Production House: Beyond Dreams
Genre: Slice of life
Star Plus, 10.30pm, Monday to Friday
In the same week that Qubool Hai was launched in a Muslim family, it was a nice coincidence to see Veera set in yet another minority community of India- a Sikh family. Veera is a sweet slice of life show set in rural Punjab. The main plot of the show is the beautiful bond between a brother and sister. It has the lovable flavour of good Iranian cinema (like Children of Heaven) and reminds us of George Eliot's classic novel, The Mill on the Floss which is a novel about a brother-sister bond set in a family of rural India. Contrary to earlier speculation this isn't similar to Ek Haazaron Mein Meri Behna Hai which is on a bond between two sisters.
The writers and creative team are very perceptive while analyzing child psychology. Credit to them that they have etched out the child protagonist Ranvijay's characterization with such artistic credibility. The child actor Bhavesh Balchandani who essays Ranvijay's role has been superbly directed and realistically and spontaneously emotes while acting. His performance is far natural than that of many other child actors on TV who go overboard and artificial while acting. Scenes like when Ranvijay is crestfallen when his peers are celebrating Raksha Bandhan but he can't as he has no sister, he innocently stealing a bonny baby from the hospital and getting elated on viewing her facial expressions to offer her the sugarcane stalk he is chewing beautifully captured the pure innocence of a child.
Kudos to the makers of the show, that this show is pro the girl child. In a country where female foetal infanticide is rampant, it is noteworthy that Ranvijay yearns for a little sister.
What is also laudable is the delineation of the relationship between Sampooran Singh (essayed by Sudhanshu Pandey) and his wife Ratanjeet (essayed by Sneha Wagh) which is a very close and caring bond. We even see Sampooran doing household chores so that his dear wife who is expecting can take some well deserved rest. This will be an inspiration to husbands in India to also lend a helping hand to their wives. Sudhanshu Pandey and Sneha Wagh impress with their performances.
Sampooran however it seems that in the heat of the moment has betrayed his wife. Let us wait and watch how this climactic situation is dealt with in the upcoming episodes.
Coming to the drawbacks of the show- it is upsetting that in all serials in rural India the costume design, makeup and hairdressing isn't like what happens in real villages at all. Indian villagers are extremely simply dressed and wear no makeup. The look of a real village and villagers was maybe best portrayed in Satyajit Ray's Panther Panchali. However it seems that it is the protocol that in soaps the costume, hairdressing and makeup of rural shows must be more fashionable than it really is.
As far as the art design is concerned care has been taken to etching out a rural feel however once again the interiors of a village hut are far simpler than the in-built design of the sets. The exterior shots some of which have been actually shot in a village are better.
Coming to the time slot of the show, it is interesting to note that this is the only show set in rural India in the satellite Hindi GEC slot at 10:30pm. The other shows of the directly competitive channels- Bade Acche Laggte Hai (on Sony TV), Punar Vivah (on Zee TV), Parichay Nayee Zindagi Kay Sapno Ka on Colors and Savdhan India @ 11 on Life OK are all for a more urban audience. Therefore this show having a distinctly different flavour will attract viewers who wish to sample a different show at this timing. Also it may attract rural viewers who do have electricity at late hours and stay up late. The late night timing will however debar viewers who go to bed early from enjoying this show.
Reporter and Author: Pallavi Bhattacharya