Joined: 23 September 2005
Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi (Because a Mother-in-law was once a Daughter-in-law too) is a popular Indian "serial" (a soap opera) in Hindi that revolves around the lives of the fictitious Virani family. It is produced by Balaji Telefilms.
This serial is produced by Ekta Kapoor, daughter of famous filmstar, Jeetendra. It is said that she took a vow at the holy Balaji Temple in South India for the success of this serial, and her wish was granted.
Originally, the serial was supposed to be called, Amma (Grandmother/Mother), but was revised to the current title by the suggestion of the Dress Designer.
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The airing of the serial was in 2000 on the same day as KBC or Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who wants to be a Millionare?), but the show lasted longer than KBC. The success was prominent, and all the actors in the serial became famous and were the center of attention for millions of viewers, not only in India, but also in Pakistan, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Kenya and New Zealand with Hindi viewers.
The TRP (Television Ratings) were at an all time high and broke all previous records set by all other prominent serials in the history of Indian Television.
The story is set in Mumbai focused on the Virani Family that hails from Gujarat and quite successful and well-known in the Bombay Industrial world. The story is focused on Tulsi Virani, daughter of a family priest of the Viranis, who marries the eldest son of the family, Mihir through eloping. All the members except, Govardhan Virani, the patriach and Amba Virani, the matriarch were against it. Due to anger, the daughters-in-law of the family, Savita (Apara Mehta), Daksha (Ketaki Dave) and Gayatri (Kamalika Guhathakurta) blame Tulsi for instigating the family's eldest son, Mihir for marrying him and entering the rich household from a smaller, middle-class family. However, due to respect and belief in God Shri Shrinathji, called Thakorji, an incarnation of Lord Krishna, Tulsi fights the injustice and battles her mother-in-law and her mother-in-law's devrani (wives of the younger brothers of a woman's husband), in this case Savita.
The entire serial focuses on the battle between the mothers-in-law and Tulsi and in the process teaching them a lesson and earning respect from her family members and helping them in times of trouble and sharing their joy in time of happiness. Along the road, many new characters are shown, with elaborate weddings for each and affairs that are eventual discovered. The archnemesis of Tulsi outside the household is Payal who was engaged to Mihir before the marriage of Tulsi and Mihir. She always comes and destroys the peace in the household and instigates others, especially Savita, to boot Tulsi out of the house and get herself married with Mihir. However, Mihir dies (misconception of the family, he has amnesia and is in Delhi) and the bitter fight over Mihir is over between Tulsi and Payal. Due to family pressure, Tulsi agrees to marry another man, but at the altar, Mihir comes back and joy is back in the heart of Tulsi. But, the doctor who took care of Mihir, Mandira is the sister of the groom, Anupam who was supposed to marry Tulsi and plans to get Mihir, since she has fallen in love with him and comes up with some plans to devestate the marriage of Tulsi and Mihir. One of them being, acting pregnant, which was later discovered to be false. In the process, Payal tries to forget Mihir and decides to enter the household by marrying Hemant, Mihir's younger brother and then destroying the entire family, since even Savita won't support her now. But, at last, Truth triumphs and all the misconceptions are gone and everything is fair and well. Tulsi also gives birth to a son, named Gautam and gives him to her sister-in-law, Arti since she is barren and cannot have a child and yearns for one. Due to jealousy and animosity, she runs away with the child and her husband, Kiran, younger brother of Mihir to Australia and all are shocked. Tulsi tries to forget her son and gives birth to a daughter named Shobha. Pooja, Mihir's cousin Hemant's wife, gives birth to a boy named Sahil.
After the leap, many new characters come and the drama occurs with the new generation with the return of Gautam from Australia as a spoilt kid, who is turned nice by the teachings of Tulsi and the marriage of all the sons and the marriage of Shobha, the only daughter of Tulsi with Vishal, the son of Payal Mehra, the originial archnemesis of Tulsi. The drama takes place with that and the return of Kiran and Arti, who are divorced and have a daughter, Karishma who is addicted to drugs. She is reformed by living with the family and the revelation of Harsh, the youngest son, not being the biological son of Tulsi and being a product of rape and his attempt at suicide, which is unsuccessful. After reforming, it is shown that Mihir and Mandira had an affair over the years, which has produced an out-of-wedlock child named Karan, who comes to India from Australia and takes revenge on the Viranis for not supporting his mother, Mandira.
Mandira on the side is using her son, Karan as a weapon to destroy the others in the family and get Mihir forever. Problems also occur between the sons and their wives and a few dicorces occur, one of them with Ganga and Gautam, where Ganga eventually marries Gautam's younger brother, Sahil due to a difference of views between Ganga and Gautam, and since Gautam did not want to marry her in the first place and was having an affair with another girl named Teesha, who dies in a car accident that collides with the car of Mandira, who tries to kill Tulsi, but kills her accidentally. Then, Karan learsn of his mistake and accepts Tulsi as his mother, since she was the one who taught him love and the love of a mother. The serial unfolds as a divorce between Tulsi and Mihir occurs and tensions flow into the family. Later on, Tulsi comes to know that she has another son named Ansh, who was brought up by a gangster named Aditya Gujral and comes in the family for the sake of the money and marries the love of Karan, Nanidni and then is later killed by Tulsi due to the rape of Nandini by Ansh and dealing with drugs. In the process, Vishal also dies and Shobha gives birth to a son and marries her husband's murderer, Abhishek through the pressure of her mother-in-law, Payal. There is a dramatic court case fought by Meera, Tulsi's best friend who is in love with Mihir and Tulsi goes to jail for 3 years for the murder of her son, Ansh.
