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Okay so I fell off the face of the earth for about a week and am back with some startling discoveries. For one thing, it was my birthday last week (the reason I was MIA). I know that’s not exactly a startling revelation – it’s not as if my birthday just sprang up on me from nowhere. It’s the “39th” part that was bit of a shocker mainly because I feel pretty much as I did at my 29th birthday or as I have been feeling all along. If suddenly I’m supposed to be all very mature, sorted and sober, sorry to disappoint but I’m nowhere close. I think I’m going to be one of those crazy old women with red hair and pink shoes and if the past week has been any indication, I am on the right track. Barun-Sobti                                                 The other revelation, truly a discovery for me is the existence of someone called Barun Sobti who played the role of Arnav Singh Raizada in what it seems has been Star Plus’s biggest hit till date – Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon? For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, this is a serial that was aired on Star Plus from June 2011 till November 2012. It met with unprecedented success, consistently maintaining its position as one of the top five daily dramas on Indian general entertainment channels throughout its first year on air. This was primarily due to the lead actor Barun Sobti (who played Arnav Singh Raizada), so much so that when he decided to quit the show, for the first time in the history of Indian television, the show was shut down.

As for me, having said adieu to Star Plus after having to watch “Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” in 2001 because of an article I wrote for “The Tribune” (http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20010304/spectrum/main2.htm ) ,I was blissfully unaware of any such happenings. Hindi shows, with their never-ending saas-bahu tamashas are beyond me. How I was bulldozed into watching IPKKND is a story for another day. Let me just say that a lot of convincing, of the arm-twisting at gunpoint kind, went into it by what I can safely call the “Sobti Mafia”. Thanks to their in-group rivalry, I was shown the “best scenes” of each ones choice from the show, with no regard to chronology whatsoever, so that I honestly don’t have much of an idea about the story line. What I do know however is that this guy, Barun Sobti, is a hottie in the true sense of the word. The haughty/ hottie young tycoon he plays, Arnav Singh Raizada, seems straight out of a Mills and Boon and, thankfully, he can act. His chemistry with his on screen partner Sanaya Irani (who plays the gorgeous Khushi Kumari Gupta) is sizzling to say the least. If I may say so despite the risk of sounding extreme, it is after ages that a lead pair is able to send your heart racing, be it on the small screen or big screen. With their crackling chemistry that sets the screen on fire, I keep wondering how come the I&B Ministry did not clamp it down, what with it being aired at 8pm on National TV. For many it would seem to violate the “Indian sensibility/ culture” whatever that is supposed to mean. Regardless of all this culture mumbo jumbo, yes the show is quite hot and that too for Indian TV audience of the hindi serial variety. However, I doubt that it is the same audience drooling over ASR that watched Parvatis and Tulsis. Or maybe it is- lusting in secret over his breezy charm while professing allegiance to the oh-so-boring Ram Kapurs! Whatever be the case, I am a convert- or a Sobtian, as the mafia calls themselves and am trying my best to catch the show on line. For those of you who live in la-la land like me and have no clue, please watch it. You don’t know what you are missing, namely ASR. For those of you who have been feasting all along, please tell me where I can watch it best. As far as my mafia informs me, Youtube and Star Player are the only options though for international audience reruns are on. Once I’ve figured out where I can catch ASR Uninterrupted, I will be back with more of ASR!!    IPKKND- all