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From glycerine drops to grand sets, Colors' Balika Vadhu has all the ingredients of any great Indian soap opera. But this soap, which treats the unusual subject of child-marriage with great sensitivity, has got the TRPs that Colors needed to make an impact in the cluttered space of Hindi General Entertainment Channels.
With recent Television ratings reaching a high of 4.22, Balika Vadhu has left big players like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Maayka way behind. 'The innocence of Anandi works,' explains Balika Vadhu's writer Purnendu Shekhar. Balika Vadhu is the story of Anandi, a minor girl, who gets married into a rich household.
"It's the journey of a bahu (daughter-in-law), but this bahu is a kid. Perhaps that is what is hooking viewers,' says Smita Bansal, who plays Anandi's mother-in-law in Balika Vadhu. The soap boasts of more than just an unusual theme. In execution Balika Vadhu avoids the usual high-drama camera and editing techniques that's become a norm for daily soaps.
"The approach of the show is different. The camera is not acting here ' there are no pans, no zooms, no zing bang. It's the actors who are performing and that's because the content is there,' says Anoop Soni, who plays Anandi's father-in-law. And 11-year-old Avika Gaur, whose tears have got everyone rooting for her, loves every bit of the attention coming her way.
'I had read about child marriage when I was in class V, but it's only that I understand what it means. I laugh, I cry and I make the public cry,' Avika says. Like every successful daily soap, for Balika Vadhu the struggle has just begun. While it has got the initial numbers, the challenge now lies in sustaining this popularity.
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