The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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From Tara to Miilee

The Tara team is back, and with a bang! Raman Kumar and Vinta Nanda, the duo behind satellite television's first soap success, is ready with its new offering for STAR Plus, Miilee. To be launched on April 4 at 9 pm, Miilee is the story of a young orphan girl, living in a convent in Shimla.

'It's about this one philosophy of life ' all are born crying but all should die laughing,' says Raman, the writer-director for the new prime-time soap. 'It has its light and serious moments handled very sensitively. Miilee is finally about the belief in families and relationships. We are becoming islands and have stopped dreaming. The soap asks everyone to look at the positive aspects of life and keep laughing.'

For producer Vinta Nanda, whose celluloid directorial debut White Noise is slated to release in Calcutta this Friday, Miilee was like returning to her first love. 'Although I am not involved creatively with the soap, it was great to work again with Raman. We share a great working relationship and having shared success together, it was like making another Tara. The character of Miilee is all magic. Once it starts coming on air, I can assure you the viewers won't be able to live without her.'

For Raman, the main ingredient for the success recipe of a telly soap is the surprise factor. 'That is the only factor which works with the audience. You have to give them something unexpected at every juncture of the soap. Everyone talks about a soap 'dragging on'. Now, dragging means that the audience is being given exactly what it expects and thus, is losing interest in the soap. There's nothing new to get kicked about. A good soap should have the perfect mix of shock and surprise. It should be like a newspaper with a different topic everyday on page one.'

Tara, feels Raman, scored high on the shock factor. 'It was too shocking for people who had seen only the Hum Logs and the Buniyaads and the Nukkads before that. The stories were told to them in whispers and that created a cult with the audiences. I hope Miilee succeeds in achieving the same popularity ratings.'

The cast of Miilee is a nice mix of the new and the known. The title character of Miilee is played by Mona Vasu, a fresh new face on the small screen. Actor Ajay Gehi, last seen in Vishal Bharadwaj's Maqbool, makes his television debut. Other major characters are played by seasoned actors like Kiran Kumar, Sushma Seth and Asif Shaikh.

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