They who sets trends

Prerna Basu / Bajaj, the protagonist

Prerna Basu / Bajaj, the protagonist


A few weeks ago I was re-watching one of my favourites Baat Hamari Pakki Hai starring Ankita Sharma and Barun Sobti. This intense feeling of watching old favourites comes on regularly and next on my list is Kasautii Zindagi Kay, one of the very first Indian soaps I fell in love with / was seriously obsessed about.

Star Plus has very kindly started uploading all the episodes of its classic shows on YouTube. This includes Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Bhabhi to name a few. For the uninitiated, these three shows are who you have to thank for the onslaught of saas-bahu dramas that hit us some 8 years back. The after-effects of which we still have in some shows, but thank fully creative heads have started to come up with original ideas in the last 3 years. Tulsi and Mihir Virani fans rejoice! Head over here and you can watch the shows from the get go.

Rishabh Bajaj, our grey hero

Rishabh Bajaj, our grey hero

Ekta Kapoor is credited with bringing in the saas-bahu serials, but more so than that are her plot lines. Some classics that you have most definitely seen and appreciated include:

– Hero heroine hate one another yet after much arguing fall in love to the amazement of audiences (This is kindergarten logic that adults forget after a certain point)

– While courting either the male or female discovers a fatal illness and to prevent their other half from suffering, they choose to break things off as brutally as possible (Really? Surely it’s painful either way and isn’t honesty all the rage in most circles?)

– After marriage the heroine discovers her hero isn’t all he seemed there is a wife/children/evil mother/evil step mother/evil father/evil sister is the picture, sometimes more than one of these and she must fight with the skin of her teeth that are soaked in goodness to overcome all the obstacles thrown her way (I don’t even have the words for this one)

Our Anu after the face change

Our Anurag Basu after the face change

– The saas in question is either a pure saint or the spawn of Satan, there is no middle ground. (Honestly, I believed this for a long time because all of Ekta’s examples told me so)

– The hero or heroine will face a new death experience that results in a face/voice/attitude change (this generally occurs when the actor in question is leaving or fired, depending on which production house we are talking)

Now while I could go on, these examples cover some of the popular rehashes we see regularly. Not that they don’t spice up a plot line, but let’s just say, if you’re betting against my guesses you will lose and we should consider this a fair warning for all readers. If you’ve seen any of the classic Ekta shows, you’ll never fail in guessing the outcome of a cliff/shooting/beating/tortured sequence.

Komolika - I'd watch this show purely for her entry music.

Komolika – I’d watch this show purely for her entry music.

As I return to Kasautii this afternoon, you’ll be hearing much about Prerna, Anurag (Anu) and Rishabh some of my favourite characters out there. At it’s core the story is a love triangle, however it begins as a show about love/hate star-crossed lovers Prerna and Anu whose fathers are thrilled with the match but not the saas concerned. After the leads are convinced that they love each other the saas rears her head and evil plotting. We then move to a marriage, divorce, souten, marriage, triangle, marriage, children, leap and repeat. It is actually fascinating stuff and as I haven’t seen it in many years I am expecting to be thrilled and delighted as the twists and turns take place.

Most importantly one of Indian televisions classic villains – Komolika Basu was created and lauded on this show. Played brilliantly by Urvashi Dholakia who recently one the Big Boss monstrosity, she is a fantastic vamp – funny and evil as required. She fumes when her plans fail and grins evilly when they succeed, her sidekick is hilarious – Sikander – and they both entertain you to the maximum.

If you feel like watching Kasautii now head over here, otherwise I will (shamelessly) plug this show regularly so you can catch it another time. Seven and a half years, several generation leaps and 1400 episodes.


One comment

  1. Kasautii was one of my favourites as well and its so refreshing to read a blog post about it so many years after its ended.

    I think kzk should also be credited for starting the trend of the anti hero like Rishabh Bajaj, played brilliantly by Ronit Roy. I look forward to your views on kzk further!

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