By Vidya Pradhan
For those of us without satellite TV and needing a Bollywood fix on weekends, our only choices have been Showbiz India, anchored by the enterprising Reshma Dordi and to a certain extent, Namaste America, which covers weekly India news and entertainment.
Now a local mother-daughter team has put together a show called Sitaare( star) TV, that airs on Comcast and the Ohlone's network. The show, anchored by Kavita Arora and produced by her mom Poonam Bajaj, puts together Bollywood songs woven around a theme. Last Saturday, I enjoyed watching old Rishi Kapoor songs like "Ek Hasina Thi" and scenes from Bobby.
"I had been wanting to do this for years," says Poonam, "but I didn't have the background." She took courses in film editing, newscasts and TV serial production and, with the encouragement of professors and family, decided to make a go of it.
"I had always been interested in music and used to organize cultural events for the community like banquet nights and Diwali functions. I even organized a cultural and fashion show at an international level for the Sindhi community. When I took a break for a few years, I wondered whether to make a movie or a TV serial and decided to get my feet wet with a music show."
Poonam arranged to get rights to play the movie songs and clips. Daughter Kavita, who left a promising legal career to join her mother in the venture, puts in 40-60 hours a week developing new ideas for the venture. The show itself has expanded to include celebrity interviews and coverage of local film festivals and community events.
Sitaare TV started only in July 2007, but the team has big plans for the fledgling company. A TV serial is being worked on as are educational classes in various Indian languages.
"Introducing the older generation of actors is an important part of the show," says Poonam, "but our ultimate aim is to reach out to the community and make ourselves a vital and important part of it and make the community a part of our shows." She invites event organizers to get in touch with her to have the event featured on the show.
Check out Sitaare TV's next show which is broadcast on the following channels and times –
Comcast: Sunday 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Fremont CH 29
Newark CH 27
Alameda, Hayward, Union City CH 28
Ohlone Network CH 28 : Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Fremont and Newark CH 28