3 Stories of Romance are in the Limelight on Indian TV – Salim Anarkali, Radhakrishna, & Karn Sanginiby Opinion Express October 5, 2018 0 comments
As Indian Television daily soaps focusing on the real-life historical love stories, the reporter had words with the directors of three such shows to strike a commonality between them – Dastaan-e-Mohabbat: Salim Anarkali, Radhakrishna, and Karn Sangini.
Love stories are getting a spin on television, this time by looking back at history, legend, myths, and epics. Welcome to the season of romance between Salim and Anarkali, which is being posited as love across class divides Radha and Krishna, which is about humanizing divinity or Karn and Sangini, which is about the maturity of a relationship that is an everyday story against odds instead of an epic.
Reinventing history, Nitin Jai Shukla, creative director and producer of the show, Dastaan-e-Mohabbat: Salim Anarkali, says, “Their story has been told a number of times and a lot have been written in books about Emperor Akbar, his son Salim and kaneez (maid) Anarkali, who some consider being a fictitious character. The journey of their separation is the crux of our story as nobody knows what really happened. This curiosity is what we seek to address, drawing on several theories. It is a classical cult romance for the viewers.”
If you ask about the research that goes into such kind of shows, he says, “The Mughal era has so far been portrayed as being extremely high-pitched, be it costumes, drama, plots and war sequences. Yet that era has been very well documented. Both emperors Babar and detailed autobiographies and kept a record of their reigns. But you cannot find about the story of Anarkali or who she was. Just like Jodhabai was fictitious. Such characters were probably deliberately left out of empire records but are popular in folklore. So that area between fact and fiction is interesting to work on as a storyteller. You can bring a freshness of treatment only because these stories have not been told. Our aim is to bring a cinematic experience of such untold and eternal love stories. Salim and Anarkali have always been referenced against Mughal-e-Azam but we have gone to probe it layer by layer and at the human level.”
Writer, director and producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary of the show Radhakrishna, says, “Radha and Krishna is a divine love story and embodies the essence of true love. And in a bigoted world that loves to operate within binaries and rigidities, it is an eye-opener and a treatise of human relationships and their internecine conflicts. Larger than the life they may be, but also true to life.”
Shashi Mittal, producer, and writer of the show ‘Karn Sangini’ has chosen to focus on social conflicts and feudalism that still plays out in modern India. Says he, “The show is extremely special to all of us as it brings to light a new narrative of an epic like Mahabharata. Love triangles always call for a good narrative and we thought why not probe a grey area and set one such triangle in the backdrop of the epic Kurukshetra war? Karn Sangini is the untold tale of Karn and Uruvi, who stood by him, transcending class and social barriers. It’s a show that proves love triumphs over all odds and will have an interesting resonance in times of honor killings of inter-caste couples.”
By retelling known tales, the makers are trying to focus on contemporary issues and set them against an old template with implicit correctives and lessons. While this may work on the TRP charts, it is sad that Indian television still needs a reference point to justify contemporary realism.
Writer: Team Viva
Courtesy: The Pioneer