Friday, June 13, 2008

Ekta ki Mahabharata

Ekta Kapoor’s soon-to-be-telecast production of the Mahabharata (retitled Kahaani Hamaaray Mahabharat Ki, kyunki “K” ka hona zaroori hai) promises to change the landscape of mythological serials in much the same way that her daily dramas transformed how we look at Indian families. Some predictions for what we can expect to see on this new show:

– In a case of inventive rewriting, the character of Bhishma, the grand old man who shows more longevity than most of his great-great-grandchildren, will be turned into a woman and played by the actress who enacted the role of the timeless Ba in Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. This will save the casting directors some trouble.

– Each of Draupadi’s five weddings will be shown in loving detail, over several weeks, with a budget of Rs 200 crore set aside exclusively for the costumes.

– Dramatic twists will abound. During a teary family showdown, it will transpire that Dhritarashtra’s blindness was caused by the cumulative glare from the necklaces worn by the women in his family.
After the failure of the vastra-haran attempt, it will be revealed that Draupadi, being a dutiful wife, was wearing all five of her wedding saris at the time. ("No wonder she looks so fat," Duhshasana will remark, causing Bhima to swear the fearsome oath that he will catch hold of Duhshasana one day and force-feed him bean sprouts.)

– There will be at least one cat-fight between Draupadi and Subhadra, with chiffon and jewellery flying about the palace and an emasculated Arjuna watching nervously from a corner of the room. The number of speedy zoom-ins and zoom-outs in this scene will break all previous records for daytime soaps and the episode will win a special achievement prize at a Balaji Telefilms awards show.

– One of the features of an Ekta Kapoor soap is the ostentatious piety of the characters (that is, when they aren’t busy conniving to destroy each others’ lives). This is most notable in scenes where family members gather at the puja room together, fold their hands and moist-eyedly sway their heads in unison as celestial music plays on the soundtrack. In Kahaani Hamaaray Mahabharat Ki, where one of the key characters is God Himself, this sort of behaviour will cause serious disruptions in the plot. Each time Krishna enters a room, everyone will stand in a line and start singing bhajans loudly. These scenes will buy the scriptwriters a few weeks’ time to plan the next plot twist.

– Unfortunately, the censor board will disallow the scene where Krishna and his family fold their hands and sway piously in front of statues of the Kapoor family.

– Wherever possible, sentences will begin with “K” words. For instance, when Satyavati is asked why her son, the vagrant scribe, doesn’t live with her in the palace, she will reply, “Kyunki Vyas bhi kabhi sadhu tha.”

– There will be unexpected promotional guest appearances at crucial points. Midway through the episode showing the death of Abhimanyu, Tusshar Kapoor will appear onscreen to announce the forthcoming release of his new film ChakraView.

– Though the Mahabharata war lasted 18 days, it will take six years’ worth of episodes to telecast, because of the Principle of Reaction Shots, crucial to any Balaji serial. Each time a character shoots an arrow at another, we will be shown reaction shots of every man, horse, elephant and vulture on the battlefield. These scenes will make the pace of Ramanand Sagar’s soporific Ramayana comparable to that of an Indiana Jones film.

– The arrows will, of course, travel in slow motion; the more important ones like the Brahmastra will take at least four episodes to reach their target. But since the weapons will be dressed in colourful saris, viewers won’t mind.

It is said of the Mahabharata that “what is not here is nowhere to be found”. The tagline for Kahaani Hamaaray Mahabharat Ki will be “what is here is nowhere else to be found”.

57 comments:

  1. Such a nice post and no comments yet! I feel so obliged to put one. I can't wait to watch this version of 'Mahabharat'.

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  2. This was hilarious!

    I do hope there's a Kunti-Kaikeyi scene that lasts at least 8 episodes.

    ano

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  3. Ano: Kaikeyi's from the Ramayana, but no problem - she can always be brought in for a guest appearance. After all, daytime serials frequently have "exchange programmes" with characters from other shows!

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  4. Wonderful post and such comic relief!. Also whenever Duryodhana will launch into one of his trademark "Attahasas" (Stupid Laughter), patented by many serials on the epic. We will have three episodes depicting his laughter and the contorted faces of the rest of the characters.

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  5. Reading this makes me suspect you spend a great deal of time watching Ekta Kapoor soaps...

