About Mehak

Content Head & Community Manager at idubba.com, Passionate reader, Wannabe Philanthropist & In love with creative minds

What’s wrong with Indian entertainment and why Rs 100 Cr Bollywood club is not cool?

We recently interviewed Abhigyan Jha Founder & CEO of Undercover Productions Ltd (the man behind JayHind TV and hits like Movers and Shakers). We asked him what he thought about the Rs 100 Cr club which Movie makers feel proud of and what challenges Indian entertainment industry is facing. The answers he gave are very candid, fascinating and revealing. Read them with your eyes wide open 🙂

Mehak:

Why do u think 100 Crore Bollywood club is not cool?

Abhigyan:

We have 121 crore people in this country so accordingly it doesn’t make sense. If a movie is making 100 crores business that means it’s collecting less than Rs 1 per capita which is extremely low. If we take example of US which has 310 million people, and movies there make upto 3-4 dollars per capita, we can see a huge difference. The simple reason for this huge disparity is that most Indians are not watching Bollywood movies and it proves that the content of our movies is getting pathetic. These figures about how much a movie has collected from the success at box office are misleading for a country like India. 3 idiots was the only movie that came close to selling 3 crore tickets in last 30 years. The top 3 Bollywood films by Box Office Gross ever are Mughal-e-Azam, Ganga Jamuna & Sholay and 3 Idiots is at a lousy 36th spot. (as per Box Office Bollywood Gold Standard). Shahrukh Khan’s movies are not even in the top 40. Mr. Bachchan has only 2 movies in top 50 – Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony and he was not the solo actor in both. Mr. Dilip Kumar comes out as the biggest hero. Most of his films are in the top 20 grossing films. What went wrong was that after 1980 our filmmakers started making really bad movies.

When you call movies like Sholay and Mughal-e-azam, Superhits with collections close to or higher than Rs.1000 Crores, in the same breadth you cannot call movies like Housefull, a hit by any standard. We should not be told how much money, the movie made but instead how many people are actually watching the movie: How many tickets were actually sold. Movies, Television shows and Music in our country are not serving the right content but everybody is in denial mode that nothing is wrong. We are being told numbers which mean nothing: no one can get a sense out of TRP and Box Office Gross that very few people are actually watching even the so called HITS! Nobody will be able to tell you how many viewers are watching a “2.5 TRP rated show” ! Not even the channel people would know except for the strategy and marketing team. The Hindi Speaking market in India is at least 50 crore people out of which only 70 lakhs would be watching a show whose TRPs are 2 or more. In 1992-93, on a Hit series like say Dekh Bhai Dekh: each episode was made between 5.5 or 6 lakhs and unbelievably, the amount spent per episode of a show is the same today as well. After 20 years of inflation & Rupee Devaluation.

Mehak: 

So you think the content as whole is degrading? Not just movies?

Abhigyan:

We all remember Altaf Raja? He sold 27 lakh cassettes of his non-movie album near the end of 1990s and today an artist cannot sell even 2 lakhs. People are paying to get Airtel’s own jingle as ringtone but not Hindi Bollywood music. What can you do when everybody is in denial?

The recent show Satyameva Jayate had received a TRP of 3.0. Apparently Amir Khan has spent 30 crores on marketing and 7 crore per episode. They were trying to reach around 12 million people of India by telecasting the show on Doordarshan apart from Star Network. But this is not enough if they got 3 ratings for the show. It is a complete waste.

Let’s take another brilliant example- UK has a population of 60 million people and its number one show is the Music reality show done by ‘Simon Cowell’ which has around 9-10 million viewers. That’s a whopping 17-18% of the population.

Mehak:

Why these days no “real” blockbuster Movie is coming out of industry?

