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The return of the prodigal

Star Plus is ready with its new offering to grab your eyeballs.

NOT JUST one but two new serials, one after the other, is hitting Star Plus this Friday. While one brings back to the tube Nausheen Ali Sardar of Kkusum fame through KalCchakra, the other is the return of the entire serial itself sans the original anchor, Sansui Khullja Sim Sim. Pushing Karma to 8 p.m. slot, Khullja... would come at 9.30 p.m. and KalCchakra would follow it at 10.30 p.m.

Star Plus Content Head Deepak Segal says both the shows would give a good padding to the channel's Friday viewing. While KalCchakra is being made by Shakti Samanta's son Ashim, the redone Khullja... is from the house of BAG films.

Talking about the serial in New Delhi this Wednesday, Ashim Samanta says, "The story has been picked from the Mexican serial La Chacala. The story, though not outrightly a horror tale, has nuances of it, though Ashim would like to call it a thriller. Besides Nausheen in triple role, the serial would also feature actors like Mohnish Behl and Mukul Dev. "All of them have done a fabulous job. I have not made the serial as a television production but like a film. I have done lot of outdoors. The difference is perhaps the budget," Ashim says.

BAG Films head Anuradha Prasad, relating about how she zeroed in on TV actor Hussain from the popular afternoon serial Kumkum to anchor the show instead of Aman Varma who did the job in the game show's first stint last year, said "A challenge was thrown to Hussain and he grabbed it. The only condition we put is, he should improve his Hindi. Being a Mumbaiite, he speaks Bomaiya Hindi and we wanted him to speak like a North Indian."

Having said all, the fear perhaps is its rival channel Sony TV's good ratings on Friday evening with shows like Devi, CID and Crime Patrol, one after another. Even Aman, who was approached before Hussain to host Khullja... , refused the offer as he is already doing Devi. But ask Deepak and like any other channel head, he would prefer to be silent and smiling.

Nausheen back

With hair tied into a bun, a mangalsutra dangling, chiffon sari flowing, a bindi in place and loaded dialogues to deliver, Nausheen Ali Sardar looks so afar from her soft, long, open-haired looks. She flashes that familiar smile when you tell her this.

"That is reel and this is real," she answers. Switching off from television serials last February, Nausheen busied herself in theatre. Now, ready for a re-entry, she is back this Friday. To where she belongs: To what has made her a star. Not on Sony TV this time but on Star Plus's new serial KalCchakra. And, what is exciting, she tells you at the beginning, "I will be seen in the serial in a triple role which is something not every TV actress gets to do." For the first time, Nausheen also will do a negative role. Naturally she is elated. "I am quite excited about it," she confesses.

Films beckon

Not keen on putting her finger in too many pies, the model-turned actress from Mumbai says, she would also star in a feature film next year. "The name of the film is Accident. It is going to be directed by Shadab Khan. I am playing a lead role opposite Khalid Siddique. The third pillar of the film most likely would be Naseruddin Shah," she informs, insisting that it is not a typical romantic Hindi film. Giving full credit to Kkusum for her popularity, she recounts an incident just before she had left her role in the popular serial. "I was in London to do a play. Lot of people came to see me backstage but there was one girl who presented me over 500 pages of e-mails from my fans who had heard that I was leaving the serial and wanted me to stick to it. I did not know how to react. It was such a great feeling," she says.

In New Delhi this Wednesday for the promotion of KalCchakra, wearing a salwar kurta designed by her sister, Nausheen says, "the reason why I think people behave like this is because they can identify reel characters with them in some way."

Being first from her family to venture into acting, Nausheen says, she always aspired to be a commercial artist "as I was good in sketching."

"But there is no looking back now," she smiles. With a promise to her fans in Delhi that she would come to the Capital "soon" with a play called "Mar Diya Jai Ya Chor Diya Jai." Here's waiting in eager anticipation.


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