Updated: June 7, 2018 10:41:17 am
While gossip about actors fascinated me when I was young, there was one producer who made headlines more often than not. Be it her dressing sense, her anger on sets or her controversial statements, Ekta Kapoor found herself frequently on gossip pages. But as time passed, Ekta, one of the youngest successful woman entrepreneurs in our country, has managed to turn the tide and now it’s just her work that becomes headlines. Today, the Czarina of television turns 43 and its commendable to see how she has shaped up her life, on her own terms
Going back to my childhood, my first tryst with Ekta and her show’s impact was when I was in class six. As I entered my classroom, a group of girls were sitting together looking devastated and talking about some ‘Mihir’ being dead in Kyuni Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. I did not know how to react but when I came home, I made sure I stayed up that night to watch the show. The next day, I joined the girls grieving over how life was unfair to our Tulsi. Another incident that I remember is at a family gathering when we were watching Kasauttii Zindagii Kay on TV and as Anurag and Prerna came close, my seven-year-old cousin shouted, “Ab inka baby hoga” (Now they will have a kid). Amid hidden giggles, the whole family tried to reason out with her on how she is too young to watch these shows, while her mother looked clearly embarrassed. That’s how Ekta and her shows impacted lives – six to sixties.
The ‘K serials’ were in a league of their own due to the storyline, shooting module, fashion, relationships, dialogues and what not. Once Ekta tasted success, the entire television industry followed suit. In my starting years as a journalist, all actors heaped praises on her, but in my mind, it all seemed fake. That’s when I managed to read Kingdom of the Soap Queen by Kovid Gupta and I realised that she has indeed changed lives. With the ‘K serials’ turning fortunes for the television industry, the set of actors and technicians also saw big money for the first time. Ekta not just gave uncountable breaks to actors but also provided them their first house and car. Having started off from her house’s garage with money borrowed from her father, she not just built a kingdom for herself but changed the way Indian television was perceived around the world.
Celebrating womanhood, Ekta was one of the first show makers to cast the ‘weaker sex’ in strong roles. It did come as a surprise to see bahus playing the lead, but the audience accepted it wholeheartedly. Be it domestic violence, premarital sex, polygamy or infidelity, social issues played important roles in Ekta’s shows, and she handled it all with care. After the family dramas and romance saga, the producer recently introduced the supernatural trend, that managed to shake the world of soaps. People call her shows regressive, repetitive but if you go by data and facts, most of her shows have garnered roof shattering numbers.
While she continues to reign over television, Ekta once again surprised the world when she launched video-on-demand platform ALTBalaji last year. It takes courage to enter a new industry that could give TV a competition. And talking about her businesses, Ekta stepped into films early in her career. While some of them did well at the box office, others definitely made a mark in the audiences’ mind. While last year, she backed Lipstick Under My Burkha, a film that received a backlash for its bold content, this year, Ekta is still counting the notes that have arrived post the success of Veere Di Wedding.
At work, Ekta is a fierce businesswoman, strict boss, creative genius and when with her closed ones, you see her as a loving daughter, loyal friend, a supportive sister and now the most attentive bua. You do not easily meet a woman with so many shades, who has excelled in her professional and personal duties. This self-made woman is an inspiration to many, and we hope her journey remains fruitful.
Happy Birthday, Ekta!
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