The Chosen Ones... - The Indian Television Academy
The Chosen Ones...
GR8! ITA AWARDS
The ITA Scroll of Honour
Indian Medalists at London Olympics
has been posted at
the Army Marksman
Unit (AMU) since
2003, where he has
the Russian master
Pavel Smisnov as his
This has resulted in a
series of wins for him
- and triumphs for the
country - at big-ticket
Sports events, globally
speaking. All that
came to a head this
Shashi Ranjan (Convenor - Indian Television Academy) and Aroon Purie
year at the Summer
(Chairman & Editor In Chief- India TV Today Network) to Olympic Medalists
Olympics, where he
won the Silver Medal
in the echo of
They did India proud!
‘Jan-Gan-Man…’ in the Olympian air!
And won the hearts of Indians all across for making the Tiranga
At The ITA Ceremony he was humility personified as he said
fly high at the loftiest congregation of Sports – The Olympics!
– ‘All I did was to give my best to it, because I was representing
The ITA wished to anoint all of them with the Academy
honours, but that proved to be a bit too ambitious, what with
their choc-a-bloc schedules and preoccupations.
Another one to be supported by the ‘Olympic Gold Quest’ is
Still, the availability of a triad of them could be secured
and that gave a rare lustre to the Awards ceremony when
they walked onto the stage to receive the Honours amidst
Gagan Narang, who was the first one to quality for London
Olympics. His is also a tale of ‘Cradle shows the Mettle’ as even
before he knew his multiplication tables, he was training his
little guns on targets.
Each had a tale of true grit behind him!
Hailing from Chennai, this 1983-born’s ancestors actually came
there from the Samalkha district in Panipat, Haryana and it
was his grandfather who moved to the South. Gagan touched
a gun when he was only a 6-year something, slip of a boy. He
was fond of aiming at balloons at Chennai’s Marina Beach,
In a dusty town of distant Haryana was born a boy to a
Brahmin family and was reared with their typical Sanskaar
& traditions. But early on, he found himself inclined towards
something entirely different. Little Yogeshwar Dutt would
often pass by the local Akhaada and would suddenly find his
feet refusing to move. For hours on, he would stand there
entranced, watching the wrestlers grappling with each other
Nothing and none could stem his frenzied ardour about the
Sport and by the time he had hardly touched 8, he found
himself inside, learning the ropes of being a Grappler.
And he blossomed – nay, burgeoned into a master of his
Today, he is the proud winner of the Bronze Medal at the
London Olympics, 2012, which, in fact, is the acme of his
ascend to glory through victories at the Commonwealth
Games, Asian Games and so on. Visibly pleased at receiving
the ITA Honour he beamed – ‘It is such a happy feeling to be
so profusely honoured by my countrymen. And today, getting
accolades in the presence of so many TV stars is well & truly
Vijay Kumar comes from the sleepy Barsar village of Hamirpur
district in Himachal Pradesh. Presently a serving Subedar Major
in the Dogra Regiment (16th Batalion) of the Indian Army, he
has been supported by the ‘Olympic Gold Quest’ initiative and
40 l GR8! l december 2012
And there only one could see that there was something
unique about the boy!
He grew to be a Sport-Shooter of rare mettle and after posting
victories at many of the international fora, he climaxed it all
with a Bronze Medal at Olympics this year!
After being handed over the ITA plaque, he regaled the
‘A lot of Television people are here! Receiving this honour
amidst you and from you, I have to say thanks on two counts
– first obviously for considering me for the honour, but there is
a second ‘thanks’ also and that is – for keeping my mom busy
for 3 hours as that’s the only time I can be away from training.
Otherwise I train for 8-10 hours at her behest. But for you, I
would be training during those 3 hours also, which she spends
now, glued to her soaps…!’
He was cheered lustily for it!
The citation plaques were handed over to them by the ‘India
Today’ Supremo, Aroon Purie, who echoed the Nation when he
said that ‘they are its pride!’
And you can keep re-echoing his quip ad infinitum!
The Chosen Ones...
The ITA Scroll of Honour – Global Recognition
the dusk of time – but the Anil Kapoor presence
Needs no introduction!
He is in a league of his own! The Anil Kapoor aura is
different from all that is there in the tinsel town. Never in
the ‘Numbers’ race, he has always had his very own nook in
the Showbiz that could never be challenged. Since his 1st
leading role in ‘Woh Saat Din’ (1983) till today, his presence
has invariably commanded attention both from the
insiders and the outsiders of the world of entertainment.
continues in its own unique way in the corridors of
Along the way, he has given one sparkling character
after another, like Arun (Mr. India-1987), Mahesh
(Tezaab-1988), Ishwarchand (Eeshwar- 1989), Raju
(Beta) etc. to the more recent Kishan (No Entry2005), Sagar ‘Majnu Bhai (Welcome), Prem Kumar
(Slumdog Millionaire – 2009) and so on.
But the Anil Kapoor roster of achievements cannot be
complete without the mention of his ‘Lakhan’ in Ram
Lakhan (1989), who made the country go berserk over his
Tapori quirks and caprices. Indeed, it had to be seen to
believe the ruckus of fun he kicked up in the audiences
He was a National rage!
And then came a detour in his life from the Big Screen
to the Small Screen. With ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Anil had
already broken the global barriers and people abroad had
sit up and taken notice of this extremely competent actor
with a vibrant, dynamic screen presence.
Shashi Ranjan (Convenor - Indian Television
Academy) and Jeetendraji to Anil Kapoor
There are stars & superstars… and there is Anil Kapoor!
He has had pedigree on his side what with having been
born to Surinder Kapur, a Producer of note and a Dada
Saheb Phalke Academy Awadee, who was also the
President of the ‘Film & Television Producers Guild of India’.
Hailing from Peshawar, this stalwart had started from a
scratch in the industry that included being secretary to
yesteryears’ Star, Geeta Bali and doing an assistant’s chores
in the unit of Mughal-e-Azam!
In the same vein, Anil also never opted for the easy way!
Debuting in Umesh Mehra’s ‘Hamare Tumhare’ (1979), Anil
traversed a long tread of struggle doing little roles in films
like, ‘Hum Paanch’ and ‘Shakti’.
It was nearly 5 years later, when his father’s productionhouse decided to do a Hindi re-make of the Tamil Hit ‘Antha
Ezhu Naatkal’ that they zeroed in on Anil to play the lead
in it. Titled, ‘Woh Saat Din’, the film had the redoubtable
Naseeruddin Shah and the talented Padmini Kolhapure,
too, in the cast – but against them, Anil held his own! The
simpleton Prem Pratap Patiyalawaale, as lived by Anil on
the screen, became a household name all across.
Anil Kapoor had arrived!
Since then, gazillions of water have flown down the bridge
and many a star has come, shone and then, gone into
That paved the way for him into global Television! Call
came from FOX that he has been slated for the role of
Omar Hassan, the supposed President of the Islamic
Republic of Kamistan (IRK) in the 8th season of the
enormously popular series – ‘24’!
The role needed loads of gravitas as well as sound & fury!
At the same time, it also demanded a certain restraint, even
quietude. To cap it, there were other complexities in the
character arising out of Omar Hassan’s extra-marital liaison
with the journalist Meredith Reed!
Anil gave a sterling account of himself as Omar Hassan
and his performance became a highlight of the season!
Not the one to rest on his laurels, he is now pushing the
envelope with his decision to bring the slick series to India
in a Hindi avatar. After extensive negotiations spanning
almost a year, he has secured the rights from Fox with an
arrangement that their international team will be involved
in the Hindi version. Hence, the global TV bonanza would
lose none of its technical sheen after coming to India.
This time, Anil will be playing the protagonist Jack Bauer
that has been essayed by Kiefer Sutherland in the original.
All said, the Counter-terrorist tale is sure to give a new
viewing feast to the audience at home. From the face of it,
one could say that nothing like this has been attempted
Anil really deserves a bow from us all for trying so
earnestly to raise the bar for the Small Screen fare…
A new leaf is about to be turned in Indian Television!
GR8! l december 2012 l
The Chosen Ones...
