karam Apna Apna, Kahinn to Hoga, Kutumb Kasam Se and so on goes the long list, as long as her serials themselves in Star Plus, Sony, 9X or Zee TV. The glorious past stands as painful testimony to its inglorious future. When Kyunki was released years ago in the late hours of the night, no one had an inkling of idea that this soap would go on to revolutionize Indian television. History was created and the serial went onto gather rave reviews, emerging as a trendsetter and fostering a bond of unity among its zealous spectators. It was to be followed by a host of other ones like K Street Pali Hill even compelling viewers to forsake their sweet sleep and watch with expectations soaring high with every other episode.
Unfortunately the down slide happened slowly over the time and the biggest fumbling block was that neither Ekta nor her creative heads failed to realize the changing tides of time. With every passing year India, our country is slowly but steadily edging forward, with knowledge becoming the ruling dictum. Therefore the youth of today prefer realistic stories as against rehashed and cliched formulas, endlessly presented and re-presented. Long ago, before the influx of so many channels, meaningful serials like Bulandi, Hum Log, Karamchand, Neev and so on had caught up with the spirit of the age. However Ekta's serials centering around grandiloquent mansions, the rich and the affluent and shallow characters fail to strike a chord. Reality is miles apart, so too the characterization. Lives of upper classes are imaged forth to the exclusion of the downtrodden. Though they might proffer vicarious pleasure or even underplay the grim reality to image forth a world of fantasy and dreams, the escape is quite transitory. Reality strikes you right on your face.
With the vast number of shows on air from her kitty, quality is slowly oozing away. Mega serials Kyunki or Kahaani, bringing to life once declared dead characters Mihir and Om or showcasing different versions of Tulsi or Kkusum who can be at once lean or thin or characters who hardly have any time other than moving in or out of relationships, like the numerous marriages of Prerna in Kasautii are just minor instances to name a few. Without giving much emphasis to creativity or originality they are mere potboilers; no substance and only show.
With shows on air for years, story stretched to its tether end and characters like Baa in Kyunki virtually challenging the normal life expectancy of an individual to celebrate her 200th or if star plus permits her 300th birthday is nothing short of a miracle. While Ekta's shows come with a disclaimer regarding its fictional status, it would be wise, if she also gives a warning to abandon one's senses while watching them!
Its high time that Ekta has woken from her slumber. Kahaani Humaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki, her attempt to document history in a new light has received a cold response unfortunately. With her trying to spin short serials like Kya Dil Mein Hai, slated to be a 70 episode one and the reality show to make inroads into Bollywood, a hope still lingers somewhere. Maybe the idiot box would be finally relieved from the curse. As reality or to be realistic has become the most courted phrase, the new age artists ought to sense the audience' pulse to strike a chord . Running the race is no longer a fad, but to stay till the finishing point in a manner befitting a victor is the challenge. Buck up Ekta!