Abhigyan:

They have forgotten how to make a blockbuster and they have given up. It is like ‘Baniya’ game. Just like a small merchant would not like to make it big, similarly the Indian filmmakers never think of scale. They put 20 crores in a film and getting back 100 crores and this is sufficient for them. Nobody has been able to scale as they are satisfied. The filmmakers are looking at small number of people and at a much smaller universe. We don’t have the reach or the ambition to scale. Nobody is attempting to make it big. We don’t want to grow and we look at everything from the wrong side. A question to the filmmakers – Why do u make a film? Is it because you want to make money or you want people to watch your movie by showing them an amazing story and screenplay? If it is just the money then these filmmakers should have chosen the job of bankers, merchants or something else.

Can we even think of putting Yashraj Productions in comparison to Walt Disney? Can we compare what SRK does in terms of movies in comparison to Tom Cruise?

This year, IPL connected around 20 crore people in one or the other way. IPL alone is more than half of our Bollywood industry in terms of theatrical revenues. This proves that Bollywood is failing massively at attracting audiences to watch it’s movies.

Mehak:

Has Hollywood movies doing extremely good in India affected Bollywood?

Abhigyan:

No they are not doing extremely good but they have started doing well now. It started from the first Spiderman in India which had made the highest collection by a Hollywood film at the time.

Mehak:

Do you think Hollywood will surpass Bollywood in India in upcoming times? If yes, what lessons Bollywood needs to learn?

Abhigyan:

Yes, it can. Distribution system of Bollywood is to be blamed primarily. These are family based distribution systems that need to be changed.

Mehak:

Is there a hope that this pathetic content being delivered continuously can change?

Abhigyan:

Content can change and it is possible. It might change tomorrow or day after tomorrow. It doesn’t take much time/effort to change.

Vicky Donor was a recent good example. If an average film is like Vicky Donor, in quality then it’s a good sign. Paan Singh Tomar is another example of a movie which was not marketed properly but if it had been marketed like Kahani then it could have done better than Kahani.

So here we are throwing some really open questions to our Movie and TV show makers. What do you think of Indians as an audience?

Parichay…Lekin kiska? [viewer’s section]

iDubba is back with its Viewer’s Section blog for this week. Enjoy this second post from one of our ardent viewer Nausheen Raja about Parichay, a popular show on Colors TV.

Balaji’s synopsis: Parichay is a tale of a Mumbai based middle class Punjabi Family that portrays love, care, struggles, challenges and bonding amongst its members. The story revolves around the eldest son of the family, Kunal Chopra (Samir Soni), who has lost his zest in life due to his failures. Dejected, he begins to feel as a failure amidst his family and the society at large. Watch the story unfold as Kunal finds his way in life.’

Parichay…Nayee Zindagi Kay Sapno Ka is a new and a unique show Ekta Kapoor has created. We have seen a male centric show after really long time. This type of show has never been tried before and therefore was very exciting for the audience to see a show with the story based on a male character. We were promised a new show with a central character known as Kunal Chopra (Samir Soni). But did we REALLY get what we were promised?

Well, we did get to see Kunal’s struggles him not having a job, his girlfriend leaving him, his younger brother dying on his own wedding day, having to marry his dead brother’s bride, a number of times getting a job losing a job and so on…

The story became more interesting when Kunal and Siddhi started to develop feelings for each other but didn’t know how to tell each other…the consummation scene was appreciated and was said to be one of the best scenes from many fans. The fans call them the “SiNal” lovingly. But the kidnapping track made them realise each other’s importance in their lives. However, their continuous arguing was and is still great to watch as it is just harmless fun. 😛

They also have had a great run at the TRPs! YES these are important for any show and Parichay is no different. Their ratings have been very good from the beginning but last couple months or so have shown a drop and are continuing to fall as the weeks go by. Why so?

Well, after the kidnapping scene, Kunal seemed to have less screen space which fans are not happy about.

Example of Kunal’s screen space in a recent episode for about 2minutes ONLY!!!

Kunal is the main lead and if audience see him in the show for this short space of time it is definitely not accepted! 

The focus shifted from Kunal to Siddhi, where she was trying to handle and deal with the problems the family had encountered on her own which Kunal should have solved.