GR8! ITA AWARDS
The ITA Scroll of Honour – Ensemble Acting
Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev full-blown in ‘Devon Ke…’! It’s nothing short of a mass
he ITA Scroll of Honour – Ensemble Acting
Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev
What a bouquet!
They have recreated the Divine Saga of Mahadev Shiv so
vividly and vibrantly on the screen that it amazes you no
end and compels you to form an instant ‘connect’ with
it! Of course, to do this so very successfully, they have
marshalled all their technical prowess to make it a feast
hypnosis that he has cast on the viewers with his towering
physical attributes coupled with some scintillating
underplaying and out-of-this world intensity!
And tell us – who wouldn’t love a dimpled Mahadev,
Similarly, in the role of his consort Goddess Parvati, we
have Sonarika (Bhadoria) with that excellent interplay of
fire & ice emotions on her face. Indeed, Sonarika is just the
Rajdeep Sardesai to Devon Ke Dev… Mahadev team
for the eyes and unleashed boundless imagination in the
writing to grip the viewers right from the word go.
correct foil to Mohit, delivering on all counts of a forceful
But that can never be enough!
The serial also has Rushiraj (Pawar), the former young
Chandragupt in ‘Chandragupt Maurya’ (Imagine TV), as
Kartikeya, the impetuous son of the divine couple. Rushi
brings a very special flair to the role with his inherent
reservoir of talent.
Mind you, all that flair in writing and flourish in technique
can come a sorry cropper, if the individuals impersonating
those mega characters on the Screen fall flat. No amount
of behind-the-scene virtuosity can save the show, then.
They have to have some solid talent for the on-screen
performances to ooze that Divine Chemistry!
And that’s where ‘Devon Ke…’ scores!
By a happy coincidence, they have been able to put
together a cast that is exactly apt to create the optimal
impact on the viewers. And though Mahadev, as played by
Mohit Raina, is the pivot around which the show revolves,
the others have also contributed tremendously to its final
imprint on the viewers’ minds.
Of course, in a saga like this, the correct casting of the
protagonist is half the battle won and it’s like the makers
have been blessed with Divine intervention in having
been able to cast Mohit to play Mahadev. This Kashmirborn hunk has a certain aura around him that has come
Jiten Lalwani makes a finely nuanced ambitious Indra
while the doyen of our Mythologicals, Pankaj Dheer stands
tall as the King Himvaan, father of Goddess Paarvati!
Furthermore, the charming Saurabh Raj Jain gives a
sparkling account of himself as Bhagvaan Vishnu. Shailesh
Dattar as Naarad is a treat to watch with his twinkling,
mischievous eyes and that eternal chant – ‘Naarayan!
Naarayan!’ Old hands Arun Bali as Vajranaak (Taarkasur’s
father) and Akhilendra Mishra as Baali are competent as
ever and infuse electricity in the scenes they appear!
One could go on and on, describing the virtual ocean
of talent in ‘Devon Ke…’, but the long and short of it is
that the entire tapestry of acting in it is...
Of Mahadevian magnificence…!
The Chosen Ones...
The ITA Special Mention
It’s not a show – it’s a sublime stimulus for all of us to look
at a reality of life from which we are wont to turn away
or pretend that it doesn’t exist. That’s the reality of the
Physically-challenged, who more often than not fail to
occupy a place in our thoughts.
breath – dances! He has even participated in Reality
Shows. After receiving the Award, he wanted do a
Salaam to Salman. He was lifted out of the wheel
chair onto the floor. Instantly, he dragged his totally
lifeless and limp legs onto his shoulders and then
strutted about on his hands, giving a Military Salute
to Salman and to the audience as well, who broke
into instant applause, thunderously. Kamlesh has
one ‘dream’ now – ‘Participate in a foreign Reality-show’…
And you saw Anjlee Aggarwal, suffering from Muscular
Dystrophy, being wheeled in to be decorated with the
‘Super Idols’ honour at the hands of Salman. Despite the
severe handicap, today she helps similarly afflicted people
through her APD (Accessible for Physically Disabled) outfit.
The gutsy Anjlee betrayed a sense of humour when she
tittered, ‘Now I wanna be a heroine in a Salman film!’ And
Salman nodded to that while the house was plunged in
Pankaj Dheer & Salma Sultanji to Rep
The show hand-picks a number of persons so disabled, but
who are the ones that fought through their handicaps to
become Achievers in life. Spearheaded by the IBN-7 Editorin-Chief, Rajdeep Sardesai, the endeavour has come to be
supported by Salman Khan and his ‘Being Human’!
The third chapter of the ‘Super Idols’ had Salman as its
Chief-guest and when Rajdeep asked him the reasons
behind his proclivity towards such causes, he recounted a
‘Once I met a mobike accident along with two of my
friends. I can never forget that visual – here we were lying
on the road and peering helplessly in a 24 mm frame (the
wide angle lens in a Movie Camera) at the people standing
around and not one of them coming to help us. That was
the day I decided to help the needy in whatever conditions
they are to the best of my capacity! That’s how human
beings should be, no?’
The clamorous claps from those present most
emphatically endorsed him!
And then came the Awards!
Each of those carried a cheque from the Channel as well as
from Salman’s, ‘Being Human’, amounting to Rs. 1,00,000
and Rs. 1,10,000/-, respectively!
The Awardees were the rarest of rare embodiments of
indomitable and indefatigable spirit. They were all severely
handicapped and yet, they had lived their lives on their
own terms and more significantly – ruddered others,
similarly affected, out of the abyss of self-defeatism.
There was Kamlesh Patel, a paraplegic, who – hold your
Arman Ali wanted to be in Police, but Cerebral Palsy
struck, dashing all his hopes into dust. But he refused to
be destroyed as a person and today is a symbol of hope
for others of his kind through his ‘Shishu Saarthi Society’
in Guwahati. There was great determination of self-belief
in his words when he said – ‘Main Khud Ko Salman Se Kam
Nahin Samajhta… The only difference is that he is standing
and I am not!’
And Salman bowed to that!
Most eloquently he waxed, ‘Ooperwala Sar dekh kar
Sardaari deta hai’ (the One above crowns only the
deserving head!)… ‘He’ knew you had it in you to rise above
these handicaps! Had ‘He’ given them to us, we would have
And thus the Destiny’s children kept being conferred
Finally, the Lifetime Achievement Award winner S
Ramakrishna – paralaysed neck downwards that trounced
all him dreams to be a soldier – said xdsomething truly
amazing - ‘I want them (the organisers) to thank us for
giving them this opportunity of honouring us… had we
been not there, there would have been no function at all!’
The evening had many a person from the film fraternity,
too, like Subhash Ghai, Raju Hirani, Ashutosh Rana etc.
Hirani was apparently overwhelmed and declared that he
was going back from here, highly motivated. Ghai hailed
the undying spirit of the Awardees and true to his wont,
Rana said a pithy line – ‘Nazar Ko Badal Do Nazaara Badal
Jaata hai!’ (Change you way to see and the spectacle would
In sum, shows like ‘Super Idols’ give Television its
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Serial – Drama (Jury)
Parvarrish- Kuchh Khatti Kuchh Meethi
A class apart!
It is cheese to the chalk dished out in TV-fare day-in & day-out to us! For the
first ever time, an off-the-rut theme like ‘Parenting’ has been taken up for a
Primetime show – but it’s not only that. Picking up the gauntlet of a theme
which is not hackneyed is only half the battle. The truly tough trial comes in
executing it to the realisation of its promise to perfection.
That’s where Parvarrish scores!
It has explored, ‘Parenting’ in the most thorough and threadbare way! Its pick
of the middle-class ambience, everyday characters, spontaneous plot-ploys
– everything is totally geared towards churning out all the nuances that there
are in the entire gamut of its premise and its promise.
To carry that out, it has two families – the Ahluwalia’s & the Ahuja’s that are
enmeshed in the parenting of their children, who are teetering on, or already
in the throes of teenage!
Within this spread, an exhaustive array of ‘growing-up’ anxieties, agitations
and abandon are handled with a – as
they say – fine-tooth comb. Imagine
one thing about ‘teenage’ and it is here
– the Fun, the Frolic, the Tenderness,
the Brawls, the Sibling-rivalry the
‘Devil-may-care’, the ‘I-me-myself’, the
‘Self-importance’, the ‘Self-effacing’,
the aversions to the do’s & don’ts
dictated by elders, the Rebel-withouta-cause syndrome, the Puberty, the
Testosterone, the First Crushes… you
Deftly handled and dexterously
mounted, ‘Parvarrish’ has the glowing
benefit of an extremely apt cast.
