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Sept 04.

Kauva Chala Hans ki Chaal

 

Bulbul Sand is the queen of all snobs. Young housewife and member of the nouveau rich society in suburban Mumbai, India, she is ashamed of her low class family and forces people to pronounce her surname as Sand and not Sandh as it should be, which means "buffalo" in Hindi. She is determined to show the world as well as next door neighbours that she is a cosmopolitan sophisticate and does everything to climb the social ladder in a society ruled by class differences.

Indian remake of KUA

Sounds familiar? Indeed, Bulbul Sand is the Indian copy of Hyacinth Bucket. "Keeping up appearances", already big in more than 45 countries, has been remade for the massive Indian audience and renamed "Kauva Chala Hans ki Chaal" (KCHC) which literally means "the crow who tries to walk like a peacock". BBC Worldwide, the Indian production company Chrysalis Films and the cable & satellite channel Star Plus have made the deal motivated by the success of the British shows "Yes Minister" (Ji Mantriji), "the weakest link" (Kamzor Kadii Kaun), "Who wants to be a millionaire"  and "Teletubbies" all remade  with adjusted names, plot, language, traditions and social customs to suit the targeted 40 million potential viewers. Although "Keeping up appearances" is not well known in India, Hyacinth's counterpart  snobbish  Basil Fawlty from "Fawlty Towers" is known, which aslo brings greater hope of success.

 

"Kauva Chala Hans ki Chaal" includes 26 episodes filmed in Mumbai and an Indian cast which is of a much younger generation compared to the British version. Bulbul Sand, played by famous TV, theatre and movie actress Ketaki Dave,  tortures  her  world  and

The 3 sisters in the British version.

 

The 3 sisters in the Indian version.

long suffering husband Madan Sand played by Manish Chaudahri. She has a lazy brother in law Champak who is nothing but a TV and samosa addict, a short-skirted-boyfriend-hunter sister Koel and a dear neighbour Anjum who is an inspiring Hindi rock star.

Why a remake?

Leamington Spa, filming location of the British version.

 

Mombay, filming location of the Indian version.

 

In India like in the USA, people have always liked to remake adapted versions of successful foreign shows, movies or comedies, for their own audience, with their own actors, locations and jokes. It is of course flattering for one nation to see how internationally popular its shows can become. However, it is undeniable that the original subtle atmosphere and sense of humour which are both the originality and the essence itself of a show, are completely lost in any remake, however wonderfully done it is. 45 countries appreciate the legendary and unique British sense of humour of the original "keeping up appearances", so why an adaptation? A remake certainly do have a guaranteed entertainment value,  but it also prevents the audience from discovering other styles of comedies by restricting its imagination to a familiar and safe comedy style. And sadly, people are often even not aware of the fact that it is a  remake. 

Strangely, even though The Americans and the British have close cultural and linguistic links, it was said that an American remake of "KUA" was also planned.

 

Sunil Shanbag, producer of KUA & Teletubbies India >>

 

Should anyone have videos or pictures of  "Kauva Chala Hans ki Chaal" for sales, please do contact me here.