Joined: 16 February 2006
The mothers-in-law of the Indian telly are busy these days — not plotting how to make their daughters-in-law's life miserable, but in finding a suitable groom to remarry their loved bahu. This new genre of in-laws who are getting their daughters-in-law remarried has become the latest talk in telly-town.
Leading the way is the newly launched show on Sony TV, Byah Hamari Bahu Ka (BHBK). The unusual title has created a lot of curiosity among viewers, as our soap dish has always typically been about a bahu suffering at the hands of her in-laws. However, over last few weeks we've been left wondering why the Vaishnav family is planning the marriage of their daughter-in-law Rajni, even though she's a perfect bahu. Aatish Kapadia, scriptwriter of BHBK, asserts that this latest offering comes with a surprise package.
"Viewers will keep wondering what could be the reason that compels a family to get their daughter-in-law married, despite the son being there. The common perception would be either the husband is dead, or they are divorced, or there is an involvement of a third person. But I wanted to explore other positive reasons as well. That's how this show shaped up," Kapadia says.
He adds that the show is closer to reality with the lead characters being more human than dramatic. "Krish, the male protagonist, has been borrowed from a real-life case of one of my friends. Unlike other shows based on circumstances like divorce or death, this show is a real surprise. Also, the daughter-in-law is an ideal bahu and the show is all about the reason for her marriage, which is a mystery. It's a romantic show about the emotional journey of a family. Fun and comedy happen side-by-side," Kapadia tells you.
It is not just this new soap that's treading a different path. In Balika Vadhu too, Anandi is being pushed to like, and eventually love, a more suitable man over the family's only son Jagiya. And it is none other than the formerly conservative and strict Dadisa who wants her granddaughter-in-law to tie the knot again.
The matriarch's numerous efforts — ranging from inviting district collector Shiv (Siddharth Shukla) for dinner, or forcing Anandi to take lunch for him to his office just so that they get to spend some alone time — are, indeed, a sweet gesture from the family towards a bahu who entered the house as a child and has since been suffering. First, at the hands of Dadisa, and then her adulterous husband.
Surekha Sikri, aka Dadisa, feels that the society is welcoming such changes. "Today, women need not be bound by traditional ities and spend their life alone. She should have the freedom to get on with life and choose another life partner. In Balika Vadhu, after getting a divorce, Jagdish is leading a different life. With an aim to make Anandi's life happy, the family has happily initiated the step to remarry her to Shiv," Sikri explains.
Pratiksha Lonkar, who plays mother-in-law Yashodha in BHBK, believes the trend is sending out a positive message. "Through the show, we are trying to convey a positive message to viewers that if two people are not happy together, they should have the liberty to move on in life. The show also focuses on exploring a different angle of the relationship between the daughter-in-law and the other members of the family. In real life, too, you will definitely help your loved ones to move on and make the best out of life," Pratiksha says.
Balika Vadhu scriptwriter Purnendu Shekhar claims that the show was the first one to show the concept of remarriage long back. "We have shown the widow remarriage in the cases of Sughna and now remarriage through Anandi. But in her case, both Anandi and Shiv are unaware about the intention of the elders. Daughter-in-law remarriage is not common, mainly because it is considered against societal norms and it's also difficult to convince the woman to accept someone else. Traditional belief is that marriage happens once in a lifetime. Ironically, if divorced men or widowers want to remarry, they get a woman easily. For instance, in Basant's (Satyajit Sharma) case, beside vast age difference, he married Gehna (Nivedita Sadib). Whereas, divorced women or widows with a child have to face a lot of trouble, as was the case with Sughna," Shekhar tells you.
On one side where Anandi's in-laws eagerly wanted to get both united, in Punar Vivah, the case is completely different and reflects the bitter side of the society. The in-laws of divorced Aarti (Kratika Sengar) faced a lot of difficulty and embarrassment to find a suitable match for her and a good father for her son. And when, finally, they managed to get one, they lied to the would-be family that Aarti is a widow, even though she is a divorcee.
It's not just the elders, children too are equally indulgent in finding a match for the mother. In Na Bole Tum... on Colors, the in-laws are orthodox. But two children wanted their widowed mother to remarry. They even publish her matrimonial advertisement in the newspapers.
Small screen is giving enough space to the issue, but media analysts feel the need of addressing it in the society. "People are still not too open about remarriage. Shows like Punar Vivah and Balika Vadhu aim at not only bringing to light issues like this, but also addressing various post-marital issues. When a husband passes away, the woman is blamed for it. Some young widows are even sent back to their paternal house," concludes Anil Wanvari, CEO, Indiantelevision.com.
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