Shweta Tiwari is a revelation as Sweety
Ahluwalia and her no-nonsense,
overbearing aura is in singular contrast
to the easy-going air of Vivek. As
her husband, Lucky Ahluwalia. But
that said, it is the children in the two
families who take the cake, bread and
bakery, outshining everyone else. Both
create an electric chemistry, while
handling the edgy, at times, prickly
The show takes no sides and just
presents its predicaments on a platter
for the viewers to choose what they
will. It’s not preachy – it doesn’t
pontificate… it just analyses and
that too with a firm commitment of
Ravi Dubey and Mohit Sehgal to Parvarrish team
Best Actor Drama - Jury
Bade Achhe Lagte Hain
What an encore!
Ram Kapoor has done it second time in succession! He
has weighed down this year’s ITA Jury too, like he did it to
the last year’s, with the huge mass of his talent! Winning
his Category hands down has become sort of a habit with
him in this now iconic role of Mr Kapoor. The character has
brought big times back for this hugely talented and equally
hugely untapped and under-used powerhouse of an actor!
46 l GR8! l december 2012
In sum, ‘Parvarrish’ is an oasis in
the parched land of our Television,
And it’s high time, too!
It’s high time that people sat up and took notice of the
range and refinement of Ram Kapoor in his Art. Indeed,
people are agape at the fluidity with which he sashays
across the entire gamut of emotions for the role – now
sniggering, now sulking, now exploding into child-like ire
– he presents a complex bouquet of the idiosyncrasies of
This is one role that could easily go haywire in lesser
hands! It is so very tempting to go over-the-top in a cranky
character – but not Ram! He has chosen the alternative of a
nuanced performance, instead. And it is such a relief for the
viewers, who are usually in a spin at the constant onslaught
of overblown acting on TV, these days!
Best Serial – Drama (Popular)
Diya Aur Baati Hum
is totally withdrawn into his
shell with no high-end career
ambitions ever touching him.
And they become man & wife!
As a result Sandhya finds
herself suddenly straitjacketed
in the reactionary, decadent
diktats of her, orthodox to
a fault, mother-in-law (Neelu
Vaghela). But despite being a
mythically devoted son, Sooraj
keeps ruddering Sandhya out of
the numerous predicaments his
mother throws her into. The bond
and the muted Chemistry that
develops between the two have
left the Nation enthralled!
Raqesh Vashisth, Hina Khan and Karan Wahi to Sumeet Mittal
The whole world loves a lover!
And it is proven the nth time, when this tale of the love-birds, Sooraj & Sandhya
swept The ITA Awards’ nationwide Popular Poll! Garnering a mind-boggling
number of votes, it left not a shred of doubt as to who is closest to the hearts out
there amongst the vast multitudes of TV-watchers all across!
Indeed, Sooraj and Sandhya have redefined, ‘Made-for-each-other’!
On the face of it, it is a story of the most mismatched couple ever… ‘Sandhya’
(Deepika Singh) is well-tutored, knowledgeable and ambitious about being an
IPS officer… Sooraj (Anas Rashid) is barely literate (9th pass, as they say) and
The serial also has a whole
bouquet of characters that have
connected with the viewers
like a house on fire. Besides the
redoubtable, mega Matriarch
Neelu, there are a host of others
making the cut perfectly, like
the Comic negativity of the
other Bahu, Meenakshi (Kanica
Maheshwari) and her madcap
interaction with her husband
Vikram (Gautam Gulati), or
the henpecked Babasa (Ashok
Lokhande), the chirpy Chaturi
(Rashmi Pitre) and so on!
No wonder, it annexed the crown
of ‘Desh Ka Dhaaravaahik’!
And indeed, the man defies all the going
norms for a lead material, today!
He is hardly shipshape or in apple-pie order
and doesn’t have a ‘hep’ air about him. But he
doesn’t seem to care, either! He has turned all
those norms & notions about a ‘lead’ over their
heads. Though the supposedly middle-age of
his character comes in handy to him for using
his enormous frame to look the role, but it is
as plain as the nose on your face that even
otherwise, he is way above those superficial
trappings of a streamlined body and a spruced
up personality for being a hero - just like
Sanjeev Kumar was once!
Only one word to describe him – Peerless!
Sanaya Irani and Sargun Mehta to Ram Kapoor
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Actress Drama – Jury
Parvarrish - Kuchh Khatti Kuchh Meethi
She’s an old hand at this – you wouldn’t still have forgotten her ‘Prerna’ in
‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ (sic.). The only difference here is that this once she doesn’t
take recourse to that breast-beating melodrama, anymore – instead, what we
see of Shweta Tiwari in ‘Parvarrish’ is well & truly a revelation!
She has combed the theatrics out of her system!
And a Shweta Tiwari, shorn of those
high-pitched histrionics, is such
a refreshing sight! Her ‘Sweety’ in
Parvarrish is so true to life and she
makes her come alive on the screen,
throbbing, pulsating and fully
fleshed up, unlike the stereotyped
cardboard junks that strut across
our TV Screens these days in the
name of characters.
At the ceremony, while receiving
the Award she confessed that she
could portray the complex web of
‘parenting’ in the serial only because
of her daughter Palak and her
interactions with the girl. That’s how
she could fathom the dilemmas of
a mother whose children are on the
verge of youth. In view of that, she
comes across hard-as-nails but at
the same time, soft-as-snow, too, in
the serial, who can go to any extent
to protect her brood and shield
them from all the predicaments that
they can stumble into.
Vivian Dsena & Mona Ambegaonkar to Shweta Tiwari
And it is exhilarating to see Shweta
deliver that layered performance,
delving into all of its intricacies with
a towering confidence!
Nobody can hold a candle to her
Desh Ka Sitara (Best Actor - Popular)
Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?
A seething screen presence, scorching eyes and a constant scowl
on his face – he is not your usual charming, chocolate hero on the
screen. But halt – he is, in fact, far more than that! He doesn’t charm
– he obsesses you… he doesn’t please – he possesses you! Barun
Sobti as Arnav Singh Raizada in ‘Iss Pyaar…’ has become a viewing
obsession of millions of TV-watchers all across!
He is their daily feed for intense entertainment!
48 l GR8! l december 2012
Playing the toffee-nosed, snooty and stuck-up
tycoon, who smiles only as if he were doing
a charity on others, must not have been easy
– certainly not, playing him so convincingly. But
Barun has done it – and how!
Even more complex has been the love story that
develops between Arnav and Khushi (Sanaya
Irani). Now, to show a hoity-toity, always-on-ahigh-horse tycoon like Arnav falling for a strictly
middle-class Khushi, who is just the opposite pole
of him in persona, needs some solid complexity
of performance, but Barun has picked up that
Desh Ka Sitara (Best Actor -Popular)
Kunal (the character he
plays) with disdain at his
existence. He is the man who
has supposedly missed the
Bus, Buggie and the Boeing!
Parichay - Nayee Zindagi Kay Sapno Ka
But it doesn’t unhinge him
or make him embarrassed of
himself. Kunal is supremely
confident in his own
consummate skills and his
depth of intellect. In fact, if the
world is dismissive of him, he is
doubly so of the world!
Ragini Khanna & Romit Raj to Sameer Soni
Prim, Propah & Polished!
That’s how he has always been whether it is his stints on TV like ‘A Mouthful of Sky’
or ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin’, or his outings on the Big Screen in ventures like ‘Fashion’ or
the recent, ‘I Hate Luv Storys’. Muted, nuanced and subtle to a fault, he has always
shunned high histrionics. Yes, he can be as dramatic in impact as they come, but
he does it in his own nuanced way. There is – as they say in Classical terminology
– a ‘Chaiyn’ (tranquility) in his performances, which accentuates their effect
He stands alone and stands tall in his Art! In ‘Parichay’, too, it has been no different.
