“We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. What people oughtta do is get outside their own house and look in for a change….” When John Michael Hayes wrote these lines way back in 1954, little did he know he was foreseeing the future. Voyeurism has existed since time immemorial. Only, now it’s out there in the open, for everyone to savour and rejoice, for it’s the age of reality TV. UTV Bindass’ latest show, The Khan Sisters, revolves around the lives of the Khan sisters, Gauhar Khan and Nigaar Khan, and goes on to showcase various aspects of their fascinating lives, their equations with each other, their families, friends and foes, as a camera will constantly follow them and the lives they lead being a part of the high-profile and ever-changing film and television industry.
“I got excited because Gauhar and I have never been able to work together. Being sisters and in the industry for quite sometime, everybody’s been very curious if we were going to work together ever, since our mediums are completely different. So this was a chance for us to have some fun together, and I jumped at the offer,” says Nigaar. On speculations of similarities with Keeping up with the Kardashians, she says, “Every show that happens in India is going to be compared to the West. Something like this has not been done in India before, and since Keeping up…is such a big show, people will have their questions. It’s about two sisters from the industry having fun, keeping Indian culture in mind. The Kardashians were never from the industry; they became ‘The Kardashians’, only after Keeping up… Nigaar Khan and Gauhar Khan have already been Nigaar Khan and Gauhar Khan, so I see no comparisons whatsoever!”
The show promises a lot of camera intrusion. “The whole camera crew is very nice with us. They have been very understanding and they see to it that we are comfortable. They come in the morning, they are with us in my house all the time, and in Gauhar’s house in Delhi. Both of us live alone, and suddenly when you see so many people around you it’s weird, but we got the hang of it!” says Nigaar.
Invasion of privacy surely cannot be very welcome. “Nobody is comfortable with this, frankly, and if I say, ‘Yes, I am,’ it’s a big lie! But if you’re doing a show like this,you’ve obviously given it enough thought and then made the decision. Nobody has forced the decision on you,” reasons Nigaar.
On whether such a concept will actually work here in India, Gauhar is quick to say, “Oh my God, yes! Everyone wants to know the real people behind the glamorous field we are in. It’s not just any other show where people go crazy fighting, trying to pull each other down. It’s about a family and the bond that sisters share… never seen on Indian television before.”
There has been increasing voyeurism on television, thanks to shows like Big Boss . “I have been watching a few episodes lately, and I will not comment on anybody else’s content, but anything that takes away from the class of being a human is something that I would disagree with and we won’t resort to any such tactics in our show,” adds Gauhar.
Somewhere down the line, Gauhar is still typecast as a model. “Thanks to Zangoora , I do a musical every single day of my life. Being a live actor is something that gives you a high that no amount of films can. I have 400-plus shows as a live performer. Rocket Singh was great, critically acclaimed, and I thank everyone for that. Also, Gamewas a fresh change for me, working with Abhishek Bachchan, and I have another very big film in the pipeline. I am establishing myself more as an actor. I have been a top-rated model, so I won’t take that away from my bio-data, but I am glad to be known for that and the work I’ll do in future,” says Gauhar.
The Khan sisters have their fingers crossed. “I’ve had people coming up to me saying every time they see me on TV they want to strangle me to death. Thankfully, after watching this show I think that image will change — that I am not just this evil person who does negative characters, but that I am like any other simple girl you’ll see next door,” chirps Nigaar. On a more serious note, Gauhar adds, “I just expect people to love us for what we are. I hope the show does well.”
The Khan Sisters commences from November 19, 7 p.m., on UTV Bindass.