Joined: 26 November 2009
How often does a well-educated girl, aspiring to become an IPS officer, end up marrying a sweet shop owner who has studied only until Class VII? One would imagine not very often, unless you're talking about life on Indian television. In fact, a story like this is supposedly a "progressive" one about a husband standing up for his wife and helping her realise her dream, in a regressive way.
So Diya Aur Baati Hum is no different from shows that condemn certain regressive social issues and customs, and yet spin a non-progressive successful story out of them. If progression and regression are two extremes of social development, on Indian television they go hand in hand. The ratings simply prove the point. Most fiction shows take much longer to create audience traction, but Diya Aur Baati Hum is an exception. It was launched when the 8.30-10.00 pm prime-time slot was swept by KBC's "Aam Aadmi" wave. Yet, Diya Aur Baati Hum came along and defied the trend. It didn't open with a bang but doubled its ratings from 1.8-4.21 in just two months. It is currently the number two show in the mass entertainment space, with a 5-plus TVR.
Diya Aur Baati Hum is the story of well-educated Sandhya whose goal is to become a civil servant. However, she is forced to marry a halwai after her parents are killed in a bomb blast. So far, the story has dealt with Sandhya's relationship with her in-laws and husband Sooraj, and her adjustments in the house. It is a strange matrimonial alliance forced by circumstances, but viewers are watching it in big numbers. Why? According to the show's writer-producer Sumeet Mittal, one of the reasons for its success is its two main lead characters. "Sooraj is not educated enough but he is a dream husband that any girl would fall for. On the other hand, Sandhya is an educated and cultured girl trying to cope up with the situation. It's a case of the right characters being in wrong situations. Once the audience likes the characters, then half the battle is won," he says.
It wouldn't be surprising if Diya Aur Baati Hum becomes the No.1 show soon because TV's standard of progression is different from that of real life.
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