This role of a ‘loser’ could pose grave challenges to any actor. The world dismisses
Sameer brings a rare élan to
the role – it’s not an élan that
comes out of achievements…
it’s an élan that is a celebration
of the self, in all circumstances.
The way he shrugs off the darts
aimed at him is so gloriously
casual that you know his is the
only sane voice in the Tower-ofthe-Babel type of cacophony
around him. It makes you
instantly fall for this ‘loser’, who
easily dwarfs the so-called
‘achievers’ around him!
In this, he has used his winsome
smile with great effect, besides
being pitch-perfect, toneperfect, picture-perfect for
The ‘loser’ is a ‘winner’ – all
gauntlet and finally come
up trumps in that!
Presently, all ice between
the two has thawed…
they are married,
eventually! But that
streak of the old Arnav
still remains in him and
even a romantic Arnav
has not lost his core
elements. That continuity
of character has been
expertly maintained by
The smoulder stays
– even in Romance!
Ragini Khanna & Romit Raj to Sanaya Irani
(On behalf of Barun Sobti)
GR8! l december 2012 l
Desh Ki Dhadkan (Best Actress - Popular)
and fortitude in face of such a
calamitous happening in her life!
Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hain
And that catapulted the character
to the acme of viewers’ attention!
Besides, the generally bindaas,
couldn’t-care-two-hoots air that
she has maintained as the basic
element of the character, has also
gone a long way into endearing her
to everybody. Moody and mercurial,
she almost gets to be bizarre at
times in her reactions to things
around – but that’s the beauty of
Trust us, it’s no indulgence in hyperbole to call her that! For the vast multitudes
of TV-watchers all across, she has really earned that epithet by touching the
deepest chords of their hearts through her poignant as well as punch-packed
creation of the on-screen ‘Maanvi’ in ‘Ek Hazaaron Mein…’! Particularly, when
the track of her being struck with Cancer came in the serial, she had a pulsepounding impact on the viewers!
But even in that, she largely shunned the melodrama of self-pity and aided
by some truly off-the-rut writing, she could make Maanvi a picture of grit
Ajit Thakur (General Manager – Life OK), Rajan Shahi
& Mohit Raina to Nia Sharma
Best Actress in a Negative Role
Kairee: Rishta Khatta Meetha
Giving the ‘scheming Saas’ a new high!
You thought you had seen them all – the crafty, cunning and
conniving Saasuji’s of the Small Screen, who’ve been spitting
venom on it since Ekta Kapoor ushered in their era here. Well, you
thought wrong! There were levels of this negativity that hadn’t
been touched, yet…
Till a certain someone called Hema Singh arrived in ‘Kairee…’!
50 l GR8! l december 2012
And that’s how we’ve seen one of
the quirkiest love stories developing
between Maanvi and Viraat (Kushal
Tandon). She keeps on being cranky
in her responses to him, but at the
same time, you can see her getting
compulsively drawn to him as a
soul-mate. Nia has carried out that
complex interplay of emotions with
the expertise of a seasoned pro,
while, in point of fact, it is only her
third outing on Television.
The biggest thing is that she has
been able to underscore Maanvi’s
childlike (and childish, too, varying
from situation to situation)
impulsiveness and impetuosity. The
way she jumps to solve everybody’s
problem and then ends up leaving
them tangled up all the more is so
Here is a Child-woman, who is the
fancy of all adults out there!
Armed with her vast experience in Theatre, this
veteran NSD alumna knew more than to just create
another typical, cardboard Saas through Imarti
Devi in the serial. Besides, she has tinged this wily
character with rare Comic hues. To be frank, even
Comic Negativity is old hat – but not when Hema
Singh does it! She uses it as a tool to chisel out
a nuanced performance of evil. In this, her face
becomes a beehive of expressions, now scoffing,
now snivelling, now simpering, now seething…
you name it!
She has also used her command over Diction (she’s
been teaching Diction at the ‘NSD’, of late) to the
optimum, what with her tone & tenor shifting like
quicksilver between sentences, even words! In all of
these, she comes across as the most chameleonic
of actors there are!
Best Actor in a Negative Role
Dil Se Di Dua... Saubhagyavati Bhava?
Shoaib Ibrahim & Mrunal Jain to Karanvir Bohra
He has gripped the viewers in a python’s squeeze with his menace! He has given
new dimensions to the Antagonist. Playing the obsessive-compulsive husband
Viraaj, the way he unleashes a reign of terror on his wife has made even the
strongest of hearts cringe. He walks in evil and wallows in his own negativity. In
this, he has created nothing short of a historic ‘Negative Character’ on the Small
The audience have stood dazed and are hungry for more!
Karanvir Bohra has pedigree of sorts on his side. Scion of the movie-making
Bohra family, he, in fact, started as a child artiste in his father Mahendra Bohra’s,
‘Teja’, a Sanjay Dutt starrer.
Since then, he has gone
through a long, but not
of much consequence,
tread in Movies… It was
Television that started giving
him recognition with ‘Just
Mohabbat’, ‘Kasautii Zindagii
Kay’ etc., climaxing into
As Viraj Dobriyal, he has struck
a particular body language that
oozes terror. His eyes are seething
volcanoes of a sort of anguished
ire that finds a release in torturing
the very object of his obsession
– his wife. Even more startling is his
mercurial, absolutely unpredictable
mood-swings that can catch you
totally unawares and hit you hard in
You hate him… and yet, you yearn
to see him again and again in
episode after episode, because of
the strange, hypnotic aura of his
villainy. As an actor, he has shown
a spectrum of other emotions, too,
like, when he is reduced to a child’s
mental state because of the electric
shocks! You won’t believe it is the
same actor portraying the dark
Viraaj then and the docile Viraaj
But his hallmark is that he just
takes the Mickey out of you!
That results in her making the
most unbelievable situations
that this character creates there,
totally believable and swept by
her virtuosity, the viewers willingly
suspend disbelief at what they are
seeing. In other words, they’re just
eating out of her hands!
Only a thespian of highest dexterity
could have done that and it augurs
well for us that we have a Hema Singh
on our TV, today, who can rise above
a role and make such a “connect” with
They don’t make ’em like that
Vishwajeet Pradhan & Shiv Subrahmanyam to Hema Singh
GR8! l december 2012 l
Desh Ka Laadla/Laadli (Most Promising Child Star - Jury)
Bade Achhe Lagte Hain
The whole country is cooing – Pihu… Pihu… Pihu…!
It’s not that they’ve all become Cuckoos or something – the reason is different.
And that ‘different’ is a little chit of a girl, a certain someone called Amrita
Mukherjee, who has lit up the Small Screen as Pihu, the 5 year old daughter of
Ram and Priya in ‘Bade Achhe…’!
Almost the same age as her character, Amrita is giving the veterans a run
for their money with her adorable screen presence and her unbelievable
spontaneity in emoting. What is perhaps even more amazing is the ‘attitude’
she throws at the other characters with a supreme confidence in herself as the
queen of all she surveys!
‘Pihu is a pearl’ – they’re chanting all
The prodigy excels in all the elements
of Acting whether it is the body
language, enunciation of words, throw
of voice and above all, that gossamer of
expressions on her face… she has it all
– and how!
You have seen her tenacious, teary,
teasing and teeheeing – and still, she
never ceases to amaze you with her
aplomb in all of these emotions. That’s
how, she holds you captive with your
eyes obsessively glued to the screen to
see what next she is going to do.
Recently, she has been through the
most difficult track of her role where
she becomes the chain-link for Ram
and Priya, her parents. This whole track
would have floundered had there been
just any child artiste in the role. But
Amrita is not ‘any’ – she is rare!
Samir Kochhar to Amrita Mukherjee
Indeed, the makers have struck a
goldmine in Amrita, who, as Pihu, is so
convincing while puppeteering both
her parents towards a reunion that
the track has caught on big with the
viewers and given the serial a fresh
lease of life!
A born Actor – if ever there was one!
Best Director Comedy - Jury
No laughing matter this!
What he does is not everybody’s cup-of-tea! He has chosen a thorny tread
for himself, because it’s no duck-soup to mount a Comedy and make people
laugh – laugh, mind you – not snigger or smirk.
