Diya Aur Baati Hum
Monday to Friday, 9.00 pm, Star Plus
A little girl is content scoring 60 per cent in school saying she got what she had bargained for, climbs trees to stop a boy from breaking a cuckoo's nest, flings ink at a corrupt sarkari babu because he insulted her father for living an honest life and so we are introduced to wide-eyed Sandhya Kothari whose life changes with that one incident. Her father tells her that she has to get her hands dirty if she wants to clean the system, so she aspires to become an IPS officer. Marriage is last on her mind and thankfully except for her brother, her parents and bhabhi are all for her sunshine dreams. So far so good.
On the other hand, there is Suraj Rathi, a sweetmeat shop owner who's the apple of his mother's eye. All she wants is his soon-to-be-bride, Kavita to come home and help her in making papads and roll out the perfect theplas. There are other women in the house like a daughter, who's still not learnt any household chores which will help her in her sasural, and a daughter-in-law, who tried to keep her saas happy but in vain making the old woman dilate her pupils and holler 'Ek langdo ek kaani main ikk siyani' which roughly translates into 'I seem to be the only sane one in this family. There is a maid too who unabashedly showers her admiration for Surajsa. Yes, the Rajasthani lingo and those border-wala saris we see in every other serial these days get to you.
Even as Sandhya worships her books, for Suraj, mum is the last word. To him, books have just one purpose…he tears the pages and uses them to wrap his jalebis! Needless to say, this wick and flame are bound to be part of each other's lives. Their paths have crossed several times like Sandhya's name was accidentally printed on Suraj's wedding card (don't even ask us how as this happens only in reel life), her dupatta has flown across his face in slo-mo, so on and so forth. The latest was when he accidentally saved her father in the marketplace where an explosion took place and killed her mother. So while Sandhya's family is shattered, Suraj's family is right in the middle of his wedding preparations.
The show, in the channel's true spirit of soch nayee, does have it alright…the girl and her family is like any other middle-class household, they have simple dreams and are a happy lot. Yes, you have the usual Rajasthani speaking "atte-katte, manne-tanne, bhabho, bhai sa lot but the lead actors are impressive. Anas Rashid as maa ka laadla Suraj is likeable and Deepika Kain as Sandhya is raw but earnest. Now only if Sandhya's dream to become an IPS officer doesn't get sacrificed at the altar of TRPs.
Watch it till Sandhya is chasing the dream, if it falls into the usual trap, you can always switch over.