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The K factor

By , agencyfaqs! | In | May 28, 2002
Blame it on Amitabh Bachchan. And Ekta Kapoor. But the letter 'K' definitely has something going for it


It's all very hush-hush. But it exists.

It is the K factor. No one will openly admit it, as we discovered. After all, who wants to be associated with all this mumbo-jumbo? Unless you have a fat finger - covered with rings - in the pie. Like the sundry numerologists, palmists, astrologers, and assorted beings who make a good living out of the hapless anxiety of many a producer in tinsel town.

On strict instructions that his name should not appear in, or anywhere close to this article, a senior official in a television company says, "K is lucky. Even my company benefits from it."

Not that he can be blamed. The one who should be blamed is Amitabh Bachchan. Or, Kaun Banega Crorepati. This programme started off a trend of sorts. STAR, Zee, Sony, and even Sun and Gemini have since jumped on to the bandwagon.

STAR Plus now leads the count (and ratings) with Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kasauti Zindagi Kay, Kabhi Sautan Kabhi Saheli, Kalash, Kavita, Kundali and Kahin Kissi Roz. Then there is Kanyadan, Kusum and Kutumb on Sony; Kassam and Kaun on DD; Karam on SABe TV, Koshish … Ek Aashaa on Zee, Kulla Villaku (Sun TV) and Kalli Sundmara (Gemini TV). Interestingly, all of these are from the same production house - Balaji Telefilms - and each one of them have done consistently well among viewers. Besides these there are handful of 'K' serials from non-Balaji producers like Kismay Kitna Hai Dam, Kya Mast Kya Dhuum, Khullja Sim Sim, Krishna Sharma CA - all of them on STAR Plus and, according to the channel, doing reasonably well.

As an avid television observer tells us, "Rarely does a serial with a prefix of K not do well on TV. Kamzor Kadii Kaun may be one, though its supposed failure is a subject of heated debate."

So how does one play the K game? "It's a question of vibration," chuckles a senior executive with a Top 3 TV channel. "That's not it," recoils a numerologist, shocked at such blasphemy. "Some numbers have a certain potency." And, of course, used judiciously, they can change your fortune too.

So if you are a producer dreaming of raking in the moolah, you don't just name a serial. You employ a professional to find letters that "vibrate" with positive energy, and then you name the serial. It's a complex business!

There are some exceptions though and as the following list shows it doesn't always have to be the 11th letter of the alphabet. The Balaji stable has had quite a few successful serials without a K. Like Hum Paanch, Mano Ya Na Mano, Padosan, Ithihaas, Captain House and Ghar Ek Mandir, to just name a few. Other producers too have some non-K serials on various channels that are hovering at the top echelons of the TVR charts. Like Amanaat, Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai, Mehndi Tere Naam Ki, Sssshhh... Koi Hai, Dhadkan, Hum Sath Aath Hain, Desh Mein Nikla Hoga Chaand, Sanjivani, Shagun, Bhabhi…

It is probable that our television producers have picked up their lessons from history. The ancient Chaldean, Egyptian, Hebrew, Roman, Greek, Chinese and Indian philosophers attached numerical values to letters, giving them a special significance. Two extraordinary pioneer philosophers and mathematicians in their day, Pythagoras (530 BC) and Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535 AD), contributed greatly to the hypothesis of numerological interpretation. These two brilliant souls came up with the idea that all things in the universe have numbers, and all numbers embodied a value, combined with a special significance or magical transcendental meaning.

And that must be at the core of serial naming!

Channel sources say that quite a few people make a good living out of choosing numbers and then converting them into 'results' for our spiritually-inclined produces. Which does make for some ludicrous, back-bending type of verbal gymnastics like one particular serial (Achanak, 37 Saal Baad) from the Sony stable. At the launch function held in one of Mumbai's top hotels, one pesky reporter persisted in pointing out that going by phonetics the English version of the name did not match the Hindi version (her point was 'Baad' could be written with a single 'a', as in 'Bad'). The hapless producer had to finally admit that the whole thing was for numerological reasons. Despite that, the serial is not doing so well. By the way, it does not have a K in it.

Can't blame the producer for choosing the name after much confabulation. Producing a serial costs lakhs, may be crores at times. What's shelling out a few thousands more to the friendly neighbourhood astrologer, palmist, and numerologist if that mystic says you can get your money back if you do it this way? Or name it that way?

Laughing still? That right should be reserved for the likes of the Roman admiral who, being told by the soothsayers on board that the scared chickens on the ship were not eating - an ominous sign if ever there was one - chucked the whole brood overboard quipping, "Well, let us see if they will drink!" He went on to engage the enemy and won a resounding victory.

But then, show business is nothing like a piffling naval battle. It's serious business, and you'd better look at the numbers. © 2002 agencyfaqs!