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Tulsi bridges barriers from Mumbai to Mizoram
IANS, Sep 14  [ Wed, Sep 14, 2005 ]
  • Aizawl, Sep 14 (IANS) Music has no language nor do histrionic skills have any. This might sound clichéd, but tribal people in this northeastern state of Mizoram are hooked on to most Hindi soaps aired by satellite channels - but with the sound muted.

    And if they miss out on nuances of the "K" soaps like "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" or "Kasauti Zindagi Kay" or "Kkusum" that are such a staple in the rest of the country, TV viewers in Mizoram simply look at the next day's Mizo newspapers for a translation of some of the popular soaps.

    Sounds bizarre but it's absolutely true. Jessica Sangliani, a homemaker in Mizoram's capital Aizawl, for instance, speaks fluent English and can barely understand Hindi.

    "I have been watching two serials daily without any break - 'Kasauti Zindagi Kay' on Star Plus and 'Kkusum' on Sony," Jessica said.

    "I simply relish each and every episode."

    Like her, a majority of the Mizo people are conversant in English but know very little Hindi.

    Mizoram boasts of being the second highest literate state after Kerala with an estimated literacy rate of 88.06 percent in a total population of 890,000.

    And thanks to that, the language barrier is of little consequence to TV fanatics like Jessica who simply look at the next day's newspapers to catch up on any minor detail they might have missed.

    For some not too busy people, there is an even better option -- watching the repeat telecast of the serials in the afternoons with the translated dialogues in front of them for a better understanding of the story.

    "I simply love Tulsi's acting in 'Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi' and the translated dialogues are even better as we understand what she says," said Rosey, another homemaker, of the popular soap and its star Smriti Irani who essays the central role of the daughter-in-law.

    Local newspapers were forced to oblige their readers after innumerable requests asking them to print translated dialogues of some select primetime TV serials.

    "We record the serials and then translate each and every dialogue carefully. We have employed some people with knowledge in both Hindi and Mizo to do the translations for the benefit of our readers," said an editor of a local newspaper.

    Some enterprising local cable networks also run subtitled Hindi serials a day later with locals taking to the idea in a big way. "More and more people are taking our cable network connection as we show some popular Hindi TV serials with subtitles of the dialogues in the Mizo dialect," said a private cable TV operator.

    Continued on next page...

  • Would Tulsi of "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" fame or Prerna of "Kasauti Zindagi Kay" care to visit this mountainous state to see their reel selves spouting Mizo, or nothing at all.