The truth is universally acknowledged that you need some truly, truly special talent to carry out Comedy. Giving pathos to people is no big deal – you
can make them cry with just a dollop of Drama, but when it comes to smiles,
52 l GR8! l december 2012
not to speak of guffaws, they become solid
hard nuts to crack!
However, not when you are a Shashank Bali! He
has been sending millions into stitches for not
one, two, three – but full 7 years now through
‘F.I.R.’! It’s a feat to end all feats! To keep tickling
the funny bones of the audiences and not
letting the viewer fatigue set in once, needs
constant reinventing on the part of one behind
And Shashank is a past master at this! He has
never let F.I.R. get stale, played out, or past its
Sell-date and despite the show’s self-imposed
structural limitations of location and characters
(mostly, F.I.R. happens on one set with most of
Best Director Drama - Jury
Parvarrish - Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi
out-of-the-box, ‘Jassi Jaisi Koi
Nahin’ to the revolutionary (by
TV standards) ‘Maryada’ to now
In ‘Parvarrish’, he is giving a sterling account of himself! Here, he has
literally drunk in the complexities of
an unusual theme like ‘Parenting’ and
absorbed it into his system. He seems
to be in total control here! Particularly,
in the handling of his cast who are, of
course, hugely talented in their own
right, he has been exceptional! They
just couldn’t have given such a superlative display of the ensemble without the guiding hand of a confident
Giaa Maanek & Manish Raisinghani to Imtiaz Punjabi
He knows his Onions!
Often, it is cribbed that Television has killed the Director in the sense he
is known in Cinema. Today, what we generally see here has none of that
individual imprint of a Director on the fare dished out day-in & day-out on
the box. But, if you ask us, it’s a rather sweeping statement and there are any
number of Directors here also who can give their signature stamps to shows,
just like their Big Screen counterparts – all things being equal!
One such name is Imtiaz Punjabi!
Actually, he is the one, can give you the Director’s Television even when all
things are not equal. The man has proved himself again and again from the
Technically also, his mise-en-scène is
highly commendable and the way he
achieves that unstated fluidity in his
camera movements and cuts leaves
not a shred of doubt that behind the
scenes in Parvarrish, there is a ‘Director’ and not just a ‘Shooter’. At times,
his mounting of scenes and sequences
as well as the tongue-in-cheek tenor
of the goings-on therein reminds you
of Hrishikesh Mukherjee – no less!
‘Parvarrish’ wouldn’t have been
what it is today, but for Imtiaz
Some Helmsman that…!
the screen time being always taken
by a set of 4 characters), Shashank
doesn’t allow either an iota of loss
of energy or a wee bit of tedium to
enshroud the goings-on!
The zing, zest and the zany jauntiness he injects into F.I.R. has made
it compelling addiction for the vast
multitude of TV-watchers all across.
The time that people have leaned
onto it for their Daily quota of joy &
jollies is nearing a decade, now and
that’s a scream, trust us!
But if ‘F.I.R.’ is in fine fettle to this
day – it’s majorly thanks to
Mahesh Shetty & Meghna Malik to Shashank Bali
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Serial Comedy - Jury
And this slap-fest has gone
on gloriously for the last 8
They have pulled out a miracle of sorts! They turned something as dreary and
dreadful as a Police Station into a funny farm of cranky crackpots. Hence, instead
of the anxiety, even agony that a visit to such a place can instil in you, this police
station throws you in stitches over its loopy goings-on!
Headed by the highly blow-hot-blow-cold Inspector Chandramukhi Chautala, it
is full of nutty, batty constables, who keep on doing goof-ups and in turn, getting
those resounding slaps from Chandramukhi.
But it doesn’t end here!
The fact is that within its
uproarious orbit, you also get
to see the little foibles, follies
and fancies of human nature
and that’s what gives it its
weight as not only pure fun,
but fun with some purpose.
One of the biggest assets of
the show is the raw, rough
and rip-roaring Haryanvi
lingo that Kavita Kaushik
(Chandramukhi) speaks with
delectable flourish as she is
actually from those parts.
Otherwise, speaking Haryanvi
is not everybody’s cup of
tea and many a big-shot on
both Big and Small screen
has come a cropper while
The sum-total of all these
elements falling in place is a
rollercoaster ride onto zany,
zingy fun that makes you
return to it again and again.
Indeed, once you see it, you
get hooked to it lock, stock
and barrel – ‘F.I.R.’ becomes an
addiction for the viewer!
Adaa Khan and Bhagyashree to F.I.R. Team
Best Actor Comedy - Jury
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
In TV-Comedy, they swear by him! Here is a time-tested talent, who has
been sending people in stitches through his Comic acts since long now.
Particularly, in ‘Taarak Mehta…’, Dilip has outstripped and outshone
himself in view of his Comic artistry. The role fits him so completely that
it looks like a true, real life Jethalal (his character) has come to our living
54 l GR8! l december 2012
The ITA Jury was no
And if timing is a virtue of Comedy
– Dilip is a maestro at it!
The supremely gifted actor has repartee as
his biggest forte and the way he weaves
those little, little nuances into the eccentric
Jethalal, fleshes up the character most
fulsomely. That’s why Jethalal instantly
connects to the viewers – he is neither
cardboard nor a circus clown contorting
his body contours or twitching the facial
muscles to evoke laughter!
He is a natural!
Furthermore, despite his extensive
moorings in theatre, he never seems to be
Best Actor Comedy - Jury
Kahani Comedy Circus Ki
What happens next
– only your ribs, aching with
laughter, can tell!
Hailing from Amritsar, he
has the robust, rugged and
rumbustious Punjabi humour
ingrained in him. Add to that a
cultivated sophistication and
the combo becomes lethal!
That’s how Kapil’s Comic-acts
are called, ‘killers’! They can
shatter even the most hardnosed of ’em all into peals of
Besides this, there is, of course,
the spontaneity! His acts are
effortless with one gag flowing
out of the other while he makes it
all look as easy as falling off a log.
He, indeed, is the Maestro, to the
movements of whose baton we
swing – only, what is orchestrated
here is – Comedy!
Rupali Ganguli & Anupam Shyam Ojha to Kapil Sharma
He has it what it takes!
Sultan of Stand-up!
He has given new dimensions to ‘Stand-up’ Comedy! He has turned its limitations
into assets. Despite having just to stand & speak, he creates a whole world before
you – a world that is quirky, cranky and crunchy to the utmost. And he grabs you
by the jugular to shove you into that world…
Time and again, it has been said
– and said by some of the biggest
masters – that Comedy is the
most difficult of Performing Arts!
But if you wanna hold onto that
premise, then you better give a
wide berth to Kapil and never
ever see him perform, because if
you do, then you’re sure to think
that Comedy is no big deal – it
is just the easiest thing to do on
That much of a Master he is of
Comedy! He makes it look like a
handicapped when it comes to
performing on the Screen, which,
actually, is as different from
theatre as eggs are from oranges.
But Theatreaste Dilip seems to
have taken to the visual medium
like a fish takes to water!
The result has been plunging
the entire country into peals
of laughter and Jethalal is a
household name all across,
today. Indeed, Dilip Joshi’s act
has become a grammar of what a
good TV Comic act ought to be!
Keep up the blast, Mr Funster!
Rupali Ganguli & Anupam Shyam Ojha
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Actress Comedy- Jury
Kahani Comedy Circus Ki
One that can reduce you to tears while convulsing with laughter! On the Small
Screen, Bharti Singh is huge – not only in terms of her corpus, but also in view
of her phenomenal Comic acts that have become the pièce-de-résistance of
shows like ‘Comedy Circus’ and so on. Through them, she has hurtled straight
into the hearts of the viewers, leaving them gasping under the weight of her
jibes & jests!
They are literally gagged with her gags!
In this, she uses her enormous frame
as a missile to create the mayhem
of laughter. Actually, even more
than the fun others can pour on her
bulge, she herself does it in great
And that has become the hallmark
of her style! When accosted with the
criticism that such ridicule of one’s
physical peculiarities or disabilities
for Comedy is in bad taste, she
retorts – ‘How come? My ‘bulk’ is
my ‘bread’… Today, I own an Audi
because of it! Why should I mind
being called a fatso, if that catapults
me from rags to riches?’
