'Kashmeer' to wind up earlier than scheduled

MUMBAI: Kashmeer, the serial, which brought a whiff of fresh air into soap laden Star Plus is winding up in 17 episodes (on 8 May) instead of the scheduled 26. 

A love story with militancy and terrorism as the backdrop, Kashmeer was launched with a lot of fanfare on 16 January at 9 pm. One of the mega shows launched by Star Plus at the beginning of this year, it has some well known Bollywood names like Farooq Shaikh, Suresh Oberoi, Salim Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Nirmal Pandey, Smita Jayakar, Lushin Dubey, Neelima Azim, Vineet Kumar, Vishal Singh, Ankur Nayar and Gul Panag among the cast.

"We cut down on the number of episodes because we realised that the story could be wound up in 17 episodes. It is a start to finish series and since there was no story line or characters that we could work on, we reduced the series to 17 instead of the scheduled 26. It is primarily a tale of time, hence we didn't want to stretch the series needlessly," says Contiloe Films producer Abhimanyu Singh.

The artistes, some of whom were apparently caught unawares by the announcement, have a different story to narrate though. Well known actor Smita Jayakar has lashed out saying, "I am really disappointed that the episodes have been cut down. We were told that the decision was taken because the channel felt that it was not getting the desired ratings.The serial has got rave reviews and a good response from the audience. If one remembers the so called saas bahu sagas on air also started out with modest TRPs, Kashmeer has definitely fared better. There should be a limit to channel interference....," she said.

Acclaimed actor Farooq Shaikh agrees. "We all put in our efforts to be part of something different, something significant and of value to our country instead of the same old dreary soaps and we are told that because it didn't get the expected ratings its being cut down by nine episodes. It is indeed unfortunate," says Shaikh.

Gul Panag, however, doesn't see it like that. "While signing the contract, we were told that the series could finish anywhere between 13 to 26 episodes. The serial has Bollywood greats like Suresh Oberoi, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Nirmal Pandey to name a few, who cannot shell out time for a soap that would go on for two to three years. It is a call that the channel and production house have taken."

Thus, the bottom line is that like all good things, Kashmeer too, will come to an end. The only difference is that the end will come sooner than expected.

Also read: 

Star Plus unveils 'Kashmeer' next week 

'Kashmeer' - Guns and Roses 

Big money riding on shows launching this month

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