After all it’s a male centric show NOT female! Isn’t it??

So where is Kunal’s Parichay? What are his ‘Nayee Sapne’? Why has Kunal has lost so many jobs?

The typical saas-bahu track had started when Siddhi was revealed being pregnant. This trend didn’t last very long. PHEW!! *sigh of relief*

However, this ridiculous track doesn’t make sense because a consummation scene that was shown months ago. How on earth did the doctors during the kidnapping track not know Siddhi is pregnant? Siddhi herself didn’t get any symptoms of being pregnant and when she did NOTHING had happened! So why when everything was going well and they expressed their love for each other this track was put in place with a village ‘dai jaan’ giving the verdict.

We are getting the occasional good scenes but just hoping to get a lot more of Kunal and tracks to do with Kunal. I’ve noticed that Siddhi have had two birthdays whereas Kunal had none. WHY WHY WHY??

The character of Richa which was played by Mona Vasu has been replaced by Sonia Singh but I don’t like the new Richa. Mona played her so well. Also, this Rohit, her brother is walking in her footsteps and there’s absolutely no need for it!

Going by the new promo Siddhi driving and runs over someone which is Rohit who dies and is behind bars, not sure what to expect…separation is already happening, divorce is a possibility because of the separation but what next? I guess we have to wait and watch for the upcoming Saturday special at 9pm.

Enough of complaining is done. WE the FANS are not happy with the amount of screen space Kunal (Samir Soni) is getting but I’d like to congratulate the entire Parichay team on recently completing 200 episodes which is very commendable. May you have great new storylines for the show to increase its viewership and success! It’s been on air for 10 months.

Congratulations to Samir Soni on winning Best Actor (Popular) jointly with Ram Kapoor (Bade Achhe Lagte Hain), also a Balaji show in 11th Indian Telly Awards! Very well deserved! 😀

Samir ji has made me his fan because of his character Kunal. He does it with such ease, looks so natural and real. Sir, you do full justice to Kunal and I wish you get more appreciation and recognition for being the actor that you are.

A message out to Ekta ji, fans including myself complain a lot about the tracks that happen in Balaji shows as the same ones are used in all your shows. For example the divorce/separation track already used in Kya Hua Tera Vaada – Mona and Pradeep, its currently in the process in Bade Aache lagte Hain – Ram and Priya. Already the divorce track has been used in Parichay – and now again separation is happening between Kunal and Siddhi. Why is this so?

There are many fans who write fan fictions who would LOVE to write tracks/stories and that too for FREE! 😀

[Note: This post was written by our TV viewer Nausheen Raja and was edited by Mehak]

I luv my india- viewpoint of Nausheen RAJA [viewer’s section]

Viewer’s Section: iDubba is glad to announce that we are introducing “Viewer’s Section” from today where anybody can participate and submit their views about any show on tv. We may even approach you over Twitter and ask for various viewpoints before publishing your thoughts here. Enjoy today’s view-point from Nausheen Raja.

I Luv My India was created by DJ’s A Creative’s Unit, surprising or not it’s the same Production House as Parvarrish which airs on Sony TV. Some may wonder why I Luv My India didn’t do as well as Parvarrish is doing. Anyway, that’s another topic for another time.  Unfortunately, the show only lasted about two months (60 episodes only)!

I Luv My India was a family comedy show based on an Indian family, The Sethis. The focus of the show was on Indian family values in a light-hearted manner. The show starred Premnath (Arun Bali) and Deep Sethi (Himani Shivpuri). They had been living in London for many years and kept dreaming of the day they will go back home with their family to Punjab, India. They were a family of three generations who lived under one roof. The first generation was very patriotic, the head of the family Premnath (Arun Bali) and his wife Deep Sethi (Himani Shivpuri). The second generation their children Ravinder (Imran Khan) married to Vinny (Dilnaz Irani), Rajinder (Indresh Malik) married to Simran aka Simmi (Anjali Mukhi) and Surinder aka Sam (Rohan Tiwari). The third generation was their grandchildren Ravinder and Vinny’s son Prem (Ayaz Khan). Rajinder and Simmi’s children were Jazzy and Dimple. The children and grandchildren as they were born and raised in London (except for Ravinder who was born in Punjab) they all have adapted to the English ways of doing everything and stay well away from anything and everything desi. They even addressed their grandparents as ‘grand-mom’ and ‘grand-pa’. The show revolves around the family and their ways of living.