She is also multifarious in her talent
as was proven by her participation
in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, where she
stunned the world with her dancing
– Splits, Cartwheels and all!
In fact, she never ceases to surprise
you! She is constantly reinventing
herself and each of her ‘Comedy
Circus’ seasons is different from the
other. Be it Stand-up, Burlesque,
Mime, Repartee or Caricature
– Bharti has been there and done
Rajshree Thakur & Aditya Redij
GR8! Performer of the Year – Female 2012
No wonder she wowed The ITA
new garb, continue to captivate the
viewers, hook, line & sinker!
Nothing in this show can possibly
rise above her!
Yes – the role is author-backed and all,
but that can easily go phut if the one
impersonating it is of lesser mettle.
In zeroing in on Rati for it, the makers
have had a windfall.
It looks like she was born for this Hitlerian role! She has melted herself so
completely into the no-nonsense, highly-strung and iron-fisted Indira that
the illusion has been well & truly absolute. Watching Hitler Didi is watching
Rati and Rati alone, you just get swept to wherever she takes you. She towers
above everybody and everything in the show!
The goings-on have undergone a sea change there and Rati is Zara (Malik
Khan) now with Indira being dead and gone. But that hasn’t changed a thing
as far as the trigger of the show’s impact is concerned - it is still Rati in the
58 l GR8! l december 2012
She has proven equal to each and
every challenge of the role. It’s
amazing the way she has maintained a
continuum of intensity in the character
since its very inception. If Indira
GR8! Performer of the Year – Male 2012
Madhubala - Ek Ishq Ek Junoon
RK is not an easy character to
play! He is volcanically volatile
and always creates extreme
situations of aversion and
antagonism, but at the same
time is highly vulnerable,
too, somewhere deep in the
recesses of his heart. In fact, all
his hostility to the world around
is only a shield for those raw,
rankling nerves inside him.
Indeed – not an easy character
Vahbbiz Dorabjee, Dipika Samson & Vikas Bhalla to Vivian Dsena
He has charmed the viewers into the spell of his intensity! Though endowed
with fetching looks and personality, his true métier is the heat he oozes
through his eyes, which simply sends you sweating with an onslaught of
suppressed, seething emotions. Vivian Dsena has used this innate attribute
of his to optimum effect in creating the Superstar Rishabh Kundra (RK) in
And he has cast mass hypnosis with that!
But Vivian has taken to it like an
eagle takes to flying! He has sunk
deep and deftly under the skin of
the character. As a result, we see a
living, breathing RK on the screen
and are agape at his impassioned
hostility, while, at the same time,
feel his angst and anguish as well!
Vivian has had his amblings in TV
since ‘Kasamh Se’, including that
humane vampire role in ‘Pyaar Kii
Ye Ek Kahaani’ that fetched him
some fan-following. But his real
coup de grâce, the ultimate blow
is RK with which he has knocked
everybody off his/her feet.
The GR8! readers endorsed that
– and how!
wowed viewers, so is doing Zara,
because Rati has played both
with equally consummate flair &
That’s how she won the GR8!
Poll hands down, this year. It
was something of a surprise
because there sure are serials
more popular than Hitler Didi.
But then – even if that’s the case
– it is clear that few, if any, of
the protagonists in them are as
popular as Rati’s Indira/Zara!
That’s the stuff winners are
Vahbbiz Dorabjee, Dipika Samson & Vikas Bhalla to Rati Pandey
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Thriller/Horror Show- Jury
Gumrah- The end of innocence
In the format of a Thriller, it’s a
hotbed of emotions!
A Mirror to the Misguided!
It uses Television as a weapon to strike home a point to the countless out
there, who commit things not out of rational conviction, but out of some
irrational mis-conviction that is nothing but a product of uncontrollable
impulse. In this, Gumrah presents a tapestry of stories that could have
avoided their doomed endings, had their protagonists not been what it
draws its title from – Gumrah!
And it becomes a catalyst inside your brain, triggering analytical
understanding of things gone wrong. There are such incidents happening
all around us, but we just don’t care – we move on! But Gumrah makes us
pause and ponder! Anchored by Karan Kundra with loads of feeling, the
series touches you deep in the recesses of your heart!
Like the story of Mehak and Ankit,
the 16-year-olds, green as grass and
wet-behind-the ears, who are most
impulsively vulnerable to fancy and
fantasy. Particularly Mehak is struck
with the ‘Romeo & Juliet’ syndrome
and as intimacy grows between them,
she draws Ankit, too, in that ‘die-foryou’ mould.
Their tale takes its fated turns – the
families come to know and while the
boy’s folks are cool about it, the girl’s
father decides to pack her off to US for
higher studies and for having her torn
away from the boy.
And now the young, raw twosome,
misguided by Romantic Fiction, sees
each other through Skype and decides
to terminate their lives. They hurry to
hang themselves by the ceiling fan...
the boy does it instantly, but the girl
has second thoughts after putting
the noose around her neck. She turns
to the webcam to stop the boy from
doing it – but it is too late!
‘This death is escapism’… grieves
Karan and elaborates further that
Fiction does such things to heighten
the dramatic quotient – real persons
should not be misguided by that and
follow it blindly!
Paresh Ganatra & Himmanshoo A Malhotra to Vikas Gupta
Best News/Current Affairs Show
At the end, Gumrah always leaves
you with a lump in the throat!
Angst & Anguish!
And actually, it doesn’t have to do much on that
count. It just presents those sufferers before us,
whose faces are still cobwebs of that torment &
trauma, which is the heritage given to them by
It opens a window to a shame – a National shame, to be precise
– that has been with us since 2002 when the Godhra massacre
happened! The setting of fire of the coach S-6 of the Sabarmati
Express that killed 58 persons of a community resulted in a
holocaust for the other community when the most brutal violence
was unleashed on them.
There is Abdul Majeed of Naroda Patia, who
speaks in numbed tones about a pregnant
woman on the verge of delivery being raped
before his eyes and then her stomach slit open
to drag the infant out only to cut it in two halves.
Majeed’s own family was totally slaughtered!
This mayhem was epitomised in the Naroda Patya massacre, when
thousands played a bloodbath that decimated whole families,
besides wanton rapes and all.
There is Bilkees Bano, who was raped with brutal
ferocity, besides her daughter of 2 days being
put to a savage death!
‘Zindagi Live - Godhra’ is a mirror to that shame!
There is also Qutubuddin Ansari, whose photo,
Zindagi Live (Godhra)
60 l GR8! l december 2012
Best Reality Show
And the last Sarvivor
would take the crown!
The ‘Catan’ band included
known faces like Priyanka
Bassi, Shilpa Saklani, Payal
Rohtagi, J D Majethia,
Rajesh Khera etc. while the
‘Tayak’ tribe had Gisele Thakral
(Model), Munisha Khatwani (Tarot
Reader), Sylvie (Hair Stylist),
Michael Dhanraj (Research
Scientist), Raj Rani (Hockey
Raj Rani won the finals, defeating
J D Majethia and thus the ‘Tayak’
group decimated the initial lead
of ‘Catan’ and the ordinary scored
over the so-call ‘Extra-ordinary’.
Rajesh Puri, Kavita Choudhary & S L Balmike to Rep
The globally popular, ‘Survivor’, the Reality-show that was first conceived by the
British TV producer, Charlie Parsons in 1992 had its Indian avatar this year on Star
Plus. The show is the ultimate test of human endurance and skills of survival as
contestants are thrown into treacherous lands and have to outlive the ordeal.
For ‘Survivor India’, they chose the pristine but extremely perilous terrain of
Caramoan Islands in Philippines. Hence, 22 castaways – pre-divided into two
tribes – ‘Catan’, comprising celebs and ‘Tayak’, consisting of lay people, were left
to survive the hazards of the land for 45 days!
The show makes truly compelling
viewing what with the touchand-go challenges thrown on
the contestants by the hostile
terrain, besides the various
tasks they have to do. Some
like Karan Patel had to leave
because of deteriorating health
in the inclement climes. ‘Survivor
India’ really became a vortex of
courage, conviction and kick.
‘Seeing’ was ‘Believing’…!
in which he is howling for help with
folded hands during the Qatle-e-Aam
with a death-like helplessness on his face,
became the symbol of the riots in the
News media and for the entire country!