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  6. [i]...Each time a character shoots an arrow at another, we will be shown reaction shots of every man, horse, elephant and vulture on the battlefield... [/i]

    [i]...The arrows will, of course, travel in slow motion; the more important ones like the Brahmastra will take at least four episodes to reach their target. But since the weapons will be dressed in colourful saris, viewers won’t mind...[/i]


    What a great day to start with...thanks a LOT for this wonderful post..had a real hard time keeping my voice low..am in office now...gotta watch this Mahabharata hook or by crook...

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  7. Great post Jai! Man.....this is one show I gotta catch......I have my own wishlist

    1)When Bhishma Pitamaha is on the bed of thorns,I hope we have the mother of all crying scenes.....from both sides obviously.....the sets will be drowned in glycerine...

    2)It will be interesting to see the reaction when Krishna reveals his viraat roop in Duryodhana's court........

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  8. one-handed backhand4:36 PM, June 13, 2008

    great post Jai. Kalaji Kilms will trivialise the Mahabharta forver and Miss Kekata willing will even return to haunt future genretaions. Btw, u missed a couple of plausible scriptings the KBharata will have... you know modern film songs of love, yearning and Bhakti right in between the Great War, Drauapdi taliking like Tulsi or viec-versa, i mean after the couple of episodes nobody will know which is the 'real' period production. And of course Bhishma, Karna and Daupadi will all change midway and return to play the part of Arjun, shakuni and Gandhari respectively... excuse the kypos

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  9. hilarious! comes straight from the 'hurt', no doubt

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  10. You forgot - The fight between Draupadi and Subhadra will have at least one slow-mo, repeated-in-triplicate slap, while everybody else looks on in shock.

    Why did Ekta Kapoor choose Mahabharat? Because in those times, even men wore rich silk clothes and extensive jewellery. (Which also explains how the palaces were so well-lit without electricity.) ;)

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  11. Kyunki Vyas bhi kabhi sadhu tha

    friggin awesome, the guy in the adjacent cubicle was freaked out by my stifled laughter...

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  12. Hilarious! I think when the war happens, it may just rain. Kyunki everytime something important is happening and the protagonist is running on the roads, there is rain ;)

    Also, Yudhishtir may just be shown having an affair. How cool is that!

    And this will leave the Shiv Sena in fumes.

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  13. LOL! That was rather my poor attempt to come up with the most ludicrous K-combo, or should I say K-Kombo, but you made sense of that too.
    Hats off to you!
    ano

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  14. That was really funny and so true.

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  15. You know what, you really have a big future in K serials. Now you have a backup career to fall back on.
    Not that you need it!! :P


    btw, read in ur other post about ur expertise in american daytime television .... i have become a human wiki for the american sitcom :P ...

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  16. ROFL..you seem to be quite a fan of K serials ...one thing you forgot all the main characters pandavs, krishna etc. will suddenly die due to a crash or something and will resurrect several times, ofcourse with the actor changed :P!!!!

    keep posts like these coming, these are a refreshing change.

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  17. Ahem. In fairness, more than one friend has told me that the trailer for Kahaani Hamaaray Mahabharat Ki looks very impressive - solid production values, etc (I saw some good-looking pictures online too - general scenery and battlefield shots). Which is all very well, but what I'm more interested in here is the script and characters. I don't expect those to be handled with any greater complexity than in the B R Chopra version, which was a soap opera for its own time.

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  18. Unmana: only as much time as required for research. You've seen this post?

    Aditya: yes, and when there are enough tears they can call it Ma Ganga and allow the weeping river to carry Pitamah away in its bosom.

    over rated: big future as a scriptwriter or an actress?

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  19. ROTFL ....You Rock Man You SRUSLY ROCK

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  20. Another laugh riot from you !! I am an absolute fan of your writing. I have a bold request.I have just started spreading my wings in blog-sphere. Please review my blog when you find time. Please feel free to give me some negative feedback !

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  21. Hey jabberwock, what an ass-whoppin Rafa handed out to The Mighty Fed in the FO final! Sad day for us Fed fans though! Vamos (ssshhh)!

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  22. well i for one like ektas soaps coz they teach us abt indian culture and festivals and all the rituals ...for nris like me they fill a gap .. i am sure ekta will show mahabharat in a good way i am looking forward to it ..
    Jai Shri Krishna
    bv

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  23. KKKKyunki KKutte ki poonch Kkabhi sidhi nahin hoti.

