From Buniyaad to Pehredaar: My India on TV

Pop Culture

From Buniyaad to Pehredaar: My India on TV

Illustration: Juergen DSouza


was recently watching Ishqbaaz when I felt a sharp stab of disappointment. The series airs on Star Plus – they who promised us in their re-branded campaign, “Rishta Wohi, Soch Nayi”, to upgrade the level of thinking on Indian soaps. Ishqbaaz features veteran TV actor, Mahesh Thakur, as an ageing industrialist desperately in need of a razor, who is having an affair with his secretary, Svetlana, who was also briefly engaged to his son. I’m not sure what nayi soch this plot line promulgates but that’s not what disappointed me. What disappointed me was Mahesh Thakur.

The first time I saw the actor on the small screen was as the hapless husband caught between the playful saas-bahu characters, the late Reema Lagoo and Supriya Pilgonkar in Tu Tu Main Main. However, it was his performance as the sensitive, loving husband in Ravi Rai’s Sailaab (1995) that I primarily remember him for. Exploring the reconciliation and extramarital affair of two former lovers, Rohit (Sachin Khedekar) and Shivani (Renuka Shahane) and how it wrecks the lives of the people around them, including Thakur who plays Shivani’s husband, the weekly show displayed the multiple shades of grey to the relationship through quotidian moments and conversations. I never cared much for Shahane’s bhabhi act in Hum Aapke Hain Koun!! but her luminous performance as a woman caught between her past and present has remained with me ever since.