But show doesn’t stop at this! It also
scrapes through their state of mind today
after the passage of a decade since that
massacre. At this, Ansari says that ‘I don’t
want that photo of mine to be used
to denigrate my Gujarat’ and similarly,
Majeed, too, is emphatic that whatever
happened, he doesn’t hate the other
That’s hope for humanity – thanks
Gufi Paintal & Raj Zutshi to Rep
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Talk/Chat Show
The Late Night Show
Jitna Rangeen Utna Sangeen!
Actually, the line above should have been up there with the name of the show
as it is their byline, but we dragged it down to the write-up because there
cannot perhaps be a better description of this colourful, yet stark satire-fest.
Brimming with raw energy and iconoclastic to a fault, it spares none and
nothing. It is ripping masks with brutal honesty – but there is a subterfuge
It laces its lacerating darts with dollops of humour!
And that becomes a strangely entertaining as well as perturbing viewing
experience! When Sumeet Raghavan, anchoring the Show, gives you a tickling
poke in the ribs, you giggle your
heart out, but at the same time,
somewhere in the sub-conscious
you have also received a jab of
some bitter truth that later sets
Sample this – ‘China is showing
Arunachal as its territory!’, smirks
Sumeet, ‘If that is so, India would
stop giving funds to Arunachal’!
And then in an aside, he mocks
– ‘But India isn’t giving any funds
to Arunachal anyway!’ You break
into guffaws at that – but what has
been said is also a bitter reminder
of our apathy to the North East!
Further, he says that China is doing
this because we rustled up a dish
like ‘Gobhi Manchurian’! Indeed, it
is outrageous! We pour Schezwan
sauce on anything and call it a
Chinese dish – like put Schezwan
on Gobhi, it is Gobhi Manchurian
– the Chinese… or put it on Paneer
and it is Paneer Manchurian
– the Chinese… By that token,
China would also pour Schezwan
sauce on Arunachal and make it
‘Arunachal – the Chinese’…!
Uproariously funny, no? Look
closely – it is also brutally frank in
hitting the nail on our National
malaise of fooling around with
Rajesh Puri, Kavita Choudhary & S L Balmike to Abhigyan Jha and team
‘Late Night Show’ is your early
Best Game Show/Quiz Show
Tech Grand Masters - 2
That’s a ‘today’ show without a shred of doubt! Mostly featuring young, onthe-ball, in-your-face band of budding whiz-kids from all across the country,
it throws techno-torrents on them in a one of its kind Quiz Show. At the
steering wheel of this dizzying drive is the maverick Techno-Guru, Rajiv
And that gives a new zing as well as credence to the show!
The biggest asset of the show is that it doesn’t confine itself to the
claustrophobic Quiz-show sets only – instead, it keeps cutting to life on the
62 l GR8! l december 2012
roads with Rajiv interacting with the
Jane’s & John’s, the Mrs Sharma’s & Mr
Verma’s passing by and rain Tech-related
posers on them.
It makes hilarious viewing to see most
of ’em fumbling & stumbling about the
full form of SIM (Subscriber Identity
Module) or MP (Megapixel) and so on.
Then, it cuts back to Rajiv in the studios,
reassuring the viewers that if ‘you remain
with us for the next 6 weeks, you would
Best Music & Film Based Show - Jury
DID Li’l Master Season - 2
beyond belief. There seems to
be nothing that they cannot do
and the energy as well as the
grace with which they go about
their jigs and jounces is the stuff
marvels are made of!
That’s how you cannot but gape
at little Om & Jeet, salute Soumya,
fawn over Faisal and so on and on
and on – but they continue to stun
you with each new performance!
You can never have enough of
them… you keep craving for more
and they keep giving you more,
more and still more!
Swini Khara & Darsheel Safary to Rep
That’s only how you can describe what is before your eyes! Those little slips of
boys & girls are doing what is nothing short of a miracle. You rub your eyes to
assure that it’s no computer graphics or some other FX trick on the screen…
but no, that’s just not the case. What you see is as real and as sure as ‘eggs’ is
‘eggs’! The Li’l Masters are very much there and actually doing those dizzying
dances before you with the confidence of a Michael Jackson – no less!
And you sit in the benumbing daze of their dazzle!
Name one Dance form from Salsa, to Hip-hop, to Funk, to Krumping, to
Popping, to Locking, to Robotic, to Taps, or to plain Waltz… the little prodigies
can do each of them and that too with such expertise and finesse that it is
‘Dance India Dance’, whose title
takes inspiration from the Kannad
movie, ‘Dance Raja Dance’, exploded
on the Indian TV scene in 2009 at
Zee. From day one it has captured
the imagination of viewers that have
continued to burgeon in numbers
phenomenally, so much so that DID
is a Channel-driver, today!
But its ‘Li’l Masters’ avatar has gone
even a step ahead in breathtaking
Entertainment as the Contestants
here are all under fifteen with so
many being very, very young and
still creating a never-before magic!
But make no mistake about it…
They are Dance Ke Baap – period!
be ready for that CTO (Chief
Technology Officer) interview at
Sounds pompous? On the face
of it – yes… but if you really go
through those 16 weeks with
the show, you are sure to find
yourself a ‘changed person’ as far
as the Tech-savvy is concerned.
You would be on a firm footing
in your tread to be part of the ‘it’
And mind you, it is no
It is a window to tomorrow….!
Rajesh Puri, Kavita Choudhary & S L Balmike to Rajiv Makhni
GR8! l december 2012 l
Best Anchor- News/Current Affairs Show - Jury
Ground Zero Affair
Humane to a fault!
He is not your regular Current Affairs Anchor who goes through the
motions ’cause he is doing a job. He is different – and how! Reporting to
Rajdeep Sardesai is religion and he goes about it with same devotion as a
missionary’s. This is what stirs you most when you look at him, mapping
the elemental Gujarat 10 years after the holocaust of 2002!
And he begins at the very beginning!
He meets the kin of the victims of the S-6 compartment of Sabarmati
Express that was set ablaze and which triggered the mayhem that
followed, killing nearly 1,000 people not to speak of the savage rapes
and vandalism perpetrated on the other community. Today, Signal Faria
is a cursed nook in Godhra, inhabited
by Muslims who are under constant
onslaught of suspicion and victimisation.
‘No one gives us a job’…. ‘We are told
– Go to Pakistan’… ‘Nobody gives us
a daughter in marriage or take one of
It’s a woebegone lot!
At the same time, Rajdeep also interacts
with those ‘who cannot forget and
forgive what happened to their kith & kin
in the train.’
Then, he goes to Naroda Patia that bore
the bulk of the brunt of worst communal
hatred and violence. Have they moved on?
Have they forgiven and forgotten? Even
more importantly, he hobnobs with the
upwardly-mobile Gen in Ahmedabad, who
vow in unison that their generation won’t
allow such a tragedy to repeat itself!
Another grouse is that not once Narendra
Modi has shown an iota of remorse or
expressed genuine, regret over what
Rajdeep moves through this tangled web
of stinging sorrow with rare sensitivity,
hugging people with spontaneous tears
welling up in his eyes, while he says
chokingly – ‘Sunega – one day someone
will listen to your cries… up there, koi
Gaurav Banerjee – Executive Vice President – Content Strategy
For Star India & Samir Kochhar to Rajdeep Sardesai
Indeed, Rajdeep doesn’t report – he
Best Anchor - Music/Film Based Show - Jury
Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
He is an Anchor of anchors, today!
His gusto is amazing! Once at the mike, he really takes over
the whole show to make it sail like a dream with no hiccups
whatsoever. It is apparent that there is a lot of toil behind it
all. Whether it is an Event, Reality-show or anything, Manish
is not the one to lean onto the written script only. Instead,
he does his own homework about the Contestants, Judges,
Awardees, Presenters et al to create sparkling Chemistry
And his skills reached a new high in ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’! He
was pure electricity in the show. Though he co-anchored it
with Ragini Khanna, who was pretty perky and pert herself,
yet his act was of a different plane.
