Life OK, 9:30pm, Monday to
Production House: Beyond Dreams
There have been TV shows previously in which opposites have been attracted to one another. However in Junoon - Aisi Nafrat, toh Kaisa Ishq on Life OK, the polar opposite protagonists are different beyond the wildest imagination and are a part of a very unique, raw love story. The city bred Meera (Mouni Roy) is betrothed to the handsome, soft and sweet Akash (essayed by Ajay Chaudhary) who had wooed her with many a romantic song. Destiny however has something totally different in store for her. She is after all to fall in love with the rustic and rugged son of the soil Prithvi (Aditya Redij). In near future on this show you will be seeing Meera's dilemma who despite knowing that Prithvi is so imperfect for her falls in love with him but is engaged to Akash who is seemingly the Mr.Right. The banner of this show in fact bears a picture of Meera and Prithvi pointing a gun to one another's heads- how can love emanate from hate? It strangely does for Prithvi and Meera.
It's good to see that the female protagonists in Indian television are getting more courageous. Meera travels to an unfamiliar and extremely dangerous terrain to search for her dad as she resolves to unite her separated parents. Though she is simultaneously fighting the anguish of having a terminally ill mother she keeps a brave face in front of everyone.
One of the greatest attractions of the show is the acting of Aditya Redij. He plays with perfection Prthvi- a burly man who though is rough and rude in his mannerisms means good. He regards the thakur of the village Rambhari Singh (played by Sunil Sinha) as God and will refuse to listen to any bad word about him.
The first meeting of Prithvi and Meera is one of the most memorable and different first meetings between the hero and heroine on serials. Meera travels with him in the same car though repelled by him, firmly holding her pepper spray which she feels she urgently needs to keep at hand if he attacks her. Prithvi thinking it to be a deodorant asks her to spray it into his armpit.
Also the scene in which Prithvi saves her for being ravished by a group of men was executed with a difference. Meera neither screams 'bachao bachao' nor comes across as a conventional damsel in distress. Prithvi also saves her without outwardly showing any affection in his archetypal rough and tough way.
The art direction of the show impressed me. The exterior shots showing Prithvi's terrain is rough and rugged which smoothly blends in with the raw story that is being unfolded. The haveli interiors have also been chalked out well. Though the costumes complement the nature of the protagonists, I sometimes wonder as to how they remain spic and span considering that this is a rugged land where the best laundry facilities may not be easily available. The beat which sometimes accompanies Prithvi's dynamic appearances is slightly jarring nevertheless effectively highlighting the dramatic sequences.
The production house, Beyond Dreams is daring to be different. They could have easily chosen to do a conventional mushy romantic soap but they have boldly experimented with a radically different drama. Like their recently launched show, Veera on Star Plus, this too is a very artistically executed serial. The writers have written very gripping and offbeat dialogues especially when it pertains to Prithvi.
The 9:30pm slot in which Junoon - Aisi Nafrat, toh Kaisa Ishq is aired is highly competitive. Simultaneously there are Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus, Qubool Hai on Zee TV, Bigg Boss Season 6 on Colors, Parvarrish - Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi on Sony TV all of which are tough competitors. However Junoon - Aisi Nafrat, toh Kaisa Ishq is also a dynamic show albeit for the discerning viewers. If the story evolves well I would be happy if Junoon - Aisi Nafrat, toh Kaisa Ishq is found to have a good TRP in mid-December. After all the Indian viewers should also grow up to being willing to sample a radically different show.
Author and Reporter: Pallavi Bhattacharya