From big star to bekaar!

MUMBAI: They were all big stars on television just recently. Now they are out of work! And even those who have work are hardly doing anything substantial.

Such is the nature of Indian television, where an actor’s popularity remains only until his show is doing well. Ronit Roy was considered numero uno at one point, today he’s just one of the others, simply because the serial he is doing (Bandini) isn’t high on the overall TRP charts.

Ram Kapoor, who was popular among the womenfolk, is almost forgotten, even though he is playing an older character in the serial Basera. Bahu Smriti Iraani, has become nothing but an irritant with her over-the-top acting in

Shweta Tiwari, aka Prerna of Kasautii Zindagi Kay, has been overexposed in a host of reality shows. Her co-star in the show — Cezanne Khan, too, has not been able to rekindle his popularity with the low-TRP show Seeta Aur Geeta. Chetan Hansraj, has probably participated in every reality show possible.

At least this group is seen on the small screen in some way or the other. There’s a huge chunk who’ve just vanished! Bahu Sakshi Tanwar is nowhere on the scene. The group of actors who made hay with Ekta Kapoor’s K-serials, are on a forced break now, including Anita, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Gauri Pradhan, Yash Tonk, Rakshanda Khan, Riva Babbar, Apara Mehta, Sudha Shivpuri, Suvarna Jha, Akashh Deep Saigal, Karan Patel, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Reshmi Ghosh among others.

With no offers coming from outside, these actors are hoping to get a call from Ekta’s production house, but things have changed. Ekta, like other producers, is looking for newer talent or good actors, who are willing to work at a reasonable price.

Another set of actors, who were household faces once, are also nowhere on the scene... Iqbal Khan, Hiten Tejwani Shakti Anand, Sai Deodhar, Karishma Tanna, among others. Aman Verma is still managing to stay afloat, never mind the roles he’s doing! Gurdip Kohli isn’t doing any show after Kasamh Se. Sangeeta Ghosh, Shveta Salve, Nausheen Ali Sardar, Eijaz Khan and Manav Gohil are doing not-too-significant stuff on TV, hoping to realise their big screen dream. Nauheed’s much-delayed movie Three — Love Lies Betrayal released recently but failed at the BO.

Apurva Agnihotri and wife Shilpa, who are seen in a reality show currently, have not been part of any serial for long. Shilpa, of course, says she’s enjoying her second honeymoon. “I cannot go back to giving such long hours for a daily show. Now the criteria would definitely be quality vs quantity.”

Well, they are all saying that. But the bottomline is that the televison industry is a harsh world. Nothing lasts beyond a serial. There are no top actors, you are popular only as long as your character is making waves. And then you are back to square one. It’s all about demand and supply. Right now the supply is in surplus, as a channel official rightly remarked.