Rajshri Productions have teamed up with Zee TV for the first time with their show Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli that has ostentatious sets, expensive jewellery and costumes Barjatya style
As the title suggests, it is about a girl who has fond memories of her growing-up years in her house, correction, a huge kothi made of gold.
Set in one of the mansions of Ujjain (where the makers say, royalty and huge kothis still exist), it's about Swarn Abha and her family, which prides itself on being one of the few khandaani families where money flows like water." While the patriarch (Alok Nath) revels in his Swarn Bhavan, doling out gold coins to the poor and the needy, his wife (Smita Jaykar) is the practical one, who believes that days are never the same. The aan, baan and shaan may not last forever so one has to always be prepared for a rainy day.
The mansion is an eyeful, looking like a huge gift wrapped in gold paper, almost blinding. Designed by Chandravadan More, the set at Film City is so massive that it can house a cricket match. The painstaking effort definitely shows — not surprising considering TV these days is about grand sets and all things nice — also in the costume and jewellery departments. Will the story match up? "Oh, yes, story is always primary. It is the important aspect of our productions," says Sooraj Barjatya, adding, "The rest just follows. There has to be a story."
While the makers are tightlipped about the story, what we gathered is here is a family which has seen a golden period in their lives, where the patriarch believes that he's not at the mercy of time but time is his mautaaj. And so naturally they fall on hard times. Is it inspired by the B.R.Chopra film Waqt? "No. It's about the cycle of life, what goes up must come down, so this family too has its ups and downs," says Sooraj.
Interestingly, Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli has a full- fledged music score. Why did they decide to have new songs for the show when they could have, like other producers, used film songs as background score? "The story is about a house, Swarn Abha's childhood memories spent in that house. Every wall has a story to tell, as though they know what each of the family members are feeling, going through. All that couldn't have been captured in any film song. It demanded a music score of its own," smiles Sooraj. Written by Irshad Kamil, who claimed to be more nervous than he was when his work in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani released, the title song has been sung by Shreya Ghoshal.
While Alok Nath is a regular in Barjatya productions, it's Smita Jaykar's presence that surprises us considering she doesn't do too many Hindi serials. "I am scared to do them because the work-pace is too much for me to handle. I would rather do a cameo in a show or do films. I made an exception for this show because of the Barjatyas, they are good people to work with, easygoing and flexible. My role is interesting too. She is aware of her lineage and the traditions of the family she is married into but she's also aware of the changing times and how one needs to be practical, which is why she teaches her younger daughter, Swarn Abha, to be an independent girl and learn the nitty gritties of day-to-day living and not just rest on the family comforts."
The show stars Suhaasi Dhami in the lead. She was earlier seen in Ek Chaabi Pados Mein. "We didn't cast a fresh face because Swarn Abha is not just about looking pretty. The role required some good acting too. A newcomer takes time to learn the ropes of a TV serial, the daily shooting etc but Suhaasi knows what it takes. Besides, she does look like a princess, delicate yet strong."
A Barjatya production is always a wholesome family treat. Nitin Vaidya, COO, Zee says that it is the very nature of Barjatya shows that made it easier for the channel to collaborate with them. "Their shows cut across all age groups. The entire family can watch it without a twinge of embarassment," says Vaidya. Aren't they worried about huge expectations then to deliver, especially in today's times when it's no longer one channel versus another but one show pitted against another?
"Yes, I feel it's like my first show. I am very nervous because the expectations are huge and the competition is stiff. Today, you don't wait for an entire month to know how your show has done. It's all there in one segment of the show. The viewers just switch over if you fail to engage them," says Kavita Barjatya. Her anxiety is palpable but so is her confidence in her product.
Well, here's hoping all that glitters is indeed gold.