The first episode was very grand with all that happens when a Punjabi celebration takes place. Deep Sethi dreams of her entire family living in Punjab. She wants her family to be who they are; that is Punjabi but that doesn’t look like it will ever happen. They try to convince their children to go to India but as they were London born children so they were not willing to leave. Suddenly, circumstances changed and they all had to leave for India.

The initial episodes were beautifully shot. The typical Punjabi things like the bhangra, dhol, food and so on were all present. The viewers especially those abroad would have loved to see the celebration taking place as it would have brought back a reminder of their motherland. To top it all, the patriotic song (Pagri sambhal jatta) played was like the icing on the cake. In the beginning, the first few episodes were great to watch. It showed the love for India within the lead characters which came across very well. The idea of this show was brilliant but it didn’t work long enough.

Why didn’t it last?

The main reason the story wasn’t able to follow through was as a result, the TRPs which had been falling from the beginning and not once did it reach even TRP of 1. The concept of the show was contemporary and very close to real life. Sadly, the ratings did not match up to what the show was or could have been. The show was battling with the likes of Star PlusIss Pyar ko kya naam doon and ColorsBalika Vadhu which have higher ratings. However, if the show had a different time slot it probably would have gained better ratings. 
Anyway, I loved watching it, including all the nonsense that happened in it. The characters as individuals brought a new vibe to television. This was an attempt to entertain viewers which I’m sure it did. Well I can say that it did entertain me. I myself can relate to this show very much as I was also born and raised in London but have always been very close to my roots, Kashmir. Being born in London or anywhere else doesn’t automatically mean you’re only where you were born or live but it’s a choice people make. This show has visualised how London born children of a family, did not value their true roots of India but when they went there they learned the true meaning of being an Indian. I Luv My India has ended positively by showing the grandparents dream coming true of the family living together happily in India.

On a final note, I wish the cast and crew all the very best for the future and their next project(s) be entertaining and a success.

[Note: This post was written by our TV viewer Nausheen Raja and was edited by Mehak]

What to expect from upcoming second episode of Satyamev Jayate?

Satyamev Jayate – Truth Alone Prevails” premiered on Star Plus last Sunday at the time slot of 11 AM. As Aamir Khan – ‘The Star’, thought it will be cool to have the show telecasted in the same slot as the epic Mahabharta or Ramayana. Well the show debuted and created strong ripple among the masses who watched the show in full anticipation as Aamir had created this whole mystery around the show with promos being aired on every Star Network’s channel and online. I am sure Amir Khan must be thanking his stars as he received massively encouraging feedback from all the sections of the society, media, celebrities and others on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, blogging websites etc.

Here is a short synopsis of first episode of Satyamev Jayate

The first episode was based on female foeticide, a inhuman act which is practiced in many parts of the country even as we speak. The show had some shocking revelations about female foeticide and that it is a bigger problem in urban educated sections of society. The show had 3 stories that were shocking but did hit the hearts, and that was evident by the reactions of the audience in the studios. You can read the rest here on one of our previous blogs: “Dil par lagegi to baat banegi” Satyamev Jayate 1st episode reviews and reactions

So what our audience can we expect from the next episode of Satyamev Jayate?