66 l GR8! l december 2012
Now crazy, now crafty, now a cutie, Manish swept the
viewers off their feet with his rollicking sense of humour,
his one-liners, his repartees, his jests and jibes… you name
Best Anchor- Talk/Chat Show- Jury
So whether he is making shortshrift of the hypocrisies of our
Politicos, or stressing on the
‘Sex is a Religion’ syndrome of
a Veena Malik, or reading the
subtext and between-the-lines
from the sordid state of affairs in the
country as well as around the globe
– Sumeet Raghavan’s act is a class
Sheeba Akashdeep, Sushil Sharma & Raza Murad to
Abhigyan Jha (On behalf of Sumeet Raghavan)
He is a tornado!
Once he gets going, there is no stopping him, any how or the other. And he
makes ‘Jay Hind’ rocket ahead with ferocious fun. The Sumeet speedometer
knows no upward limit and nor is there a boundary to the energy, ebullience
and effervescence he brings to the show!
Suave, dapper and with an unmistakable dainty air about him, he uses this
elegance in countenance to create a hitting contrast with the undercurrents
of brash irreverence in his words. And that really thuds you into a kind of
never-before viewing experience!
It seems like there is lightning lurking behind snowfall!
Quirky, crazy and castigating,
Sumeet makes us titter like kiddos
at his rip-roaring quips and quiver
with anger deep inside us as the
stark, dark and damning truths are
ripped by him from the masks all
around. Actually, ‘Jay Hind’ is a very
dangerous format – it can easily go
haywire and become vulgar and
And if it doesn’t – much of the
credit goes to the very credible
and creditable Sumeet Raghavan,
besides, of course, the streak of
genuineness assiduously kept in
it by the makers. But the latter’s
efforts would have gone kaput
without Sumeet’s sparkling
There may be Anchors galore…
There is only one Sumeet
it. Despite all those dazzling Dance
performances in the show, Manish
became the centre of its attraction and
was elemental to it in more ways than
one. Indeed, there can be no gainsaying
the fact that without him ‘Jhalak…’
wouldn’t have been what it came to be,
The lad who used to be given anchoring
for, at the most, ‘Red-Carpets’ only for
quite some time, got his first break as a
full-fledged Anchor at The ITA Awards
and has come a long way since. Today,
he has an aura around him – an aura of
irresistible fun and bonhomie that can be
the biggest asset for any event or show!
The Manish Paul juggernaut is
Arjun Bijlani & Muskaan Mihani to Manish Paul
GR8! l december 2012 l
GR8! ITA AWARDS
Best Anchor - Game/Quiz Show
Tech Grand Masters - 2
Hermit of High-tech!
‘Buzzzzz’ goes the Alarm… He yawns awake… Grumbles into the machine of
being ‘tired’… Machine chirps about his ‘not sleeping a wink’… ‘Keep quiet’,
he continues to be gruff… ‘AC, change temperature to 26’ – DONE!… ‘Gimme
wake-up song’ – DONE!… ‘Open curtains’ – DONE!… It goes on perfectly and
with not a living soul there except him… It’s automatons in full service…
He brushes his teeth… Exercises a few Karate chops… Ready for the day…
‘Coffee machine, gimme Latte Macchiato’ – DONE!… ‘TV, tune to NDTV 24x7’
– DONE!… ‘Volume up’ – DONE!… ‘Gimme Traffic report’ – DONE!… ‘TV off’
– DONE! (ah, you’re already gasping for breath)…
And then with that suave air he peeps
into the camera from behind those
designer glares – ‘My day isn’t complete
without Technology… In fact, my day is
That actually is a sequence shot for
‘Tech Grand Masters- 2’ – but it looks as
real as the nose on your face, because
there is Rajiv Makhni in it and you
expect the Tech-Guru to be living by
They just couldn’t have chosen
a better person to anchor ‘Tech
One utterance of him and you know
you’re in audience with a master. He
knows High-tech like the back of his
hand and thereby, takes total control of
the show only to sail it most smoothly
over all the currents.
To cap it, there is the Makhni sense of
humour! Even as he dutifully speaks
the scripted Anchorspeak, he keeps
pushing in some asides and one-liners
that make you break into a titter, most
compulsively. Like, while going ga-ga
over the title sponsors’ ‘Croma’ store,
he suddenly says with a poker face
that though it is perfect, the only way
they can make it better is ‘to have my
posters on all its walls!’
Rajesh Puri, Kavita Choudhary & S L Balmike to Rajiv Makhni
Looking for an Anchor with
Authority, Attitude & Aura and
Look no beyond Rajiv Makhni…!
Threesome - Our Talented Anchors: Karan Kundra, Ridhi Dogra Vashisth and Karan V Grover
68 l GR8! l december
Best English News Channel (Popular)
Anu Ranjan - President, The Indian Television Academy, Founder
- Beti & Uday Shankar – CEO, Star India to Rajdeep Sardesai
Best Entertainment Channel (Popular)
Smriti Irani & Rohit Roy to Gaurav Banerjee – Executive
Vice President – Content Strategy For Star India
Best Hindi News Channel (Popular)
Anu Ranjan - President, The Indian Television Academy,
Founder - Beti & Uday Shankar – CEO, Star India to Rep
69 l GR8! l december 2012
GR8! l december 2012 l
Saluting Sonali (Mukherjee)
Shashi Ranjan (Convenor - Indian Television Academy), Uday Shankar – CEO, Star India and
Anu Ranjan - President, The Indian Television Academy, Founder - Beti to Sonali Mukherjee
Nine years back, that was the night of 22nd April, when
somewhere in the Dhanbad district of Jharkhand
suddenly, the life of a 17-year-old girl was turned into a
curse! Sonali Mukherjee, the bubbly, bouncy and highly
presentable daughter of Chandi Das Mukherjee was in
deep sleep, when suddenly she felt a searing pain on her
face and other limbs!
It was Acid thrown at her!
She screamed and screamed till passing out with fumes
rising from her face and body. Her skin, veins and flesh
were on fire because of the Acid and the entire Mukherjee
family was like, it had been stricken by a massively leaping
The dastardly attack was the handiwork of some
demoniac scoundrels, who had been propositioning
her lewdly for quite some time and when their scummy
schemes to carnally exploit her got spurned, they avenged
it with throwing acid on her!
That was 2003 and almost a decade has passed with she
and her father going from pillar to post to seek justice and
succour from the powers-that-be, for her rehabilitation,
both physically and otherwise. Physically, her whole face is
nothing but a glob of melted flesh with no eyes and right
Needless to say, she has been reduced to an excruciating
sight now – and to no fault of hers or even of Nature. To
redress this diabolical devastation perpetrated by evil
lechers, the oldest of whom was 40 (and married) and
the youngest, hardly 18, and she has been needing a lot
of operations, entailing expenses to the tune of lakhs of
Her father sold family land and jewellry to pursue the
court cases and get the initial operations done. But there
was a limit to his financial capacities and now the question
loomed over them ominously as to how to restore Sonali’s
face and dignity?
But all they’ve got are hollow promises and empty
rhetoric! Nine years of constant trials and travails brought
Sonali to the brink!
So much so – she appealed the Government to give her
permission to die!
It was then that a ray appeared for Sonali at the end of
There came Anu Ranjan in her life!
Anu Ranjan (Editor, GR8! and President, The Indian
Television Academy) has been a relentless crusader
against Female Foeticide and other crimes inflicted on
women. She has initiated the ‘Beti’ movement that is a
clarion call against these Social ills of ours!
Anu met Sonali and got seized of all her needs. Instantly,
she determined to rudder the ill-fated girl out of the abyss
of morass she is in!
Moving with an electric pace, within 72 hours Anu
rustled up 12 lakh rupees for Sonali’s string of operations.
At her call, many a person from the industry and
elsewhere willingly came forth with heavy donations
and supplementing that with her own contributions,
Anu turned the impossible into possible and finally, the
process of reconstruction of Sonali’s face was set out at
the renowned B L Kapur Memorial Hospital in Delhi.
To salute the grit & guts of Sonali Mukherjee, she was
invited to this year’s ITA Awards Ceremony where she was
honoured by the ITA Convenor Shashi Ranjan and the Star
Plus CEO, Uday Shankar, besides, of course, Anu Ranjan!
And here is the GR8! Salaam to this walking symbol of
plucky Indian Womanhood!
GR8! l december 2012 l