    --Sharmishtha

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  24. Sorry, that was juvenile (see above). But it was so tempting - to be able to sum up the Ektaa Productions philosophy in one line.
    --Sharmishtha

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  25. :) it should be an incredibly long watch.

    there are a whole bunch of other weddings to get through before the 5 draupadi marriages !--- ganga and shantanu, matsyagandha and shantanu , Bhishma and kidnapping and marriage of the princesses of Kashi . the niyoga ceremonies :) and of course the marraiges of kunti , madri and pandu, and the wedding of gandhari ....
    and, this is assuming that they don't start with the story of Bharat and Shakuntala :)

    it should redifine ghastly weddings :)

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  26. You may laugh now - but chances are most of your predictions will actually come true.

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  27. Yes, indeed. But if this is research, maybe I should stop envying you.

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  28. What if Ekta had to bring in a new actor, as was done thrice wid Mihir in KSBKBT? How would she explain that in the Mahabharat? In soaps it was usually a car crash followed by plastic surgery.. How would she pull it off here? And if the audience really liked 'Karna', would she resurrect him after the war, by popular demand?

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  29. Hilarious! If we had an Indian equivalent of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, or even SNL, this would make a great 'fake news' item with a skit to go along. This being apna desh, though, who knows, it could be eerily prescient, and you might soon be offered a job as Chief Raita (they spell them that way to avoid confusing the job with anything Shakespeare might have done) of the series. Desi soaps have reached a point where they're sorely in need of some defusing, bubkes. Deflate away! Jor lagaa ke...maiyya!

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  30. Indian serials/films suffer from absence of realism and display of too much fantasy. And the K-serials seem to follow the same trend.

    When will we learn to make realistic films of epics like Ben-Hur or the other ones starring Charlton Heston????

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  31. I think the reason why Ekta chose Mahabharata over any other epic is that it consists of the most complex of characters and situations. Where else would you find a woman with 5 husbands? Or a woman giving birth to 2 or 3 sons through "Gods" rather than her husband?!

    I am sure Ekta got kicked at the idea of showing the most complex of marital and extra-marital affairs.

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  32. Sid...no more the kid2:36 PM, June 16, 2008

    I have often suspected a twisted, demented mind working behind these posts...now i know why. What mind can remain un-twsited and un-demented after watching the Ekta Kapoor dramas to gain such wonderful insight into the genre .
    Well done, Jabberwock. You have once again put your sanity at risk to warn us , innocent huddling masses of the impending disaster.

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  33. sid...no more the kid2:38 PM, June 16, 2008

    You forgot to mention that everytime there is a paucity of action and the plot comes to a dead-end( With Ekta kapoor, its a possibility even if the subject is as resourceful as the mahabharata), one of the chRACTERS will decide to throw a lavish party that will last 2 episodes and have 3 item songs from latest bollywood movie and some synchronised dancing involving all major characters

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  34. "When will we learn to make realistic films of epics like Ben-Hur or the other ones starring Charlton Heston???"

    Karthik: you're joking, right? The Charlton Heston epics were mostly high-hokum (although glorious to watch and lavishly produced high-hokum). I don't see how you can call them more "realistic" than, say, B R Chopra's soapy version of the Mahabharata.

    One of my favourite Hollywood epics of that period was Spartacus - I thought it was more intelligent and thoughtful than the Heston/DeMille films - but I wouldn't go so far as to call it realistic. (Frankly, I think realism is an overrated quality when it comes to filming period films anyway; there's no foolproof way of achieving it. And when dealing with works of fantasy like the Bible or the Mahabharata, in what sense does one aspire for realism?)

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  35. brilliant post i rolled in laughter :)

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  36. pls dont call mahabharata a fantasy ..it really happened
    bv

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  37. Talking about brevity or the lack thereof; what do you think of 6 words memoir?

    Come, can we get one from you?

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  38. Neha: brevity - me? Sometime in the next day or so I'm going to put up a 6,000-word post (Amitav Ghosh interview), so beware!

    Besides, you really don't want me writing either six or six thousand words describing my life as it is just now - it's way too sordid!

    pls dont call mahabharata a fantasy ..it really happened

    BV: hmm. And what are your views on the Old Testament? Lots of exciting stuff in there too. All of it happened?

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  39. Wonderful post....loved the slow motion 18 days battle......

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  40. Hilarious post..... but honestly, Ekta's middlename is TRP. Otherwise we have options like Peter Brook's work which was shown late nights on Doordarshan or the (to me the best till now) snppets from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron. I would love dialogues like "Shaanth Ho Gadadhaari Bheem, Shaanth" incoprporated anyday!!

