Wearing a black puffed-sleeve top and her trademark ground trailing bell-bottoms in off-white shade, Ekta Kapoor hardly seemed the young entrepreneur who has taken over the television industry by storm, when we met her at the Press Meet of her new show on COLORS, Bairi Piya which launches on 21st September at the 8.30 PM slot .... Nevertheless, she describes her self as a 'cautious businesswoman turned risk-taker!'
Over to the 'not-always-politically-correct' Ekta Kapoor on her new show which deals with the plight of farmers in rural India...
Moving from saas bahu sagas to a social issue based on the plight of farmers in Vidharbh, how does it feel?
My involvement with Bairi Piya has given me a deeper understanding of the plight of rural India. I could see what actually goes on in the villages, thanks to the research done by my creative team. The hardships of farmers has been publicized many times but its only Bairi Piya that was an actual eye-opener.
Take us through the concept of the show.
The concept of the show is based on morality being a luxury. And also on the funny power play between individuals when it comes to relationships. When you're poor, morality sometimes does become a luxury. Amoli, the protagonist of the show, will be a very good looking girl belonging to a poor family. Now beauty for a career loving girl would mean attractive jobs like modelling or acting. For a middle class girl it would mean a ticket to a good marriage proposal. But for a girl who belongs to a family that is struggling to make ends meet, what does it mean? In Amoli's case, as you will see, her beauty, sort of becomes her curse.
Why did you choose such a concept?
Because in a way, this show explores the difficulties of a farmer and the exploitation involved when it comes to solving this problem. That is, the red - tapism involved in the bureaucracy when it comes to allotment of funds. And for a show to deal with social issues in such a detailed manner, it seemed interesting to me.
Take us through the research that was done by your creative team for this show?
My creative team went to four drought hit regions of Maharashtra. They lived in the village for a week. They interacted with the villagers, ate the food they cooked. They even had their delicacy- rabbit meat! After about a month and a half's research they became completely acquainted with the lifestyle of the villagers. All this knowledge was put into the making of Bairi Piya.
Your reason for choosing Supriya Kumari as your Amoli for the show…
I wanted Amoli to have eyes that could speak volumes. She had to have that asset. If you see Supriya, she has a very rustic girl-next-door look. But everything about her simplicity vanishes the moment you look into her eyes. That's what made me choose her.
Have you seen her essay the character of Shanichari in Zee's Agle Janam?
No, it was only last week that I came to know she was a part of Agle Janam. I have never watched the serial.
So does that mean you wanted a newcomer for Bairi Piya too, but accidentally chose Supriya?
Yes. I did want a newcomer for Bairi Piya, because as always Balaji is intent on giving fresh faces a break.
So do you regret your decision now?
Hmm…I don't regret it. But definitely would have liked it better if it were a newcomer.
Does Bairi Piya bear any resemblance to Agle Janam in story line?
See, the resemblance of any story to another story, depends on the perception of the viewer. Now of course there will be some obvious similarities such as the rural life, the hardship faced by the underprivileged families etc. But the issues tackled will be different and there will be other obvious differences too, which you will come to know once you watch the serial.
Balaji Telefilms has been in the news for the past week for its smoochy auditions. What have you to say about it?
See, every show is handled by a separate department. The show that you are talking about is something very cool and above all, everyone kisses in India…isn't it? So they asked the people who had come for auditioning, if they will be comfortable doing such a scene. It was required for the show's concept.
Is this above mentioned youth based intimate show chosen to diversify the range of shows that Balaji Telefilms have to offer?
Yes. Change is inevitable.
Why no more attachment to 'K'?
There are two reasons to it. I'm saying it taking the risk of getting laughed at, of course. I was recommended the 'K' factor as my mangaldasha was on earlier. And since it got over I was free to choose any alphabet I wanted. The second reason is that as I've done around 60 shows starting with K, and have run out of titles. (laughs).
Do you have any reality shows in the offering?
Well, I can't talk about it right now.
Does that mean we can look forward to a reality show from Balaji?
Author: Susan Jose