- “I say thank you for the belief Ekta Kapoor,” wrote Smriti Irani
- “20 years to Kyunki… A show that changed my life,” Ekta wrote in a post
- ‘Kyunki…’ was one of Ekta Kapoor’s first successful K-soaps
Actress-turned-politician Smriti Irani, who headlined the cast of Balaji Telefilms’ iconic TV show Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, shared an emotional note of gratitude on Instagram as the show clocked 20 years on July 3. Ms Irani, who is best known for her brilliant portrayal of Tulsi Virani, began her post with a reference to actress Sudha Shivpuri, who was cast as Baa – she died in 2015. Sharing an anecdote from the show’s sets some two decades ago, Smriti Irani wrote about being “nervous” as Balaji Telefilms’ boss Ekta Kapoor was to supervise the shoot: “20 years ago this was possibly one of my first scenes with Sudha Aunty. I raced through my lines, nervous as hell coz Ekta Kapoor was called to the shooting floor by the director who told her the project was a sure shot flop since the girl cast as Tulsi did not have the talent to see it through.”
Smriti Irani also shared the conversation she had with Ekta Kapoor that day, which eventually changed the fate of the show and made Smriti a household name: “Upon enquiring why I was not unleashing my full potential as an actor I told her ‘Can I play the character as I deem fit instead of being told how to emote?’ I promised her I’d take help of every colleague possible if I felt I can’t measure up alone. EK said ‘done’ and the rest was TV history.”
Thanking Ekta Kapoor and creative director Monisha Singh, Smriti Irani added: “Today two decades later in absentia, I say thank you for the belief Ekta Kapoor, thank you Monisha Singh for first refusing to cast me and then supporting me all the way. Thank you to the ever changing Mihir from Amar Upadhyay to Ronit Roy.” The role of Tulsi’s husband Mihir, in the show, was initially played by Amar Upadhyay, for two years after which he was replaced by Ronit Roy, who played Mihir till the end of the show in 2008.
Smriti Irani also thanked actresses Mandira Bedi and Jaya Bhattacharya for playing iconic antagonists along with other cast members of the show: “…To Mandira Bedi and Jaya Bhattacharya, who were the best on screen villains possibly and absolute sweethearts off screen. Many more who were part of the journey… I cherish every moment and especially I’m grateful to the viewers who kept our passions alive.”
Read Smriti Irani’s post here:
Meanwhile, Ekta Kapoor celebrated Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi with this post: “20 years to Kyunki… A show that changed my life. Back then it was touted as India’s ‘soft ambassador’, owing to its popularity and reach across the globe. Thank you to the network for giving us a chance at that time. I remember reading about how when the Gujarat earthquake happened, people put their TV sets out and watched Kyunki…. There hasn’t been a more humbling moment for me.”
Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi remains one of the longest running TV shows. Kyunki… Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi was one of Ekta Kapoor’s first successful K-soaps, which also included shows like Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, Kasautii Zindagii Kay, Kkusum and Kutumb among others.