It is said to be the ‘Golden Age’ when ‘soap queen’ Ekta Kapoor presented the viewers with some of the most ‘memorable shows’ on Indian Television. The era was like a renaissance for Indian television which made it more gorgeous with huge sets, superb camera work, designer costumes, and some dramatic storylines which may remind you the 1970’s Bollywood movies, which were made purely for the sake of entertainment, entertainment & entertainment and the era never really required the use of brain and logic. It was purely entertainment based, they were made for entertainment & they were watched for sheer entertainment. But that was just not enough to pull the viewers and for a very long time so thus we got see some sizzling on-screen chemistry between the leads of the daily soaps which eventually turned into some Epic Love Stories on Indian television. That’s what clicked & continues to click with today’s intelligent audience and yesterday’s Idiot Box has become Really BIG today, bigger than even the 70 MM screen!!!
The First Show which created History on Indian television by running successfully for eight long years, ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’. It created history for being the longest running show. Though the show had their own share of controversies & glitches still the show brought out some social issues like “marital rape” and “mercy killing”. But along with that the show presented the audience with two most remembered on-screen couples of Indian television, Mihir-Tulsi (Amar Upadhyay/Ronit Roy-Smriti Irani) and later Karan-Nandini(Hiten Tejwani-Gauri Pradhan). Who can forget the first meeting scene of mihir and tulsi at the “mandir” with the “sindoor” spreading all over them? Who can forget the hate relation between karan and nandini which slowly got converted into a love saga between the two??? And who can deny their pain when “TVs most historical villain” dived into their life crushing them and their dreams forever?
Another one would be Kutumb which is the basis of today’s love -hate relationship based serials. It was the first one of its kind. It was all about fighting!!! They fought with words, hands, tricks before they finally fell for each other. The leads of the serial Pratham and Gauri (Hiten Tejwani-Gauri Pradhan) portrayed such a hateful relationship among themselves that people started wanting more of them which eventually forced the Production House to make a sequel of the show. Well as it says, sometimes we love to hate too & seeing Pratham Gauri you can’t help but feel sometimes it is necessary to hate the person you love the most as this spices up one’s love story!!!
Kasauti Zindagi Kay was another remarkable show which showcased the eminent aspect in love, the third angle, or rather a Love Triangle. The characters of Rishabh Bajaj(Ronit Roy), Prerna Sharma(Shweta Tiwari) and Anurag Basu(Cezzane Khan), became household names. The serial bloomed the TRP charts at 8:30 pm slot on star plus and also could pull a lot of attention for showing some intimate scenes which were quite new to television in those days. The show ended with Anurag Prerna being an eternal pair, who were shown longing for each other until they lived, but death called the lovers together & this made them true lovers & made every eye teary, who can forget that!
Another most remembered show would be Kkusum which captured a lot of TRPs at 9pm slot on Sony Entertainment television. An ordinary Girl falling for a tycoon and their growing relationship before breaking apart and then again getting joined and then again the same story follows. Who can forget Kkusum(Nausheen Ali Sardar) fight for her husband Abhay(Anuj Saxena), when her best friend Esha(Shweta Kwatra) turned into her ‘sautan’? Who can forget the struggles Kkusum went through to keep her family together? The struggle, the fight, the values became a household talk & talk of the town at the 9 PM slot on Sony.
Last but not the least was Kahiin To Hoga. This serial became a trademark for many irregular incidents and characters. It was the first Romantic drama which became a huge hit at 11pm slot on Star plus. Before that no other show of romantic genre did click the audience at such odd hours of the night. Only thrillers were preferred in that slot. And then comes Epic character of Sujal- Garewal who gave sleepless nights to millions of girls with his rude, arrogant, obnoxious attitude. The pair of Sujal and Kashish (Rajeev Khandelwal& Aamna Shariff) was an immediate hit show among the masses which gave us some of the most memorable scenes on Indian television.
The strong association of romance and rain was something which was first shown in this show only. Who can forget the First Rain dance between Sujal and Kashish on the track of “thoda sa pyar hua hai thoda hai baaki”? Who can forget the Lift sequence where sujal approaches her with a lighter? Who can forget the famous Marriage proposal scene by sujal on the “terwi” of kashish’ husband? It was their pair which made girls wants to fall in love. Sujal Kashish made girls of any age group believe love is possible. They were memorable & even today are remembered & their scenes and moments are cherished with all the heart…
Today’s television is technically more improved, spherically huger. But what about the content? Fiction shows on television still depend on on-screen chemistry to get TRPs. But even then in most of the serials the same romantic scenes and sequences are repeated. Can we count how many scenes we have seen where the hero and heroine are blocked in a lift? Rain sequences have become a common phenomena…everyone is confessing or singing or dancing during the rains. In most of the serials the leads are getting into a huge confrontation first and then finally ending up loving each other irrevocably. Majority of the leading male protagonists are arrogant at their level best. The Love Saga is the same everywhere and the question is aren’t all these current shows are a modified repeat telecast of the old shows?
But regardless of the above facts, it is true that whether it is the television soaps of the past or the present, these on-screen couples have created magic on screen. They have ruled and are still ruling over the prime time of Indian Television through their sizzling chemistry. Indian Television has come a long way from the doordarshan days and it still has a long way to go. We hope that this journey continues in future too with these lovely couples on screen and as they say in this industry, The Show Must Go On!!!!!
Author: Saheli Goswami