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  41. Dharatushtra : " Gandhari mein tumhara aabhari hoon ke tum nay sau putron ko janam diya "

    Gandhari: " swami, agar aap andhe nahin hotay to yeh sambhav nahi hota "

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  42. *B*R*I*L*L*I*A*N*T*!!!!!!
    I have tears in my eyes!
    N some of the comments have been extremely hilarious as well. :D

    Maybe Kekta picked "Kahaan-Bharat" so that her script-writers (?!) would not have to tax their creative(?!) abilities on planning the next generation leap.

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  43. After the great justice done to the epic of Mahabharata by the Chopras, it is difficult to believe anything better coming that way. Especially knowing the caliber of the new director (who is only good at starting serials and not strong or decisive enough to bring end to any stories.)
    By the time today's generation will have grand-kids, the Pandavas in K-Mahabharat wil still be in Exile.

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  44. heeheeheehee! I think ALL your predictions are about to come true, from the way things seem. I'm sitting at work again, and getting even stranger looks because of helpless giggles. By the way, for those who miss the nightly entertainment, 9X shows a rerun of the week's episodes on Sunday morning. (which is about as near as Ekta Kappor gets to the old show - the timing) - Civetcat

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  45. Ekta Kapoor Mahabharat3:46 AM, August 19, 2008

    The show is slated to be a daily and will be aired on prime time
    from Monday to Thursday.
    This change of schedule has taken place because Balaji Telefilms
    are way ahead of their deadline and have already built up a
    huge bank of episodes.

    Source : Ekta Kapoor Mahabharat

    http://kapoorekta.com/KahaniHamareyMahabharatKi/index.htm

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  46. udayan mukherjee6:13 PM, August 22, 2008

    I watched the few episode of Ekta kapur’s Mahabharat.I am very much depressed to see this serial. It is an AMERICANISED MAHABHARAT so far as costumes are concerned.Are we watching the movie of THE KING ALEXANDER? WHY THE COSTUME OF ANCIENT GREEK HAVE BEEN USED IN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY? In fact there is a contrversy regarding the dress. Nobody have seen what type of dress Arjun usually wore.But IT SHOULD BE WHAT MAJOR PEOPLE HAVE GOT AN IMPRESSION ABOUT THEIR DRESSES.mRS kAPUR SHOULD SEE THE b.R cHOPRA’S mAHABHARAT AND THE OLD FEATURE FILM MAHABHARAT by A.A Nadiatwala acted by Pradip kumar, Padmini and Dara Singh.the looks and posture of the actor and actress are disgusting(Just like modern movie as if in which all are playing the role of mafia don). THIS MAHABHARAT IS VERY HARMFULL FOR NEW GENERATION because we have already seen the previous serial and movie and also read different books on Mahabharat.But most of the children of new generation do not know the story of mahabharat and they have not seen the old serial and movie. So they will have a wrong Idea about the characters of ONE OUR MOST POPULAR EPIC.

    It is my request to each and everybody who are watching Ekta Kapur's Mahabharat to raise voice against the telecast of this horrible AMERICANISED STYLE OF INDIAN MYTHOLOGY.It is very much harmful to our children. The looks and dresses of the actor and actresses are like a westernised mafia don. The costumes are just like ancient Greek. The standing style, the way of dialogue throwing of the actors are as if they have come to a disco club. The most horrible is DRAUPADI. Oh my god! toal westernised face.sHE IS JUST SHOUTING.hORRIBLE ACTING.

    What a horrible widow dress Satyabati and Amba are wearing.It is just like wedding dress of a English lady.Ekta Kapur is fully influenced by AMERICAN CULTURE which she has focused on one of our Great epic like MAHABHARAT, SHAME, SHAME. Did Ekta Kapur read all these comments of public. She should read.

    Where is the long moustache of Santanu, Bhishma, Kans, Duryodhan? Does Ekta Kapur know that Moustache was the prestige of a Khatriya Raja? or she wants to write a new Mahabharat in westernised style? ankit said so what the ppl are wearing and hw they are looking. That means in ankit's opinion santanu can easily wear jeans and tea shirt? oh? the style and test of the people may change in course of time.But this change should not be reflected in our mythology. the face make-up of Vishma, shantanu,duryodhan, and kans are just like a actros and actrsses of enghlish cow boys movie. Horrible .
    What a horrible face of Dhritarastra.Totally AMERICANISED FACE.Ekta kapur's Mahabharat is insulting to one of our great epic.Probably mr Ankit and Mr Rajguru have no idea about this epic. The selection of actor,the costume, the way of acting, all are fully westernised. That is why I am against the telecast of this sereial.It is harmfull to our new generation. I don't how Ekta Kapur has drawn the potrait of SriKrishna?

