Indian television started off with feel-good shows like Malgudi Days, Shaktiman, Vikram aur Betaal, followed withcomedy epics like Hum sab ek hain, which presented a slice of life in its presentation. Then came phase two, i.e. women-oriented shows like Saans, Shanti, Astitva that showed women of substance in pivotal roles, which were very relatable and contemporary, yet out-of-the-box! After garnering enormous TRPs, came a rebellious wave of larger-than-life saas-bahu sagas that changed the very personality of Indian television! Heavy jewelry and costumes, matriarchal (though I doubt this) approach and exotic foreign locales, these family dramas revolutionized the face of Indian soap operas and there is no looking back ever since. More than a decade has been under the rule of these melodramas and their exit seems a distant dream today!
Between the overdose of high octane impractical and far-from-reality drama, comes a breather in the name of Parvarrish- Kuchh Khatee Kuchh Meethi, a blithesome narration of familial bonds, specially, the volatile parent-child bond weaved beautifully across generation gap, peer pressure, parental mistakes and various approaches to happy parenting. The story revolves around two sisters i.e. Pinky Ahuja (Barkha Bhisht) and Sweety Ahluwalia (Shweta Tiwari) along with their families, namely Ahujas and Ahluwalias and their varied approach to upbringing, where the former is a lenient and friendly mother and the latter is more of a disciplinarian and strict mother.
The show highlights problems faced by youngsters today, like peer pressure, stalking, crushes, ragging, and parental pressure, which is closely related to reality. It also sends across messages to parents and their kids on burning issues, one such example being the protagonist Raavi Ahuja’s ( Anchal Munjal) kidnapping after she raised her voice against a theft, where they gave out messages encouraging people to fight against all odds and what to do in case any girl is caught in a dreadful situation like kidnapping, in the wake of the growing crimes against girls. The USP of the opera is that it gives equal exposure to every character, with regular shifting of focus from one protagonist to another, covering a plethora of issues.
It is loosely based on the tribulations of parenting, and mixes the themes of ideal parenting with life experiences. It is not just a message carrier fir kids, but also parents and how contemporary parenting is the need of the hour and areas parents go wrong dealing with kids. The current track shows the ‘modern’ approach to parvarrish clashing with the traditional school of thought in the form of contemporary parents i.e. the Mathurs, Ahluwalias’ neighborswho are a pain in the nose of Sweety Ahluwalia, who finds present-day parenting worthless! In another instance, Sunny Ahuja (Rakshit Wahi) was being bullied by his seniors in school but his parents failed to take signs like bed-wetting, behavioral changes lightly, resulting in mental trauma to the kid, which was aimed to make parents aware of such signs and ways to deal with it as bullying and ragging have taken an ugly turn these days.
This presentation is exemplary for it not only deals with parent-child relationship, but also environmental issues like earth day, enacted by Raavi Ahuja, water saving, anti-ragging and many others are in pipe-line. The makers balance their social responsibilities with entertainment quotient like a pro, not compromising on the content of the plot it was conceptualized on. Such heart-warming television serials are a sight less seen these days, where Parvarrish wins hands down in terms of intent, content, concept, originality, practicality and closest possible proximity with reality.