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ANUJ KUMAR
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TV Raveena Tandon turns host with “Issi Ka Naam Zindagi” on NDTV

New role Raveena Tandon
New role Raveena Tandon

Some years back, NDTV produced a show called Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai where Farooque Sheikh slowly but surely unravelled the unseen side of some of our biggest personalities in front of us. Come February 25 Raveen Tandon will take on Sheikh's role as NDTV reinvents the series as Issi Ka Naam Zindagi . “The series will look at the person behind the celebrity. We only get to see the shining side. We seldom get to know the stories of toil and sweat that make a celebrity,” says Raveena, who has judged some reality shows in the past.

More and more actors and directors are turning to hosting but Raveena insists that this series is different. “It is not a question-answer session where the host tries to corner the personality on some controversy or some statements that he or she had made. It is much more conversational and we invite people associated with the making of the star to talk about the side that we don't get to see.” Also, she adds, the series will not be limited to film stars and will feature names from the world of sports and business as well. But as of now she has shot with people from her fraternity only. She is upbeat about the Ajay Devgn episode where her former co-star opened up for the first time on national television. “He doesn't like to talk about family and growing up years but with me he was different. Similarly Imran Khan who is not known to dance in his films, jived on the sets with his wife and friends.”

To be telecast on NDTV India and NDTV 24X7, the opening episode will feature Vidya Balan, and Raveena says the highlight will be her father talking about Vidya. Asked to compare her success with Vidya's times, Raveena says, “After the golden period of the '50s and the '60s, the role of the heroine gradually declined in the '70s and the '80s. The '80s was a bit of a nonsensical era for female actors in mainstream Bollywood but from the '90s onwards, strong roles have been written for actors who are ready to explore. We used to look up to roles that Nargis and Madhubala got to play but every generation gets its share of its stories.” She says she got Satta and Daman , Vidya has got The Dirty Picture . “You get one special opportunity; it is up to you what you do with it. She has made it count.” But her change of avatar didn't get as much commercial success as Vidya has got. Does it reflect a change in times? “Not quite, it depends on the treatment of the subject. The Dirty Picture has ingredients which have mass appeal. Before that Rang De Basanti had got both critical acclaim and commercial success.”

After taking a break from films, Raveena is back on the sets. “I have two films in the kitty and then this show is shaping well. My hands are full,” she signs off.

ANUJ KUMAR

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