Udaipur (Rajasthan), June 8 (IANS) Kitu Gidwani, who has been associated with the small screen for 27 years, featuring in serials like 'Trishna', 'Junoon' and 'Swabhimaan', believes it has been a downslide for Indian television with nothing substantial being shown in the last one decade.
'I have done all kinds of roles on television, but I think there was a time when television was really booming creatively in India till 2000, especially till Balaji came into the scene; after that it's been downhill,' Kitu, 43, told IANS in an interview here.
'For some reason, they tapped into the shadow side of the Indian psyche - mothers-in-law cheating daughters-in-law badly, pre-marital and post-marital affairs. It's fine to have such things, but we didn't show all these on television till 2000,' said Kitu who was here to shoot for a film.
'I did 'Junoon', 'Swaabhimaan' and 'Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum'. I did a number of serials and people enjoyed it. And it had no big bindis, 'chhammak chhallo' jewellery and saris...we just played normal people. I was fortunate enough to do lots of roles and be very famous. But after 2000, I restricted myself,' she said.
'I tried to work with Balaji and then I walked out. I guess I am from a different generation, my standards are really high. I am not interested to scoop. And I am not willing to work with actors who can't even act. That is why most of my co-actors like Harsh Chhayya have very little work today,' she added.
Kitu, who made her television debut in 1984 with 'Trishna', was last seen on the small screen in 'Kasshish' (2005).
She also believes the small screen doesn't have anything substantial, especially reality shows, which are fooling audiences.
'Now TV is all about crap and all these Bollywood people who are doing it, good luck to them. I am not even interested in reality television even when I don't have work in hand because I think these shows corrupt the mind of the masses and turn them into zombies,' she said.
But the high Television Rating Points (TRPs) of reality shows and daily soaps are telling a different story altogether - it is said that the audiences are enjoying these serials like never before.
'I don't agree that Indian audiences are watching television wholeheartedly. I think people always see what they were given. If they are given better scripts and freshness with good stuff, they will definitely watch it,' said the actress who off and on features on the big screen too.
Kitu received critical acclaim for her roles in movies like 'Dance of the Wind' (1997), Deepa Mehta's 'Earth' (1998), Govind Nihalani's 'Rukhmavati Ki Haveli' (1991) and Kamal Haasan's 'Abhay and Deham' (2001). Then she did cameos in Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Fashion' (2008) and Kiran Rao's 'Dhobi Ghaat' (2011).
Currently she is busy shooting for a political drama called 'Ek Bura Aadmi', which is being directed by Ishraq Shah.
'It's a male-oriented film and I play the female lead which is kind of (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Mayawati. The story shows the stages of give and take between the person who wants to be powerful and the person who can make you powerful played by Arunoday Singh. So there is lots of manoeuvring, betrayal, the kind of stuff that goes in politics,' said the actress who considers the role a milestone in her acting career.
She is working on another film too.
'I am working on a nice film called 'Lori', which is a supernatural thriller, again a very unusual film and a very exciting film to do. I was offered a television serial, which was the same crap. So I rejected,' she said.
(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)