You may say Farah or Zoya has more power, and maybe if you just look at the films they produced, okay. But if you look at all the stars and stories and production changes Ekta has done through film AND television, there is no contest. So, for her birthday, here are 18 reasons I love you, one for every hundred episodes produced of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (1833 in total). (this is an updated and reposted-post from last year)
1. You were only 19 when your father suggested that you and your mother start a TV production company as a subsidiary of his production house, and you immediately took charge.
2. Your first hit, Hum Paanch, not only launched Indian TV sitcoms, it discovered a young actress named Vidya Balan.
3. I love you because, although it took 6 years before Balaji hit it big with Kyunki, you were still only 25 when you started running your soap empire.
4. I love you because your soap operas are truly women focused, dealing with female villains, female heroines, and issues of home, children, and marriage.
5. I love you because, when the soap operas started to weaken and fail, you weren’t afraid to take a step back and refocus the entire company.
6. I love you because you took your time with the new track, making a series of low-budget co-productions before taking a real risk with your films division.
7. I love you because one of those early careful low-budget films also happens to have an all-time great song sequence in it.
8. I love you because you first real bigger budget bigger star film had an all time great trailer.
9. I love you because it also had all time great songs.
10. I love you because you followed up that success, with an even bigger one, taking a chance on a heroine from an old TV show, and a script that was even more scandalous than any of your soaps.
12. And an artsier one, with black comedy plot, and yet still a super catchy song!
12. And then you went for an old school classy romance, just to keep us on our toes.
13. I love you because you are unapologetically unmarried, at age (now) 41.
14. I love you because you don’t spend a lot of time on publicity or personal appearances, with barely even a wikipedia page to your name, preferring to let your work speak for itself.
15. I love you because your father is Jeetendra, and you have achieved the difficult task of overcoming his fame, and being known as “Ekta Kapoor-head of Balaji Films” not “Ekta Kapoor-Jeetendra’s daughter”
16. I love you because your film studio has fallen on hard times lately, but rather than giving up or doubling down on bad decisions, you are expanding into regional films, and refocusing.
17. I love you because your family is expanding in its own way, with your brother becoming a single father and giving your parents the grandchild they want.
18. And I love you because, in your own quiet way, you are revolutionizing film just as you did TV, with strong female characters, taboo-breaking plots, and a strong sense of what sells.