Nandini and Karan get married and because of the rape, Nandini gives birth to a girl called Bhoomi and goes into coma. Meanwhile, to support Karan and take care of the newborn, Karan marries his best friend, Tanya. Later, she leaves as Nandini comes out of coma and according to Doctors, cannot be given any bad news, or else she will die. Tanya on the contrary is pregnant. Tulsi comes out of jail and the family ignores her. Gautam gets married to Damini and they have twins. Since Ganga protected Damini during her pregnancy and lost her own child, Damini gives one of her sons to Ganga and Gautam get mad and another court case regarding the custody happens after some time. Meanwhile, Gautam leaves home and Mandira comes back and kidnaps him and blackmails Tulsi and dictates her to do some horrible things to the family, otherwise, she will kill Gautam. One of the most important things was to kick Karan out of the house. Tulsi does that, but to her surprise, Karan knows and goes to Mandira to finish her shady business and is successful.
In the progression, Mandira goes to jail for 7 years and Tulsi gets cancer. Gautam improves and accpets the family. Everyone is sad that Tulsi will die, but that is changed when it was not cancer, but a coughing problem and all are relieved. Also, Shobha finds out that Abhishek was the person who killed her first husband, Vishal and leaves home. In this process, Harsh marries Mohini, who has one sole purpose of marrying, to acquire the wealth of the Viranis, she is shown as a comic person with her new styles and evil ways. She tries to capture the wealth, but is stopped in her tracks through the works of her mother-in-law, Tulsi. Meanwhile, Gujral comes out and starts to threaten the Viranis. He is murdered in the party and the entire family is at the scene of the muder and each member is suspected. Karan accepts his guilt and goes to jail. However, later findings point the crime to another person. Tulsi, with the help from Tanya figure out the culprit and suspect each member of the household. In addition, Nandini finds out that Tanya and Karan are married and they are expecting a child. Nandini also finds out that she is pregnant. When Karan is on the path of execution, Nandini accepts her crime and all are shocked. She goes to jail for 14 years. Tanya moves in and takes her place at the house, against her own wishes.
After the entire fiasco is over, Meera gets upset and plans with Mandira to take over the family and get Mihir to love him, as she wants that. Mandira is shocked and vows to help her. Meera moves into Shantiniketan after much hastle and is caught planning with Mandira in the jail by Tulsi. Tulsi is astonished and remains calm. After some series, Savita joins hands with Meera and supports all her decisions and goes against Tulsi. On the other hand, Shobha gets involved in politics and gets shot during her stump speech. Savita gets enraged and cuts all her ties with Tulsi, as to Tulsi supported Shobha's decision. Meera takes advantage of this situation and turns the table. But, Shobha's ex-husband, Abhishek gets proof of Meera and Mandira together and blackmails her for money and uses her to finance his business. Meera gets frustrated and complexed. One day, Savita goes ballastic and starts to yell at Tulsi for controlling the house and turning all against her. She leaves the house and gives her a curse. All are shocked. Savita lives at her friend's hosue and all attempts to persuade her go futile. One day, when she vists the jail to convince Mandira of stopping her plots, she sees both Mandira and Meera plotting together. She is stunned and vows to reveal the truth. Fear of being exposed, Mandira and Meera plan to kill her and they are partly successful. Savita gets into a bad accident and the majority of her bones are broken. Also, her brain has been damaged. Tulsi sees this and both reconcile in an emotional scene and learns of the truth. While the entire family is in London for a wedding, Tulsi learns that Savita is going to be in the same vegetative state for the rest of her life. Savita cannot bear her pain and asks Tulsi to perform euthanasia.
The serial currently airs on Star Plus, Monday to Friday at 10:30 pm IST. The last sentence is the latest update on the serial
The serial has received and survived some tough times due to the high level of criticism from both viewers and TV Critics. One of the most important is the age. Amba Virani or Ba has seen her great grandchildren's children and her supposed age is to be above 100 according to some critics and this brings attention, that the age factor is not being very well played.
Clothing of the characters is also another hot topic. The traditional sari worn by the female characters are out of their age. For example, Savita, who is now a widow, wears heavy clothing, like a blissful wife, which is very uncommon in India, but she has contended that this is normal in the 21st century and must be accepted.
Another criticism that has been applied is that it is very unrealistic and does not portray the reality of life. For example, the value of each contract that has been discussed in the serial has never been less than 50 crore and that is not very common in India.
The following are the prominent members of the Virani Family:
Some of the important characters in the serial were changed some times due to their resignation. Most of the famous being Sahil Virani, Mandira Virani, Govardhan Virani and even the most important character, Mihir Virani. Mihir Virani's cast was changed three times, since it was hard to find a replacement for the original character, Mihir played by Amar Upadhyay that the viewers would approve of.
Mandira is now played by Achint Kaur
According to each contract, each of the characters gets a specific amount of money, that is kept quite confedential, but early in 2005, reports were spilled to several key journal enteries, that the main character, Tulsi Virani, played by Smriti Irani gets paid Rs. 50,000 ($1000) per show, or in other words, around $405,000 per year (More than the income of the President of the United States of America), and it is possible that she is the highest earning TV Star in the history of Indian Television.
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