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Posts Tagged ‘soap opera’

IN STORES NOW!!!!

  

Please check the Piggies on the Railway – A Kasthuri Kumar Mystery page (tab on the blog header)  for updates, excerpts, press coverage and other opinion.

Tribune India, March 28, 2010 –  ALAS! Lady-detectives, Indian lady-detectives are elusive literary creatures. Enter Kasthuri Kumar aka Katie, detective with a buzz and two bumbling feet. And ‘seasoned’ chick-lit writer Smita Jain pulls her off with elan. So apart from the mysteries the book holds (the title being one of them) what works is the plot. Ludicrous in parts, hilarious in others and mad-hatterish for good measure…you will feel the author’s relish as she takes on one preposterous situation after another playing out a rather cheeky plot.

The writing is breezy, racy. The language is colloquial and fun, irreverent too. And it is not just her characters, even the sub-plots are funny, eliciting that smile while you sit there unbelieving that someone could actually write all this down!

Tehelka, April 2, 2010 – WITH JAIN’S first novel, the bestselling Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions, being spun into a film, her second effort heralds a new mystery series. This chicklit-detective romp follows sassy investigator Kasthuri Kumar as she tracks a missing Bollywood starlet…entertaining.

The Statesman, New Delhi, April 4, 2010 – There’s a new type of detective hitting the Mumbai beat, Kasthuri Kumar, a.k.a. Katie. Smita Jain is a script writer for TV serials and knows what makes a popular page turner with a frothy mix of sex, humour and twists and turns of the plot…Enough to keep chick lit readers entertained with her crisscrosses for a pleasant while.

ALREADY OUT  

    

“Since I had had the misfortune of laying my hands on the cursed telescope my life had gone berserk, I thought miserably. I had witnessed a murder, been shot at (by a supari killer, no less), spent a night in the slammer and seen a man killed right in front of me. But having my story and screenplays stolen — that really took the cake.”    

How far would you go to get what you want?    

a) Steal b) Scam c) Seduce    

For Kkrishnaa, the 20-something, impulsive, gutsy and unapologetically ambitious scriptwriter of television soap operas, the answer would be d) all of the above.    

And what she wants most right now is to retain her long-running, hugely successful primetime show Kkangan Souten Ke. Unfortunately for her, she has writer’s block and knows it. What is worse, her Creative Director knows it, and is threatening to hand over the pen to Kkrishnaa’s erstwhile love and current adversary, Dev Trivedi.    

Kkrishnaa must find inspiration if she wants to keep the show. So she decides to spy on her neighbours, a decision that unfortunately leads to her witnessing a murder. And thence ensues a rambunctious, rollercoaster ride as Kkrishnaa desperately attempts to keep her job, resist Dev Trivedi’s charms – and oh yes – avoid getting killed….    

A wickedly funny, rip-roaring read.    

Businessworld     

A Whodunit with a little bit of high level office politics, good dose of humour and romance…. author Smita Jain knows her job….makes the narrative pacy…     

Time Out    

A toothsome devil’s food cupcake of a novel…. has the right blend of wit, sex and twists to keep this reader interested.     

Deccan Chronicle     

Move over Bridget Jones, We now have our own Kkrishnaa, writer of TV soaps, young, attractive, single, and living alone in the big bad city of Mumbai… just what the urban English-speaking professional young woman was waiting for. The style is clever, irreverent and witty. It is an action filled page turner… an unpretentious, rollicking romp through the lanes and by lanes of Mumbai.     

Financial Express     

Wow, when someone pulls off a clever mix of two popular genres and indigenises them to boot, that’s quite a coup.     

Indian Express    

You don’t have to like Kkrishnaa but you sure can’t ignore her… hilarious, rip-roaring.    

Mail Today     

Healthy dose of what goes behind making melodramas with a lot of dhang dhnag schvoom schvoom moments…effortless pace and stylish prose has the ability to hook her readers.    

People    

Action packed…entertaining read…never a quiet moment…suitable for a Bollywood action flick.    

The Pioneer    

Pacy read for the monsoon…light, fun writing is still a good bet.    

Mid-Day    

Refreshingly young, wickedly humourous.      

     

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Every show on air begins with a premise, or what we call, a concept. What is the show about? It is a different matter that sooner or later every drama goes the same way. After about 50-100 episodes you cannot make out the difference between a Kyunki and a Kahani.  But by then the stickiness factor come into play.

But to grab eyeballs initially you have to have a differentiator. So we had Saat Phere: Saloni ka Safar which was about an otherwise accomplished girl but who has a dark skin. Banoo Main Teri Dulhan was about an illiterate girl who is conned into marrying a mentally challenged guy. The main protagonist of the show, and therefore, the concept is always, always about a woman.

The concept is accompanied by a broad storyline for six months and detailed story, screenplay and dialogues for a month.

So there is this girl who is dark skinned. She is otherwise accomplished and affectionate, an ideal Indian woman, but all efforts to marry her off are in vain. No one wants to marry a dark skinned girl and infuse the bloodline with her swarthy genes. And then comes along. End of month 1.

Nahar wants to marry her but he faces opposition from his family. Nahar eventually overcomes the opposition and the two are married but Saloni is made to feel unwelcome in the extended family. There are numerous efforts and attempts to belittle and humiliate her. Saloni faces everything with stoicism. And then she saves the family from dishonour on one occasion. This leads to her acceptance in the family. End of month 2.

(Disclaimer: I’m not very familiar with the show so I’m mostly making up the story. But yeah that’s how the broad, broad storyline goes.)

Based on this document, the channel takes a call. Though they usually hear out the concept and story, it is usually the concept that hooks them because the story can always be modified. Sometimes as soon as they hear what the story is about, they tune off. It happened to me once. We were pitching to a major channel for a show about a woman who becomes widowed on the day of her wedding and how she survives, thrives and eventually even finds love again. But as soon as the channel heard ‘widow’ they said, “Next.”

Yeah you do have to go with more than one. But never more than three. It’s never a good idea to present too many choices. I hate it when that happens to me. I can never make up mind about which jeans to buy.

Later, the story is fleshed out and we add incidents. How is Saloni humiliated? Does someone add excess salt to her daal when she is not looking? How does she save the family’s honour? Doe she save the unmarried sister from getting raped by reaching in the nick of time?

After the story is fleshed out – in minute detail for a month, we get into the screenplay stage. This usually takes a lot of time and involves a lot of back and forth with the channel. That’s because at the beginning of the show everyone is struggling to find a look and feel of the show. Ditto for the dialoguing stage.

And then there is casting to be done, sets to be built, costumes to be designed and a bank of 20 episodes to be shot (which usually never happens). It could be anywhere between 6-9 months (more if it’s a comedy) from initial approval before a show is ready to go on air.

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