The new show, Shakti…Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii, portrays the power of a family to dictate the destiny of its children. Balika Vadhu is moving to the early primetime slot of 6.30 PM starting May 30
Raushni Bhagia | Mumbai | May 27, 2016
After two leaps, multiple social issues, impactful twists and turns and a brilliant eight-year journey, Balika Vadhu, starting May 30, 2016, will be shifted to 6.30 PM, an early primetime slot. Colors has decided to fill in its most popular weekday 8 PM slot with the new fiction show Shakti, replacing its flagship show Balika Vadhu which had grabbed the slot since July 2008. It not just occupied the timing but created a strong monopoly for itself. For a long time, all the other Hindi GECs had struggled to pose a property at 8 PM to fight against Balika Vadhu.
Despite a 15-year leap that the show experienced merely two months back, the show’s popularity seems to be declining after a long journey of success. Recently, there were reports of how the original writers of the show, Purnendu Shekhar and Gajra Kottary, had left the show, along with the director Siddharth Sengupta. The writers have been quoted in sections of the media of having left the show over “creative difference” with the channel.
Manisha Sharma, Programming Head, Colors, said, “Shakti will launch in the 8 PM primetime slot where it takes the baton from our longest running fiction drama Balika Vadhu, giving audiences a new story to support and follow. Balika Vadhu, in turn, will move to the 6.30 PM timeslot where Dr Nandini, Dr Amit and Krish's endearing tale will continue to enthral viewers. Ishq Ka Rang Safed will move up to the 6 PM slot.”
It was learnt from a few observers that since the show is now entering into a full-on matured love story plot, the 8 PM slot is better given to another hardhitting concept based show like Shakti.
As for Balika Vadhu, some even argue that the popularity of the show was a crucial driver for the channel shooting up to the No. 1 position immediately after the channel’s launch. Not just this, this show is the longest running show on Indian television, with about 2,188 episodes to its credit till date. Set in the backdrop of Rajasthan, the show has kept the promise of highlighting social issues, as it started off with child marriage, moving on to domestic violence, to widow remarriage, honour killing and even girl child education. Not to ignore the quotes that the channel keeps bringing up at the end of each episode, which completely go along with the content of that particular episode.
Just as the regular hiccups that any fiction show experiences, BV too had its share of controversies. Be it about the sudden dropping out of the lead character or the accusations of deviating from the social issues, the show has witnessed and shed off all of this.
Nonetheless, all the actors who have played lead roles of Anandi and Jagiya – be it 13-year-old Avika Gor, the grown-up one late Pratyusha Banerjee or Shashank Vyas, Shakti Anand, Avinash Mukherjee – are still popular by their BV screen names.
It was three years after the launch of BV when Mahadev came about on Life OK in December 2011, which threatened to be a strong competition to BV. It was only around September 2012, when Life OK’s Mahadev got enough popularity, viewership and reach in the 8 PM slot, that Balika Vadhu felt the jolt for some time. However, that competition fazed out soon enough.
Shakti… Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii
The new show replacing the flagship fiction property has been titled Shakti… Astitva Ke Ehsaas Kii. Putting blood relations in a quandary, Shakti portrays the strength and power of a family to dictate the destiny of its children. The show, just like Balika Vadhu, starts off with child actors at the main protagonists of the storyline.
Produced by Rashmi Sharma Telefilms, Shakti is set against the backdrop of Punjab. The show talks about parents who discriminate between their two daughters. The elder one, Soumya, doesn’t understand why her father and Dadi treat her differently. On the other hand, the younger one, Surbhi, struggles to understand her mother Nimmi’s indifference towards her. Having been deprived of an education, and with no friends, toys or companions, Soumya finds solace in her mother’s arms. But the story is different for Surbhi. Smothered in her father and Dadi’s love, Surbhi goes to school, plays with her friends, and gets everything she wants except for her mother’s affection. The want for a socially ‘perfect’ life sees Maninder and Dadi go to any lengths to maintain a false prestige, even at the cost of alienating their own. But the mystery remains…what truth has the ability to tear apart a family from its very roots?
About the new show, Sharma said, “Prejudice comes in many forms; the differential treatment is based on a variety of factors including race, sex, and age among other reasons. However, the one kind, though widely prevalent, that goes unnoticed is that which a family doles out against its own kin. With Shakti, we aim to show how conscious prejudice and the pursuit of perfection have the power to decay an entire family. With this show, we are fortifying our relationship with Rashmi Sharma Telefilms; their penchant for gripping narratives and compelling storytelling has made them a favorite among audiences.”
Speaking about the show further, producer Rashmi Sharma from Rashmi Sharma Telefilms, said, “For Shakti, we were very clear about one thing – we wanted to utilise the rich Punjabi culture, and hence have shot extensively in the fields and various picturesque locations of Punjab. The show’s story goes beyond stereotypical social dramas and makes it more personal with the spotlight being on two children and their family. As the story unfolds, their journey together and their advent into adulthood will reveal plotlines along the show’s theme ‘Ek Sach Jo Hai Kalpana Se Pare’.”