Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Family Bonding... Baa Bahu aur Baby

It has been years if not decades that we and by that I mean the self professed elite Indian audiences who have left no stone unturned to criticize the soaps that plague the Indian channels daily. The products of the factory of the K factor and the numerous sub branches of numerous such factors that decide to start with a novel idea but in the end are victims of following the crowd, bombard the Indian television industry as many would agree.
Pompously believing that I am one of those few who manage to appreciate whatever is good on TV without a bias or without being victim to the ever popular syndrome of following the west and their norms, I think it is imperative for me to appreciate the one Hindi serial that is followed religiously at my household (not as religiously as Ramayana of yore but still very close to it). Baa, Bahu aur Baby is directed by Deven Bhojani and produced by JD and Aatish Kapadia.

Initially when Star Plus had started promoting the show my brain that is a patient of pre-conceived notions made an assumption that another serial was on the offing to capture the time band on TV without anything to offer except for a few cheesy badly timed jokes or profusely crying women protagonists.
Thank the heavens I was wrong. Here is a serial that grows on you after a while if you are a succor for melodrama and heartening stories of how you can fall back on family, how money, fame, beauty etc are important but not the necessities of survival, how resilience is the only real victory without actually delivering long never-ending dialogues that can continue for episodes together. The most outstanding part about the serial is that the characterization of all the characters is very well defined. This includes minor nuances, clothes, beliefs, psyche etc. Living in nuclear families where the only time to spend with family is on the dinner table bickering and fighting over the remote control, there are times when this serial brings things into perspective. The large family encompasses all possible characters that you might chance upon in a middle class family today.
One brother is an acclaimed doctor, the other an insurance agent; one has a small saree business and one is a theatre artist; one sister is physically challenged and the other is married into a rich household and never leaves an opportunity to boast about her wealth and her husband; there is a son who is mentally challenged and even an adopted son; there are three daughters-in-law — one dreams of upstaging the popularity of Hema Malini, the other is a certified gambler and wants to bet on every mundane thing she can seize as an opportunity of betting and the third one is a small town god fearing girl who though is a mother of a 8-9 year old still runs shy from her good looking theatre-hero husband; there are kids of numerous ages dotting the landscape of this magnificent household with their own problems and tricks and pranks. Here is a complete house. If they want to play they can organize a fair at home.
They can have a gala time amongst themselves without inviting any outsider. This is my dream home where every room has a story to tell, every waking hour has an anecdote to share and the nights are peaceful in the knowledge that there is family for support and care. Baa Bahu aur Baby revolves around three generations (following the show for almost 6 months now I don’t think a generation leap is their idea of TRP hiking). There are many a typecasts that the serial follows but the endearing thing is that the direction and the characterization plus casting has been done so meticulously that everything falls into place to make for a perfect TV series. They are loud but so is my aunt’s mother’s sister’s daughter-in-law. They are emotional but so am I. They cry. They laugh. They tease.
Basically they do everything any normal member of any normal household will do. For those who still surf 100 Hindi channels harboring the hope of catching a decent serial that has the caliber to transport you to times when Humlog, Buniyaad and Udaan captured the sense of a middleclass family, Baa Bahu aur Baby is the right concoction. Things are ofcourse a little different with the passing time. The milieu has changed to the favorite family type (read Gujarati) but the problems are almost same ranging from the marriage of a daughter, economic disparity between the sons, respect for elders, minor conflicts that go beyond control.
Plastic surgeries and miracle resurrections, fully decked up Bahus who can cry without generating any emotion in the audiences are not something you will find in this serial. Minor tussles that get solved within the span of two three episodes; emotionally charged characters who might be wrong at times but never have any malice towards each other; who are prey to the negatives of emotions that plague everyone like jealously, greed etc but are never devious; This is Baa Bahu aur Baby.

1 comment:

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