...all set to give their newer, younger lot of soap stars a run for their money!
The core talent of the television industry, which seemed to be on a self-imposed hibernation, has finally resurfaced on the small screen.
Sabbatical, boredom or lack of good offers whatever the reason for their absence, the good news is that they are back and their fans are loving it.
One such example is the talented duo of Sony TV's Bade Acche Lagte Hain. The promos of the Ram Kapoor-Sakshi Tanwar show itself created a stir.
Ram Kapoor and Sakshi Tanwar
And the crackling chemistry between the two instantly became talk of the town. High on the TRP charts, it simply re-affirms their spellbinding effect on the viewers.
Ram, who hosted a stray Swayamwar on Imagine TV, decided to give Bollywood a shot. He chose to do meaningful roles in Udaan, Karthik V/S Karthik instead of TV.
When he finally decided to make a comeback to television fiction after Kasamh Se, Bade Acche... became the perfect platform. His weight issue and other quirks have in fact become the USPs of the show.
Sakshi, as the endearing Priya, has been loved equally despite the fact that she was absent from the television scene after Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki. Yes, there were the sporadic tracks in Balika Vadhu and Crime Patrol, but not a full-fledged lead role she could boast of.
What kept her away for so long? "I hardly had any time for myself during the eight years I was on Kahani... Like it happens with every actor working on a daily soap, I was working round the clock without a break. I was so stressed out by the end of the show that I promised to give myself a well-deserved break.
So I went on a sabbatical. For almost 16 months, I didn't do anything and only travelled to different places and enjoyed myself. Ekta had offered me Bade Acche... four months after Kahani wrapped up. She could have gone ahead and cast someone else, but she chose to wait." And the rest as they say is history.
Rakshanda Khan too, chose to keep away from television since Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Her comeback in Ammaji Ki Gali, where she essays the role of a Punjabi housewife obsessed with cleanliness, is a welcome change.
She says, "I wanted to take a break because there was a serious lack of good roles. I reasoned that if I had to get back to being a slave of my work for 12 hours a day, 30 days a month, it better be something substantial. The script of Ammaji... was very endearing and my role very different from any that I have done before, so I took it up."
Hiten Tejwani, who was at one time doing multiple shows, also vanished from the scene all of a sudden. He confesses that he was bored of the kind of roles offered to him. But one saw him currently anchoring Ratan Ka Rishta and also doing a cameo in Mukti Bandhan.
Hiten Tejwani, Nausheen Ali Sardar, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Mohnish Behl and Gaurav Chopraa
Nausheen Ali Sardar, whose girl-next-door act in Kkusum was widely appreciated, suddenly gave up television for her Bollywood calling. But a failed film career made her a tad wiser.
Though television offers had also dried up, she made the smart move of taking on the role of a mother to the lead in Beend Banoonga Ghodi Chadunga. Any regrets? She says, "None at all. I have understood that the shelf life of a heroine in films and more so in television is limited.
Today, I play mother to boys who are a year or two younger than me in real life. But I would rather consider the fact that my role is meaty than the fact that I am playing a mother's role. In Beend... my role is parallel to that of the lead's, so I went ahead with it."
While Gaurav Chopraa made an interesting comeback in Uttaran after his last outing in the reality show Pati, Patni Aur Woh, Shabbir Ahluwalia has made an impact with his entry in Laagi Tujhse Lagan after his last fiction outing Kayamath with Panchi Bora. The very suave Mohnish Behl returns in the lead role of a silent lover in Kuch Toh Log Kahenge.
With such formidable names back in the reckoning, one wonders if they will now give the younger lead actors a run for their money. Only time will tell.