As the first episode spoke and discussed about one of the major evil social issues that our country and society is facing, so it is obvious to assume that the upcoming episode will have some or the other social issues as well. The first show and issue was really intriguing and kept the audience hooked with their tears in eyes. So as expected ‘The Perfectionist’ – Amir has already set the bar and the audience will look forward to more from the coming episodes. Well the show had everything you need to make it a success in today’s television scenario where every show (drama or reality) is fighting for TRPs. It has the reality of our life, strong emotional quotient, some really hard hitting facts (which left everyone bewildered) and obviously a pretty star face – Aamir Khan. Undoubtedly Aamir Khan did justice to a strong host and kept the show alive without any dull moments.

The next episodes might portray other really negative issues that our government has not been able to do anything about: “Child Sexual Abuse” or may be “The plight of women’s safety in India with alarmingly raising number of rape and molestation cases”. There is something else that might take the show maker’s attention; “Child Labor and its deadly impact on the upliftment of our country” or “The stark reality behind Indian farmers attempting suicide”.

Here is a tweet from one of iDubba fans that might confirm the next episode’s theme –

Whatever may be the next social issue to be addressed or as the social media is upbeat about Amir keeping the secret and excitement for next episode intact; one thing is sure that nobody can be certain of the effective action coming out via this show. It might force us to see the real state of our country and its people but the important thing is that it should be able to bring a change.

As Amir Khan says in one of the promos of the show: “Sirf hungama khada karna mera maksad nahi, meri koshish hai ki ye soorat badalni chahiye; meri seene me nahi to tere seene me sahi, ho kahi bhi aag lekin aag jalni chahiye“. So will we be able bring a change whether in female foeticide or any other issue that will be addressed in upcoming episodes?

Do you think that “Satyamev Jayate” can bring the change; the revolution?

Indian TV Screen coming off age – Really?

Were you ready to watch your first ever lip lock scene on Indian Television? Honestly I wasn’t, may be because I was watching it with family. Also it wasn’t just a lip lock but almost a 20 minute ‘love making’ scene which was way too bolder for Indian audience. Yes we are talking about the much hyped “love making” scene between Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar, the lead pair on a popular soap ‘Bade Ache Lagte Hain’ currently aired on Sony Entertainment television.

Sony tv had been airing steamy promos of this episode since last 2 weeks before they actually aired the episode and gave a shock to the ‘regular’ people, and by regular I mean family who sit together to watch something sensible and definitely less controversial. Many of you might not agree with us and call us hypocrites for not accepting something which is so natural. However I would definitely want to ask this question to our loyal audience that was it really necessary to show the on screen couple consummate their wedding by showing what actually happens between two people when they have sex. And that too with complete 20 minutes (that is whole one episode minus the advertisements) coverage just to show that how happily they accomplished their marital relationship. What are the channel’s producers exactly trying to prove here?

We really believe in progressing and strongly believe that Indian television is certainly coming off age breaking the shackles of monotonous soap opera concepts with same old saas-bahu sagas. But there are many other sane ways to do it rather than showing something on tv which puts you in an embarrassing situation in front of people with whom you watch it.

I have nothing against the show and definitely want to mention it that I follow the show ardently because of the freshness it brought from the usual soap operas of Indian television. Also I am not condemning the idea of showing ‘love making’ between the on screen couple, in fact I agree that it was the requirement of script and the show to take a major turn now. But what I am trying to prove here is that it could have been portrayed in a way which was more aesthetically comfortable for the audience.

As soon as the episode was over the next thing we knew was that the lead couple Ram and Sakshi were trending on the social networking site ‘twitter’. Mostly made jokes about the weight issues of Ram Kapoor which is more disheartening to see. Many poked fun asking for the link for the video of ‘Ram and Sakshi having sex’. Do we really need all this cheap drama or a good show which was admired anyway before this over hyped scene?

We will leave you with this thought and would definitely love to know your opinion about the same.

New Shows to be launched in February on Indian Television

We are in the second month of 2012 and television industry is all set to launch the brigade of its new shows. We bring an update for our viewers about such four new shows which will be released in this month on top four channels of television.

