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October 22, 2001

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Sanjay Khan churns out another mythological

Jyothi Venkatesh

Another mega serial, courtesy Sanjay Khan, is scheduled to hit the small screen this Dussehra.

While Khan admits his Maha Kavya Mahabharat (MKM) does not compete with B R Chopra's Mahabharat, it does draw "on a subject that's evergreen." Besides, he says, "Samay was the narrator of Mahabharat. We chose Ganga and Krishna."

Picturised on lavish sets at Vrindavan Studios, Khan said MKM would be a fresh presentation for a new audience.

His production house, Numero Uno Limited, had earlier produced The Sword of Tipu Sultan, The Great Maratha and Jai Hanuman.

The first episode of MKM begins with the epic battle followed by the narration. "We decided to limit ourselves to 52 episodes; we're not interested in cutting corners or stretching our serial to make money," says Khan.

"The earlier Mahabharat was based purely on the text. Also, the female characters were used as instruments. MKM, on the contrary, emphasises the compulsions of the Mahabharat and focuses on the contribution of the great ladies too. It will be the most expensive serial ever made in the history of Indian satellite television till date.

"Chopra's Mahabharat was contemporary at that time when Doordarshan telecast it on the national network. We had to update the epic to suit today's technology. Technical excellence was missing in serials made 15 years ago. If you do not upgrade the slow pace, the meandering characterisation and the special effects, you will miss out on a whole lot of new generation viewers."

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