Produced By: Balaji Telefilms
Story so far:
The story starts with Naina's mother seeing her off at the airport. Naina (Drashti Dhami) is leaving for Innsbruck, Austria, to start her life afresh and get married to her fiance, Amit (Vicky Arora). A fellow traveler judges Naina for leaving her ailing mother and running behind her dreams. Naina then explains her life's story and the audience is taken to flashback.
Naina and Amit are in love with each other, but break up due to the ill health of Naina's mother. They bump into each other at a supermarket after two years and seeing Amit with a pregnant lady, Naina assumes the worst and takes off. But Amit pursues her and after talking it out, the duo revive their relationship. But on the day of their engagement, Naina's mum overhears a conversation between Amit and his mother where it is revealed that Amit has to shift his base to Austria. His mother clearly states to Amit that Naina would choose her ailing mother over marrying him. Hearing this, Naina's mother gets a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital. Amit decides to leave for Austria but not before promising Naina that he would wait for her.
Scene shifts to Austria, where the Mehra family is introduced. Dadi (Surekha Sikhri) creates a scene where she feels that she will die soon and the whole family is gathered around her. Raghav (Arjun Bijlani) is at Dadi's feet serving her. Raghav is a distant relative to the Mehras and Dadi's favourite. He is also everyone's go to guy. Each and every detail in the Mehra empire, right from serving Dadi food and taking care of her health to fulfilling the professional commitments of the company, to even covering up for his party all night, brother Veer (Laksh Lalwani), is looked after by Raghav.
Naina reaches Austria and tries calling her brother Rajiv (Alok Narula) and Amit. Both do not pick up their phones. After waiting for long, she decides to go on her own and ends up knocking on Amit's door. Amit dismisses Naina and tells her to go to her brother's place. A sad Naina walks away, where she encounters a drunken man. Thinking that he is out to get her, she runs. There she collides with Raghav and begs him to save her. A major misunderstanding is averted and Raghav offers to drop Naina to her brother's place. Her brother and his wife Chanchal are conniving. They emotionally blackmail Naina about how difficult is the cost of living in Austria. An innocent Naina tells them that her brother's house is hers and assures them that she would help.
Naina calls up Amit and he asks her to meet up at a cafe. At the Mehras, Pam asks Raghav to pick up Sanjana (Additi Gupta) from a cafe. Raghav is excited that Sanjana, his crush, is coming, whereas Pam has plans of getting Sanjana married to Veer and taking hold of the Mehra property. At the cafe, Raghav and Naina bump into each other as they wait for Sanjana and Amit respectively. Naina sees Amit and rushes to him but is shocked to find him with a girl. Turns out that Amit has married an Austria national and he chastises Naina in front of his wife and asks her to let him be. Raghav asks Naina to confront Amit and not just cry. Naina takes Raghav's advice and gives Amit and his wife a piece of her mind. In the meanwhile, Sanjana spots Raghav at the cafe and escapes from there, landing straight at the Mehras. The Mehra family portrays a united front but is broken up on the inside.
The sheer fact that the concept is similar to the above mentioned popular flicks, backed by the powerhouse cast, works wonders. Even though one may not really be awed by the concept, what attracts the viewers to watch Pardes... is the cast. Arjun Bijlani, Drashti Dhami and Surekha Sikhri are known for their acting chops. Also, the curiosity of how Ekta Kapoor can merge two films' concepts and make an extravagant show, is what the viewers will get to see in Pardes...
A special mention to Laksh Lalwani. Even though the hunk has been seen in only limited scenes so far, but having watched his debut Warrior High, I completely vouch for the fact that Laksh has improved remarkably in the acting department.
Pardes... so far has a been there done that journey. The cliched concept of feuding between two bahus of a big family, the unexpected meetings of Raghav and Naina and the Dadi of the house keeping everyone in check, the bhabhi emotionally blackmailing and troubling her nanand, we've seen it all.
Everyone is aware that many of Ekta's shows share the same sets. But the creatives must at least make sure that the interiors of two shows shouldn't be the same. And even if they are, they sure could take more efforts to not make it so noticeable.
There was nothing new that Pardes Mein Hai Mera Dil had to offer to us in the first week. But, having said that, the show is equipped with a fully loaded, powerhouse star cast, the lot of whom we've seen deliver powerful performances in their previous shows. We're sure that as the story line moves into the next week, the show will pick up. After all, we cannot expect anything less than that from Ekta, can we?
What are your views about the show? Leave in your comments below!