The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Joust begins to jazz up Jassi
- Celebs & companies rush to give TV character new look

Mumbai, March 12: Vishwakarma built Tilottamma til by til (particle by particle). Vandana Luthra and others will rebuild Jassi brand by brand.

Tormented by asuras, Brahma had commanded Vishwakarma: 'Create thou a damsel capable of captivating all hearts.' The celestial architect enlisted all the beautiful features that a woman could possess and created Tilottama ' the enchantress.

The Gods were bedazzled and the asuras, as soon as they cast their eyes upon the wealth of her beauty, quarrelled with each other leading to their destruction.

How many creatures will Jassi slay' Because an army of Page Three deities has been pressed into service to reconstruct the eponymous heroine of the serial Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin, whose assets so far were her CEO spirits and her ungainly looks, into a tantalising woman.

A host of companies has also lined up to sponsor the Sony event that is expected to shoot up the channel's ratings after Indian Idol ended on March 5.

But if Brahma and Vishwakarma in spite of having the eyeballs did not get the sponsors, the process of re-creating Jassi should be as exciting as the genesis of the mythical beauty.

Every change will be as painstaking. It will also be a marvel of maximum brand-fitment.

It has started with her hair ' the Laloo Prasad Yadav-like fringe has gone. She has a new hairstyle and Pantene, the hair care brand, has had ample display.

Then comes the turn of her glasses. The table-top thick glasses, inside little blackboard frames, will drop to be replaced by thin-rimmed glasses. Then they will disappear to be replaced by lenses. That is where eye-care major Bausch and Lomb will step in.

Beauty diva Vandana Luthra, of the health concern VLCC, will be seen dispensing 'tips' on grooming and diet. After Luthra is done with her, Jassi will get that glowing skin thanks to advice from leading upmarket skincare concern, Kaya Skin Clinic.

Page Three makeover specialist Queenie Dhodhy will work on Jassi's overall appearance. She has already worked on two looks, with photographer Vikram Bawa and hairstylist Riah ' one is a straight-hair look and the other one is with soft curls.

Jassi's clothes are also less of straitjackets, thanks to designer Seema Khan, actor Sohail Khan's wife. A saree and a 'poncho kurta' are intended to give Jassi a more feminine, sexy look.

Make-up artist Mehra Kolah and accessory provider Sahaan Khan will also pitch in.

Last but not the least, actor Juhi Chawla will make an appearance during the process, co-starring with the snack Kurkure, of which she is brand ambassador.

All this is happening in Maritius, where Jassi is at the moment with her mentor, the character played by Neena Gupta. Jassi has been taken there because her heart has been broken into smithereens again by the tormenting owner of her firm, Armaan. So there will be something for Brand Mauritius, too. Sony mentions gratefully that her transformation happens 'courtesy Mauritius'. It adds: 'Mauritius Tourism and Air Mauritius rest assured, Jassi will never be the same again.'

But the whole makeover, though it appears to be on Jassi's surface, is apparently much more than just that.

Luthra emphasises that it will be Jassi's 'inner beauty' that she will be working on. She says Jassi represents the typical Indian girl with middle-class values and ambitions and believes that beauty lies within. She feels that in today's age, it is imperative to bring out inner beauty because that gives one confidence. Coincidentally, that is exactly what she tells 'all her customers'.

Tarun Katial, executive vice-president and business head, Sony Entertainment Television, stresses the same. 'Over time, Jassi has transformed from a docile girl to an assertive lady. It is now time for her to bring her inner beauty and confidence to the forefront,' he says.

Somewhere in the transition from the mythical ages to contemporary times, inner beauty, confidence and woman's empowerment have become confused with skincare and FMCG. But as long as Jassi the brand-wagon keeps ringing in the ratings, who cares!

We only hope that when Jassi drops those glasses and flings away the braces, she glares whole-heartedly with her lens-empowered eyes at her personal demon, 'Armaan Saar', and eats some broken glass and gnashes her teeth, too. Though it is still not known which dental clinic is sponsoring her improved smile.

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