Balaji soap 'Kitni Mast...' launching 25 October on MTV

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms' youth based Hindi fiction daily (Mon-Thurs) Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi will launch on MTV from 25 October. The time slot has not yet been finalised, but the channel and the production house are likely to pitch it at 8 pm.

MTV, along with Balaji, had conducted across auditions across five cities namely Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Pune and Chandigarh.

"It's not complex parameters but just a smile, or the glint in someone's eye that I look for before casting. Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi has not been an exception in that regard," says Balaji Telefilms creative director Ekta Kapoor, who had shot a promo calling for a nationwide hunt to uncover some new faces to star in the series. The promo was shot under the supervision of an MTV in-house director.

So who are the chosen ones? Says Balaji Deputy Creative Director, Nivedita Basu, "We have been sworn to secrecy by MTV. We cannot divulge the main cast; MTV would be doing it formally very soon."

Isn't Manasi Varma (Monalika of Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii) a part of the cast? "No. We have heard the rumours you're referring to. But I think the girl got mixed up; we were talking to her about some other role," says Basu, adding, "Among the senior breed, actress-cum-writer Preeti Dayal (of Kittie Party fame) plays one of the main roles."

Kapoor says that the show would differ from her previous ones in more ways then one. "It will be a mellow drama not a melodrama and it will be youth-based, but the basic set-up of an Indian family would remain. The story is about the growth of a girl Ananya, who comes to Mumbai from a small town. As she grows, we will try to depict that morality is a personal issue and not a mode to crucify others."

No preaching? First time? "Well, there are many firsts in this programme. So why not this?" says Kapoor, explaining, "Four firsts already. For the first time, we are going on MTV who has never indulged in serials before. Plus for the first time, a serial ever conducted auditions on such a huge scale. And for the first time, the head of a production house shot for a promo."

The show was scheduled to go on air from August. Why did it get delayed? Basu defends, "I drafted 18 drafts for this show. For obvious reasons, we can't afford to become soapy. Plus with so much work being done both in Balaji these days (the production house is said to be working on at least five more shows slated to go on air before end of this year), one cannot take the risk of including similar sub-plots in any two ventures. We have to be original and fresh.

We have been sanctioned 39 episodes and we are ready with 18. We have stopped shooting for a while. We'll see how it goes and then take it from there."

Is Basu indirectly hinting that they are aiming for an extension? "Why not? If it clicks, logically there could be an extension. Obviously the channel will take the call. We have no issues if they would still demand 39 episodes only. We have a script which would culminate the story in 39 episodes. At the same time, we have kept a provision that we can go further," Basu stresses.

It would be interesting to see what Kapoor's first offering to MTV registers on the TRP scale.

Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi has the Kapoor stable etched onto it due to the letter 'K', but its name surprises with the lack of spelling mistakes. Kapoor carried off Hum Paanch without numerological help, but now it's a matter of belief for her. Did her trusted numerologist not ask for a spelling change for the first time? But who knows, knowing her fetish for changing spellings, we still won't be surprised if we hear something of such kind from her even at the last minute.

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