'Kyunki...' storyline moving to Australia

MUMBAI: Guess what the Balaji stalwarts are up to? Gearing for a change, what else.

The trio Kyunki Saas Bhi Kaabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii and Kasautii Zindagi Kay, television's top rated shows (in that order) and all airing on Star Plus, are set for an overhaul.

After fastforwarding 20 years last year, the next big leap in the plotline for Indian television's queen of soaps is that it is "going to phoren". Its destination Australia for Kyunki... to be precise. Kahaani... on the other hand will soon be handed an image makeover both in terms of the sets as well as the storyline. According to industry sources even Kasautii...will be going to Oz Land.

The cast and crew of Kyunkii... have already left for a 60-day shoot to Australia last Friday with a few of the crew of Kasautii... in tow. The shootings will reportedly take place in different cities across Australia.

Kyunkii.... and Kasauti...'s change in locale, according to the sources, is also an effort to promote Australia as the next big tourist destination for the moneyed Indian tourist. Industry sources tell that the Australian Tourism Board is actively involved in this endeavour and that shootings for both "Kyunki.." and "Kasautii..." will take place in some stunningly beautiful locales.

The change in the location is also to take advantage of the fact that Smriti 'Tulsi' Malhotra, the main protagonist of Kyunkii..., is already vacationing in Australia.

Kyunkii...'s recently shot episodes are slated to air during the World Cup. The sources however, dismissed notions that this was an attempt to counter the diversion of audiences towards cricket, saying it was simply a coincidence.

Viewers can look forward to some major changes in the story, say the sources. The Australian story track involves the screen characters Tulsi, Mihir and their son's girlfriend Tisha. The other life of Mihir that has been a sort of suspense for the last 30-40 episodes may form a large part of it.

When asked for his comments, Balaji Telefilms COO Rajesh Pavithran preferred not to elaborate on the changes in the story but instead offered: "We already had an Australian story track running parallel to the main story for the past one year. Shooting in Australia will not only give a fresh look to the serial but also authenticate the parallel storyline".

While Kyunki... is going abroadKahaani... is only shifting residence. Kahaani , which was earlier shot at Balaji House in Andheri, will now be filmed in one of the new studios Balaji has bought in the Sankraman Studio Campus at Aarey Milk colony in the western Mumbai suburb of Goregaon. Balaji recently signed a deal to refurbish five studios over 25,000 square feet in Aarey, of which three are already functional.

"A change in the set will provide a fillip to the show," says Pavithran. Though Pavithran refused to comment on the change in the storyline, sources aver that the serial will unveil some major changes coinciding with the change in the 'Agarwal' address.

Balaji's forthcoming family drama for Sony Kahani Terrii Merrii has also been shot exclusively on one of the new sets. The extravagant set, a part of the new venture, has been upgrading by the company for an official investment of Rs 50 million. The sets are being refurbished by the production house's in-house talent and is being insured for a large sum, says Pavithran.

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