Sajda Tere Pyaar Mein on Star Plus will be launched on 14th February. The release date of the show has been chosen as Valentine’s Day as the story is loosely based on a girl who will sacrifice her love for the love of her country. The story of the show revolves around Aaliya played by Deblina Chatterjee, a young college girl who falls for a guy and her love for the guy is like any other young woman full of passion, spirit and rebel. But circumstances take a u-turn when she has to sacrifice everything for her country. The story has a fresh appeal to it however it will be too early to say anything as it might end up like any other love story shows currently aired on tv.

Shubh Vivah which is stated to release on 27th February on Sony Entertainment Television is like ‘Old wine in a new bottle’. The show is a remake of a tamil series ‘metti oli’ that revolves around lives and struggles of a father and his five daughters. Sony tv has been able to break the shackles of typical saas-bahu sagas with its shows like Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, Kuch Toh Log Kahenge, Dekha Ek Khwab, Parvarrish and recently Kya Hua Tera Vaada. However there is a doubt that this age old concept of a father who is struggling to get good and ideal grooms for her five daughters work with the audience.

Jamuna Paar will release on 27th February on Imagine tv. Imagine tv recently launched another new show ‘Mi, Aaji aur Saheb’ that has a good concept. Jamuna Paar is another love story given a typical treatment where a beautiful, cute and die-hard romantic at heart girl falls for a casual, carefree boy. The catch is that the girl belongs to a rich family based in New Delhi and a guy belongs to a normal middle class family living in yamunpar known as Jamuna paar too. Let us see how this new show will fair among other not so great shows airing on Imagine tv currently.

Punar Vivaah is a new show by Zee tv which will be launched on 20th February. Like all other channels even Zee tv is now trying something new and different with this show. Punar Vivaah is about re-marriage of people who have lost their spouses. The female lead played by Kratika Sengar portrays a single mother who was deserted by her husband. Gurmeet Choudhary plays the role of a young man whose wife is no more and he has two daughters. They end up marrying each other due to pressure from their families and for the sake of their children. The story will unfold how such couples stay together under tough circumstances and how their emotions and feelings bring them together.

Do let us know which show will keep you hooked on to television.

Face the Reality!!

Today’s blog is not about Bigg Boss, Roadies or any other reality tv show in India. It is about the level to which show makers and promoters can stoop to, so as to gain TRPs (Television Rating Points) and see their shows’ gaining top position. Today’s front page news of Hindustan Times’ supplement paper “HT City” took me by shock when I read-

A contestant was raped on a reality show by another contestant while she was apparently asleep and this was shown on live television. The night cameras of the show Big Brother (Brazilian version) covered the entire episode where Model Daniel Echaniz forced himself on Monique Amin who had passed out after having alcohol in a party. When Amin was asked next day about the incident she had almost no clue what happened.

Back home in India all reality show makers have condemned this act and have given statements like “the rules are much stricter on our show”, “we don’t allow alcohol on our show to avoid any such happening” and many other. But the question is still the same. How far can these reality shows go to gain so called ‘TRPs”. Bigg Boss Season 5 that recently ended depicted a lot of violence between the contestants even though it was not in physical form too much. Other shows like Roadies and Splitsvilla on MTV are ill-famous that the contestants who are aggressive, violent or abusive are given a chance above other contestants who want to participate in the show.

The problem with today’s reality shows is that it is ok for the producers to show anything until you get under the knife of censor board or other active bodies that control the content show on television. We can easily see loud and violent behavior, nudity, crime and many other negative aspects of our society on television mostly through these reality shows.

Also are we as audience getting too easy as to what our younger generation especially kids watch on television? Can we let them watch a male hurling demeaning accusation on a female’s character? Can you let your kids watch violence to the most inappropriate level? Is there a shortage of freely available porn on internet that we need to see a female getting raped on live television?

Let me ask you a bigger question instead- Do you think even in Indian reality shows incidents like this might have happened but producers might not have guts to telecast them yet? Do you think this incident will make TV producers bolder?