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  47. udayan mukherjee6:15 PM, August 22, 2008

    Ekta Kapur has brought the westernized fashion “Six pack Ab” in her Mahabharat. All characters (Male) exhibiting their open body just like ‘DARD E DISCO. WHAT IS THIS? Does Ekta think that these types of Americanized culture in Mahabharat will attract the young generation? If so then I will say she is wrong. Today’s young generations are not so cheap. Ekta should be punished for producing and spoiling our culture. All characters of Mahabharat looks like the character of modern age. One always expects a sort of super mundane aura to emanate from the mythological characters presented before them on the screen.

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  48. This stupid lady has insulted the greates epic of india.....
    she herself dont know anything abt mahabharat...she has just copied ffrom hollywood movies...i can bet guys the scene when bhishma finishes his education he is left in a jungle...where a fox or something else could not recognise what was it..attack him....this scene has been copied from the hollywood movie "300". Now i am expecting that in this version of mahabharat krishna will show his divine form in dhristrastra's court all the people willl lose their consiosness and it will take some 6 month to recover them...
    onether thing when kunti will revel her sons that karna was their brother..she may be scolding sage durwasa...or it may happen that yudhister goes for hunger strike for bringing his elder brother back..and lord of death will have to give krna a new life and dropadi will be married again with karna..at last when bhisma will die ganga will be so angry that whole india will become floaded and lord shiva will have to take her back her in his long JATA (Hairs)...

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  49. udayan Mukherjee6:22 AM, August 31, 2008

    Ekta Kapur has brought the westernized fashion “Six pack Ab” in her Mahabharat. All characters (Male) exhibiting their open body just like ‘DARD E DISCO. WHAT IS THIS? Does Ekta think that these types of Americanized culture in Mahabharat will attract the young generation? If so then I will say she is wrong. Today’s young generations are not so cheap. Ekta should be punished for producing and spoiling our culture. All characters of Mahabharat looks like the character of modern age. One always expects a sort of super mundane aura to emanate from the mythological characters presented before them on the screen.

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  50. Udayan Mukherjee6:24 AM, August 31, 2008

    • Actually the face of a young woman in Indian mythology should be heart shape(Padmini in Mahabharat, Rupa Ganguly in chopra’s serial, Dipika Chilkia as Sita in Ramayan serial, Anita Guha as Sita in Sampurna Ramayan). This is the general impression of public regarding Mythological characters. Not like the face of English type(for example Bipasha Basu, Susmita Sen, or the woman acting as Draupadi in Ekta’s Mahabharat.

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  51. Its "THE MOST" Disgusting interpretation of the greatest EPIC running on the prime time(Jo Channel aur Ekta ko le Dubegaaa).
    It Depicts the Insane Brain of Ekta and her Slaves(Actors who knows what the MESS they are doing and still cant speak up a word).
    Ekta Shud be featured as one of the Most "Bewakooofh" Character India has produced.Nevermind not her fault.. Pehle to AAdhi Pagal Thiii Ab PURI PAGAL Ho Gayi Hai..Ye Cartoon Mahabharat Bana Ke.Ha Ha Ha Ha..ITS Seems She has Made Mr.BEAN (K MahaBharat) to come in the Primetime for the Purpose of WWF.She is trying to show Mr. Bean Vs.Undertaker (RAmayan NDTV)...Ab Aaage Kya Hogaaa Sabko Pata HAI..
    Areee EKTA PUBLIC KO AEEEDAAA SAMJHTI HAI KYA..Its good U Air this kind of Trash in your Personal CHANNEL ONLY AIRED IN YOUR FAMILY & HOUSE... U SERIOUSLY NEED A PSYCATRIST...Pls Go To Ramanand SAGAR and Elaj Karwaoooo...I REALLY SYMPATHIZEEE WITH U...
    BULL SHIT SPECIAL EFFECTS AND SIX PACKS MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTERS...HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ..iN Short K Mbharat is a COMIC Serial..PLSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS introduce SIDHU Ji in any of the characters..."An Intelligent suggestion"..

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  52. wow, loved it, that was brilliant :)

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