A review of how the show Saraswatichandra has unfolded till now. While the show started with being an adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s book, it has now become a soap opera with limited similarities to the book.

Saraswatichandra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s foray into television was initially based on a Gujarati novel of the same name. Bhansali has a penchant for picking practically cult novels (the Bengali Devdas and the Gujarati Sarawatichandra) and taking creative liberties with them. As predicted in a piece on India Opines, in the serial, Saraswatichandra and Kumud (the star-crossed lovers of the novel) do indeed get married

However, if the reports are right, Bhansali wanted to stay true to the novel while the channel wanted to change/add tracks as per the TRPs. This  led to differences and six months after the show was first telecast (first telecast was in February 2013), Bhansali was no longer the producer (August 2013).
saraswatichandra1 300x143 Saraswatichandra – Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Television Opus
Notwithstanding the differences and who the producer is, after over a year of telecast on Star Plus and DD National, the show is going strong and gaining viewership. The serial has many, many characters that were not there in the novel (the only people from the novel seem to be the hero and the heroine: Saraswatichandra and Kumud) and therefore has no resemblance to the novel in its current avatar.

The story so far dealt with the concatenation of circumstances and games played by different characters to prevent Saraswatichandra (called Saras) and Kumud from coming together. First Saras was angst-ridden and unreachable. Then his step-mother, Gumaan (Monica Bedi) did her own jig. Kumud was then married off to another man, Pramad (as in the novel). Her ideals stood in the way, because she chose to stand by the womaniser, drunk, wife-beater (Pramad) that she was married to. Following this, Pramad refused to give her a divorce. Pramad’s partner-in-being-a-hurdle in Kumud’s life was his maid, Kalika. Pramad died, but Kanika (by now married to Kumud’s cousin) continued raising difficulties and creating misunderstandings. Finally, a couple of weeks back, the two finally got married. But Saras remains a complexed character. His new angst was against his father (Lakshminandan, or Nandu) – who was invited to the wedding by Kumud.

To continue the tale, Nandu has had a driving accident with Kabir (driver of the other car) and is in coma. This week, Gumaan returns. Fiery, angry, spewing venom and accusations on Kumud (along with a bit of spill over poison on the rest of Kumud’s family). She has no clue that her son, Danny is married to Kusum, Kumud’s sister.

She decrees that no one from that family is allowed to come to the hospital and tries to take the comatose Nandu to Dubai (where they are based) – but is prevented first by the doctors and the by Saras, who claims stake on being the older son and exerts his will that his father will remain in the current hospital.

In the meanwhile, Kabir remains on the scene – mysterious and constant. He tries to engage with Gumaan on her way out of the hospital.  Danny, who had met his mother in the hospital is in trauma (dad is in coma, mom is so upset; and I am not confessing about my marriage to Kusum to mom).

With Saras and Kumud being happily married and Gumaan reappearing, Kalika has become a little irrelevant in the serial. It is likely that she will be cast out of the house (she has just been found stealing from her mother-in-law); Kabir will prove to be Nandu’s illicit son and he and Gumaan will team up against Saras, Kumud and her family. To the credit of the writers, they have recognised that it is villainy that keeps interest alive and they are managing an excellently smooth transition from one villain to another {Gumaan -> Pramad  -> Kanika -> Gumaan/Kabir (?)} in the serial.

By Sujata Garimella

Also See:
Devon Ka Dev Mahadev: When will Shiv and Sati Meet?
The New Mahabharat on TV Humanizes the Story
Jodha now becomes Number One Bahu of Indian Television

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